Canadian Immigration Pathways for Skilled Tech Workers

How to Get Your Foot in the Door for a Tech Career in Canada

Technology workers are in high demand in Canada, but when it comes to navigating Canada’s complex immigration system, getting your foot in the door can be challenging.

Fortunately, there are several immigration programs and work permits at the federal and provincial/territorial levels available to skilled tech workers looking to make a career for themselves in Canada. These programs are designed specifically to attract and retain talented foreign tech workers.

We’ll examine some of the most popular options below:

Express Entry

Express Entry is an online immigration application system for skilled workers looking to obtain permanent residence in Canada.

Applicants must first meet the minimum requirements for Express Entry before submitting a profile into the Express Entry System. Immigration officials will evaluate the strength of an applicant’s profile based on certain criteria and rank them using a points-based system. Applicants with the highest scores will then receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Express Entry is not designed specifically for tech workers. However, according to the

most recent Express Entry Annual Report, applicants that worked in the technology sector received the most invitations to apply.

The Global Talent Stream

The Global Talent Stream is a part of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program and allows for quick processing of work permits for highly skilled temporary foreign workers.

This program has two categories. Category A is reserved for high-growth companies requiring unique specialized foreign talent. Employers that fall within this category must be referred to the program by a designated referral partner. This is typically a governmental organization.

Category B is for employers seeking highly skilled foreign workers for occupations on the Global Talent Occupations List.

Occupations on this list are high-demand jobs with domestic labour shortages.

CUSMA Professionals

Certain workers from the U.S. or Mexico may be eligible for a work permit under the Canada-United-States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). This program allows employers to hire foreign workers without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Computer systems analysts, computer engineers, graphic designers, and technical publication writers may be eligible for work permits under CUSMA.

Intra-Company Transfer

Foreign workers whose employer has a subsidiary, affiliate, parent company, or branch in Canada can apply for an Intra-Company Transfer and come to live and work in Canada.

Provincial Nominee Program

Each province has its own Provincial Nominee Program for recruiting skilled workers. In Ontario, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program has a special technology talent recruitment system.

The program has identified specific technology occupations as being eligible for periodic tech-only draws. Those that are selected through the draw will receive expedited and enhanced service.

As you can see, tech workers looking to advance their careers in Canada have numerous options available to them. However, navigating the immigration system alone can lead to confusion and errors on your application. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you find the right pathway and guide you through the application process, so you can make your dreams of a career in Canada a reality.