Are you looking to immigrate to Canada as a Tech Worker? With Canada’s booming tech industry and the abundant opportunities it provides, it can be overwhelming to discover the right path to becoming a Canadian immigrant. But don’t worry – in this article, we provide an overview of the immigration process as well as tips on how to make your journey as smooth and successful as possible.
Here are some of the most popular ways to immigrate to Canada as a tech worker:
In Canada, the Express Entry system is responsible for welcoming about 110,000 newcomers each year, mostly tech workers.
Through Express Entry, Canada operates three main economic programs: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Federal Skilled Trades (FST). For tech workers without prior work experience in Canada, the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is ideal.
Canada’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores applicants’ online profiles, and candidates with CRS scores above the cutoff are invited to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry.
However, the immigration minister hinted recently that the Express Entry system might move toward occupation-based draws in the future. Since there is a high demand for many tech occupations, the federal government would be able to select candidates based on specific labour market needs. This would be good news for tech professionals in the Express Entry pool.
Nevertheless, provinces invite tech workers directly from the Express Entry pool through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
Provincial Nominee Program
There have been an increasing number of tech workers who have chosen to immigrate to Canada through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Many Canadian provinces offer nominee programs specifically tailored to those with tech industry experience. There are even programs that allow candidates to apply directly from the Express Entry pool.
For tech workers overseas who wish to settle permanently in Canada, here are three popular PNPs:
1. Ontario Human Capital Priorities Stream
The Human Capital Priorities stream in Ontario is a great option for overseas tech workers without Canadian job offers. The stream regularly holds targeted tech draws, where they invite tech workers directly from Express Entry.
The challenge of this stream is that tech workers cannot apply without first being invited by the province. For every tech draw, Ontario selects a targeted CRS range to determine which candidates will receive a Notification of Interest (NOI). Within 45 days of receiving an NOI, candidates may apply for nominations.
2. British Columbia PNP Tech
British Columbia’s PNP Tech program provides expedited processing for candidates with BC job offers in one of 27 priority tech occupations. The program requires that tech workers qualify under one of BC’s Skills Immigration streams. Its advantage is that it does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). A letter of support can be issued by BC to successful nominees, which can then be used to apply for a Canadian work permit. BC’s 27 prioritized.
3. Alberta Accelerated Tech Pathway
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) allows certain tech professionals with Alberta job offers an accelerated path to permanent residence. Applicants must have a job offer in one of 37 tech occupations or with an employer in one of Alberta’s identified technology sectors to qualify for this program.
Candidates must be eligible for AINP’s Express Entry stream to apply under this program.
Alberta’s Accelerated Tech Pathway offers letters of support to successful nominees that can be used instead of lengthy LMIAs to apply for a work permit.
Alberta’s Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) provides certain tech professionals with Alberta job offers and an accelerated path to permanent residence. Candidates for this program must be offered a job in one of 37 tech occupations, or employed by an employer in the tech sector identified by Alberta.
To apply under this pathway, candidates must be eligible for AINP’s Express Entry stream.
Alberta’s Accelerated Tech Pathway also offers letters of support that can be used to apply for a work permit instead of the lengthy LMIA.
An immigration pilot program that benefits certain tech workers was launched by the Quebec government. Under the pilot program, foreign workers in certain tech occupations can settle permanently in Quebec. The pilot program has two streams: artificial intelligence and information technology and visual effects.
A Quebec artificial intelligence stream targets two types of tech professionals: graduates of a Quebec college or university and foreigners. While Quebec graduates are required to have a Quebec job offer, foreign workers who have sufficient work experience in Quebec are not required to have a Quebec job offer. Candidates must also possess relevant education that is at least equivalent to a Quebec bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for the stream.
There are ten select occupations that are targeted by the information technology (IT) and visual effects stream. Candidates applying for this stream must have a job offer or be working in their field in Quebec. Applicants must have at least two years of work experience in this occupation. In addition, applicants must have a Quebec diploma of technical training or a Quebec bachelor’s degree as an educational requirement.