In order to counteract the labor shortage in the technology sector, the Advice of Canadian Innovators Calls on the federal government to test a new visa that would allow highly qualified technicians to come to Canada without a job offer.
The CCI recently released its Talent and Skills Strategy, which provides 13 key recommendations for policymakers to support Canada’s growing tech industry.
The proposed visa, named High Potential Tech Visa, would target in-demand professions such as software developers and data scientists. It would allow holders to work, change jobs and help them obtain permanent residency in Canada.
In his report entitled Talent and Competency Strategy, CCI noted that most people applying for a work visa in Canada need a job offer to qualify. This requirement creates a barrier for highly qualified talent wishing to work in Canada. According to the report, software developers, data scientists and other professionals working in in-demand jobs would be allowed to enter Canada to look for work, they would likely find it.
Additionally, the pandemic has caused remote work to become more common. As a result, CCI says the Canadian government should consult with the private sector to test whether highly skilled foreign workers can come to Canada for a period of time without a job offer.
This proposal is loosely based on a scheme proposed in the UK that would allow software developers, engineers or data scientists to enter the country without a job offer.
The proposed tech visa would complement the existing one Global Skills Strategyaimed at processing work permit Applications in just two weeks for in-demand positions. However, the IHK requires a processing time of 48 hours for the visa for this program.
“By providing a pathway for qualified technicians to come to Canada on their own initiative, the government can increase the available supply of skilled labor that could be hired by Canadian companies without forcing companies to go through the time-consuming and bureaucratic process involved to be proactive in promoting a potential foreign worker,” the report said.
The CCI also wants the government to offer a concierge service to help businesses navigate the immigration system, thereby facilitating the path to permanent residency through it Global talent stream– A work permit program, operated as part of the Global Skills Strategy, available to select employers and select in-demand tech jobs.
Some of the CCI’s other talent acquisition recommendations included launching a digital nomad strategy to make Canada a destination for more remote workers, and reviewing the National Occupational Classification (NOC) Codes more regularly to better reflect the changing nature of technology careers in Canada. They also want Canada to expand recognition of international and alternative credentials for Canadian visa applicants.
Two week work permit processing for tech talent
Canada already offers some immigration and work permit options for technicians. Among the many options for permanent residency, Canada also offers the Global talent stream (GTS), which allows certain professionals to obtain a temporary work permit within two weeks of applying. It is one of the pillars of canada Global Skills Strategy, which aims to help businesses grow by ensuring they have fast access to the highly skilled talent they need.
The GTS enables employers to: a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) without the advertising obligation. It is available to high growth companies that can demonstrate a need to recruit unique specialized talent from abroad. Employers in this category must be referred to the Global Talent Stream by a designated referral partner.
The GTS is also available to employers who are looking for qualified talent for in-demand professions List of global talent jobs.
Employers in both categories must meet conditions related to the remuneration of skilled workers. Foreign workers hired through the GTS must be paid at or above the applicable wage. The prevailing wage is defined as the highest value of:
- the median wage for Canadian government occupants job bank;
- the wage within the area that an employer pays to current employees in the same position at the same location with the same skills and experience;
- the minimum wage floor as defined in the Global Talent job listing (if applicable).
There are also some exceptions to the Global Talent Stream work permit. Highly skilled workers in NOC Skill Type 0 or A-Level occupations may enter Canada to work 15 days in a six-month period or 30 days in a 12-month period without a work permit. Researchers working at publicly funded research institutions can come to Canada for 120 days per year without a work permit.
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