Canada offers numerous opportunities for tech professionals from the United States to work and eventually obtain Canadian permanent residence. The thriving tech sector in Canada, supported by the introduction of category-based Express Entry draws, indicates a strong demand for skilled tech workers.
In 2023, one of these categories targets foreign nationals with recent work experience in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professions.
Here, we’ll explore five pathways for US tech talent to make the transition to Canada.
1. Global Talent Stream (GTS)
The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a fast-track work permit program designed to expedite the hiring of skilled tech workers for Canadian companies. Employers can secure work permits for eligible tech professionals within two weeks, allowing them to fill critical positions and drive innovation quickly.
In a recent update, Canada has expanded its list of eligible occupations for immigration, adding five new in-demand professions to the existing 12. This brings the total number of eligible occupations to 17.
|Electrical and electronics engineer||21310|
|Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)||21311|
2. Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Stream of CUSMA
The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), which replaced NAFTA in 2020, includes an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) stream that facilitates the movement of tech workers between the three countries.
US tech professionals can obtain a work permit under this stream if they are transferring to a Canadian branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of their American employer.
3. Start-Up Visa
Canada’s Start-Up Visa program aims to attract entrepreneurial tech talent who can establish innovative businesses and contribute to economic growth. Successful applicants receive funding, guidance, and expertise to help them launch and operate their ventures in Canada.
In a significant enhancement of its Startup Visa Program, Canada has extended work permits and introduced greater flexibility for holders. These updates offer applicants extended work authorization, increased freedom to explore career options and enhanced opportunities for collaboration within the Canadian tech ecosystem.
4. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are administered by individual provinces and territories, allowing them to select immigrants who align with their specific labour market needs and economic priorities. Many PNPs have dedicated streams for tech workers, providing targeted pathways for US tech professionals to settle in specific regions.
5. Express Entry
Express Entry is the primary system for managing skilled worker immigration applications to Canada. It includes three programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Tech professionals can apply under the FSWP with relevant work experience and education.
Additional Considerations for US Tech Workers
While the above pathways offer various options for US tech professionals to immigrate to Canada, there are additional factors to consider:
Eligibility Requirements: Each program has specific eligibility criteria, such as skill level, education, and work experience.
Job Market Demand: Tech professionals should research job market trends in their field and region of interest to ensure strong employment prospects.
Lifestyle Preferences: Different provinces and cities offer unique lifestyles and amenities. Tech workers should consider their personal preferences when choosing a place to live and work in Canada.
Canada’s welcoming immigration policies and vibrant tech sector present a compelling opportunity for US tech workers seeking new challenges and a promising career path.
With careful planning and evaluation of the available pathways, US tech professionals can successfully transition to Canada and contribute to the country’s continued technological advancement.