Canada has announced a new Tech Talent Strategy and measures that will allow foreign workers to study for longer periods in the country.
Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, confirmed a three-year temporary measure that removed the limit on the length of study programmes that temporary foreign workers can enrol in without a study permit.
Previously, workers could only study on programmes of six months or less and had to apply for a separate study permit for longer courses.
Minister Fraser said, “Temporary foreign workers are incredibly important for the Canadian economy, and many have aspirations that go far beyond the work that initially brings them to Canada. With this policy in place, we hope to empower foreign nationals to improve their skills in order to meet their career goals and achieve their dreams, while providing a future potential source of talent for our labour market.”
Canada is looking to attract more tech talent.
The Minister has also announced Canada’s first-ever Tech Talent Strategy to attract and retain international talent in high-growth industries.
Measures in the strategy include an open work permit stream from July 16th for H-1B speciality occupation visa holders in the USA to apply for a Canadian work permit, and study or work permit options for their family members. The H-1B visa is used by some international graduates in the USA.
Canada will also implement an Innovation Stream under the International Mobility Program, which will include: employer-specific work permits for companies contributing to the government’s innovation goals; open work permits for up to five years for highly skilled workers in select in-demand occupations; and improvements to the Start-Up Visa programme with increased places and longer permits.
Minister Fraser said, “We’re enthusiastic about the ambitious goals we have set in immigration, because they aren’t just about numbers - they are strategic. With Canada’s first-ever immigration Tech Talent Strategy, we’re targeting newcomers that can help enshrine Canada as a world leader in a variety of emerging technologies. I’m grateful for the collaboration of the tech, start-up and business communities, who have provided valuable insight to develop this strategy. Having a fast and flexible approach, one that is broadly supported by Canadians, is truly Canada’s immigration advantage.”
In September last year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) released a strategy to expand routes to residency for international students and temporary workers.