Canada unveils foreign talent visa pilot program
Last month, the Government of Canada launched its Global Skills Strategy, which includes a 25-month visa program pilot project to help fast-growing Canadian firms attract and hire elite international talent. The $7.8-million project will enable highly skilled foreign workers to access a work permit in a matter of weeks; previously, that process took up to twelve months. Canadian technology companies and immigration lawyers are understandably excited about the project’s potential.
Prior to June 2017, companies hoping to hire foreign talent were forced to comply with a cumbersome bureaucratic process requiring them to prove that no Canadian could effectively fill the vacant post, and that the foreign hire would positively impact the Canadian economy. In the time it took companies to complete this process, highly sought-after talent often turned to opportunities elsewhere.
“What companies have told us is that, if it’s a really long process, they lose that opportunity to hire that individual,” Labour Minister Patty Hajdu told The Globe and Mail.
“There have been several occasions … in which we’ve interview skilled engineers eager to move to Canada and work for our team, only to wait six months or longer with no signs of a visa,” echoed Sasha Williams, president and COO at Vancouver-based tech firm Unbounce.
With Canada developing a global reputation for friendliness towards newcomers, and with the United States’ immigration ecosystem in a state of seemingly perpetual chaos, the Global Skills Strategy hopes to make Canada an attractive destination for leading international talent. Immigration lawyers serving tech companies believe an expedited visa process will play a major role.
“The world is getting much, much smaller,” said Toronto lawyer Shoshana Green to the Globe, “and to allow Canada to compete, we need to open our doors to the best and the brightest, and allow Canadian business to get the best person for the position.”
Business leaders and immigration lawyers believe a more open immigration process will benefit Canadians as a whole, even if tech firms are the primary beneficiary of the Global Skills Strategy. According to Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) executive director Benjamin Bergen, Canadians with experience scaling companies to billion-dollar enterprises are few and far between, so attracting these unique international talents will help Canadian companies grow and create jobs across the economy.
If you or a member of your family is interested in immigrating to Canada or have questions about the Canadian immigration process, contact the immigration lawyers at Nanda & Associate today to learn more and find out how are experienced team can help.