High Potential Tech Visa Without a Job Offer

April 18, 2022 | xpath.global

Introduction of the High Potential Tech Visa

The Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) proposes a High Potential Tech Visa. This aims to address labor shortages in Canada’s tech sector. The new visa would allow high-skilled tech workers to come to Canada without a job offer. Recently, CCI released its Talent and Skills Strategy. It includes 13 key recommendations to support Canada’s growing tech industry. This proposed visa targets in-demand professions like software developers and data scientists. It allows them to work, change jobs, and eventually gain Canadian permanent residency.

Addressing Barriers for Skilled Tech Workers

The Talent and Skills Strategy report highlights a major issue. Most work visas in Canada require a job offer. This requirement creates a barrier for highly skilled talent. If professionals could enter Canada to seek work, they would likely find employment. The pandemic has increased remote work, prompting CCI to suggest a new approach. They recommend the government consult with the private sector to pilot a program. This would allow highly skilled foreign workers to come to Canada temporarily without a job offer. The proposal is inspired by a similar program in the UK.

Complementing Existing Immigration Strategies

The proposed tech visa would complement the Global Skills Strategy. This strategy processes work permit applications for in-demand roles in as little as two weeks. CCI advocates for an even faster 48-hour visa processing time for this new program. By creating a pathway for skilled tech workers, the government can increase the supply of talent. This approach eliminates the need for companies to undergo a time-consuming sponsorship process. Additionally, CCI recommends a concierge service to help companies navigate the immigration system. This service would ease the pathway to permanent residency through the Global Talent Stream.

Expanding Talent Acquisition and Recognition

CCI suggests launching a Digital Nomad Strategy to attract remote workers. They also recommend reviewing the National Occupation Classification codes regularly. This would reflect the changing nature of tech jobs. Furthermore, they advocate for recognizing international and alternative credentials for visa applicants. Canada already offers several immigration and work permit options for tech workers. The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a key part of Canada’s Global Skills Strategy. It allows skilled workers to get a temporary work permit within two weeks. Employers can obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment without the advertising requirement.

Work Permit Exemptions and Special Provisions

The GTS includes work permit exemptions for some highly-skilled workers and researchers. Workers in NOC skill type 0 or A-level occupations can enter Canada for short-term work without a permit. Researchers at publicly-funded institutions can stay in Canada for up to 120 days a year without needing a work permit. These provisions make it easier for skilled talent to contribute to Canada’s tech sector. This fosters growth and innovation.


Source: CBC NEWS, April 2022

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