Skip to main content



Canada Announces New Plans To Attract Tech Talent


Recently, the Government of Canada announced its goal to attract foreign tech talent to Canada and ensure a strong pipeline of workers to fill in-demand jobs for the future. With that, the Minister released details of its approach to meet this goal that includes four key pillars involving improvements and new streams to the current Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) programs.

First Pillar: New LMIA-exempt work permit programs

IRCC is considering two new work permit programs that will be exempt from the requirement of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). They are:

  1. Employer-specific work permits for workers destined to work for a company identified by the Government of Canada as contributing to the country’s industrial innovation goals.
  2. Open work permits for highly skilled workers in select in-demand occupations.

We anticipate the details of these programs to be announced by the end of 2023.

Second Pillar: Attracting digital nomads

IRCC plans to create new policies to attract digital nomads to Canada. Currently, digital nomads are able to remain in Canada on any temporary resident status, including visitor, as long as they perform their job remotely for a foreign employer. But IRCC anticipates that some digital nomads may be interested to seek opportunities with Canadian employers, and thus are required to obtain temporary working status.

There is a possibility IRCC will issue a new policy to ease the process of applying for a work permit from inside Canada, and/or a new employer specific work permit exempting workers with certain a skillset or industry specific job offers from the requirement to obtain an LMIA to support their work permit effort.

Third Pillar: New work permit program for H-1B visa holder

As of July 16, 2023, H-1B visa holders in the US and their accompanying family members, will be eligible to apply to come to Canada with an open work permit for up to three years. This measure will remain in effect for one year, or until IRCC receives 10,000 applications. This will expand the opportunities available for these skilled workers to continue to pursue their careers in the high-tech sector and contribute to economic growth and prosperity in North America.

Fourth Pillar: improving current immigration programs

IRCC will improve its current programs that benefit workers in high-skilled tech occupations. The programs include: the Global Skills Strategy (GSS) and the Start-up Visa Program.

First, IRCC will increase its capacity to fulfil the 2-week promised expedited processing time related to the LMIA Global Talent Stream application and work permit application under the GSS program.

Second, for the Start-up Visa program, IRCC will allocate more spots to this program and update the details of the start-up visa work permit program. IRCC will change the work permit program to that of an open work permit instead of the current company-specific work permit, with duration of three years instead of the current one year, and allow all members of the entrepreneurial team to apply for this work permit instead of just the ones who are deemed essential and urgently needed.

In summary, the Government of Canada is creating more programs to increase the absorption of foreign workers in Canada through many of its innovative initiatives. New initiatives issued in the past 6 months have touched on all levels of jobs, thus allowing more opportunities for those who wish to work in Canada.

If you are interested to learn more about your options to bring workers to Canada or come to Canada as a worker yourself, please reach out to our team. We will be delighted to assist you.

About the Author

As a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, my skillset lies in collaborative work with my clients to achieve their immigration goals.

Subscribe to our newsletter for advice, tips, and the latest news.