Due to the high demand in the tech industry, Canadian immigration for tech workers is on the rise which is why Canada offers special work permits to tech workers. That said, there are ways for tech workers to immigrate permanently without ever having worked in Canada.
Here are some of the most popular ways to immigrate to Canada for tech workers in 2023:
Express Entry is a popular option for tech workers that want to settle permanently in Canada. Canada’s Express Entry system is responsible for welcoming about 110,000 newcomers each year.
Canada operates three main economic programs through the Express Entry system: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Federal Skilled Trades (FST). The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is ideal for tech workers with no previous work experience in Canada.
The Express Entry system requires submitting an online profile that is scored by Canada’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Candidates with CRS scores above the cut-off are invited to apply for permanent residence.
While the Express Entry system does not currently consider occupation when determining a candidate’s CRS score, the immigration minister recently hinted at moving toward occupation-based Express Entry draws. This would allow the federal government to select candidates based on specific labour market needs. Since there is a high demand for many tech occupations, this would be good news for tech professionals in the Express Entry pool.
In the meantime, provinces continue to invite tech workers directly from the Express Entry pool through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) have become an increasingly popular way for tech workers to immigrate to Canada. Many Canadian provinces offer nominee programs specific to those with experience in the tech industry. Some programs even invite candidates directly from the Express Entry pool to apply for nomination.
Here are three popular PNPs for tech workers overseas that want to settle permanently in Canada:
Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities stream is a great immigration option for overseas tech workers that don’t have a Canadian job offer. The stream regularly holds targeted tech draws, where they invite tech workers directly from the Express Entry pool.
The challenge of this stream is that tech workers can’t apply without first being invited by the province. In each tech draw, Ontario selects a targeted CRS range to determine which candidates will receive a Notification of Interest (NOI). Those who receive an NOI may apply for nomination within 45 days of receiving the notification.
Targeted tech occupations include:
British Columbia’s PNP Tech program provides expedited application processing for candidates with a BC job offer in one of 27 prioritized tech occupations. To qualify, tech workers must be eligible under one of BC’s Skills Immigration streams. The benefit of this program is that it doesn’t require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Instead, the province of BC may issue a “letter of support” to successful nominees, which can be used to apply for a Canadian work permit. BC’s prioritized tech occupations include,
The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) offers an accelerated pathway to permanent residence for certain tech professionals with Alberta job offers. To be eligible under this program, candidates must have a job offer in one of 37 tech occupations, or with an employer in one of Alberta’s identified tech sectors.
Like BC, Alberta’s Accelerated Tech Pathway offers letters of support to successful nominees that can be used to apply for a work permit in lieu of the lengthy LMIA process. Eligible tech occupations include:
In April 2021, the Quebec government launched an immigration pilot program that benefits certain tech workers. The pilot program allows foreign workers in certain tech occupations to settle permanently in Quebec. The pilot program has two streams: artificial intelligence and information technologies and visual effects.
Quebec’s artificial intelligence stream targets two types of tech professionals: graduates from a Quebec college or university, and foreign-trained workers. Though a Quebec job offer is required for Quebec graduates, the same is not required of foreign workers if they have sufficient work experience in Quebec. The stream also requires candidates to have relevant education that minimally corresponds to a Quebec bachelor’s degree.
The information technology (IT) and visual effects stream targets workers that have experience in one of 10 select occupations. At least two years of work experience in this occupation must have been completed within the past ten years. Candidates applying under this stream must have a job offer, or be working in their field, in Quebec. Applicants must also have completed education that corresponds to a Quebec diploma of technical training or a Quebec bachelor’s degree. Eligible occupations under this stream include:
Both streams require applicants to be at least 18 years old, intend to settle and work in Quebec, respect the conditions of their permit in Quebec, and demonstrate financial self-sufficiency.
Candidates that do not speak French can apply under the “Francization” profile. Instead of demonstrating French proficiency, these candidates must sign an agreement that they will learn French upon arriving in Quebec. Quebec offers free language courses for immigrants to help support their integration into the province.
Demand for tech workers in Canada is higher now than ever. With a growing demand for tech professionals, more and more Canadian tech employers are looking to immigrants to fill labour market gaps. In past years, over one-third of jobs in Canada’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector were held by immigrants.
Not sure where to start? Visit our blog post dedicated to finding a job in Canada.
The average yearly salary of an IT worker in Canada ranges from $68,000-$100,000 CAD. Whether you are in the higher or lower end of the salary spectrum will depend on your preferred location in Canada and your qualifications once you are a Permanent Resident of Canada.
Average Wage: $42/hour
Job Description: Analyze systems requirements, develop and implement information systems development plans, policies and procedures, and provide advice on a wide range of information systems issues.
Average Wage: $39/hour
Job Description: Although they are slightly different positions, data administrators and database analysts are contained under the same NOC code. Database analysts are expected to design, develop and administer data management solutions using database management software. Data administrators develop and implement data administration policy, standards and models.
Average Wage: $49/hour
Job Description: Research, design, evaluate, integrate and maintain software applications, technical environments, operating systems, embedded software, information warehouses and telecommunications software. Being a team leader of software engineers also means you fall under this category.
Average Wage: $49/hour
Job Description: This profession is like many other NOC codes in that it covers two professions that are very similar to each other. Computer programmers write, modify, integrate and test computer code for microcomputer and mainframe software applications, data processing applications, operating systems-level software and communications software. Interactive media developers write, modify, integrate and test computer code for internet applications, computer-based training software, computer games, film, video and other interactive media.
Average Wage: $46/hour
Job Description: Computer engineers research, plan, design, develop, modify, evaluate and integrate computer and telecommunications hardware and related equipment, and information and communication system networks including mainframe systems, local and wide area networks, fibre-optic networks, wireless communication networks, intranets, the Internet and other data communications systems.
Interested in coming to Canada as a tech worker? Complete our free online assessment form for a full evaluation of your immigration options!
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