Canada has a fast growing technology industry but there is acute shortage in Canada of critical IT jobs such as Software Developers, IT Project Managers, Computer Programmers and Computer Engineers. Consequently the Canadian government has designed Economic Immigration Programs to encourage IT professionals in these fields to migrate to Canada to make up the shortfall.
Paths for IT Professional Immigration to Canada
Foreign IT professionals can come to Canada in two main ways:
Applying directly for permanent residence
Applying for temporary resident work permit, and then transitioning to permanent resident
1) Applying directly for permanent residence
IT professionals that want to apply directly for permanent residence will have to do so mainly through the Express Entry System. Express Entry is an electronic system that the Canadian Government established for purposes of expediting the selection and application process for various Economic Immigration Programs. It requires online submissions of applications and documentations to ensure quicker processing times, which currently average 6 months.
Canada’s federal Economic Immigration Programs consist of:
IT professionals desiring to come to Canada via any of the above programs will be placed into a pool and ranked using the the Comprehensive Ranking System. A predetermined number of the highest ranked applicants will be invited to apply for Permanent Residence in regular draws that usually happen every two weeks.
There are many ways in which candidates can boost their score while in the Express Entry Pool, including by securing a qualified job offer in Canada, worth 200 or 50 points, depending on the skill level.
Because IT professionals are in high demand in Canada, the Express Entry system is geared towards accepting them.
2) Applying for temporary resident work permit, then transitioning to permanent residence
IT professionals may use the Global Talent Stream (GTS) program to first come to Canada on a temporary work permit before making the transition to permanent residence. On June 12, 2017 the federal government launched the Global Talent Stream, aimed at helping high-growth Canadian companies to bring in the talent they need quickly by cutting work permit and visitor visa processing times from six months to only 10 business days.