July 12, 2024

How Canada Attracts Tech Professionals from Around the World

How Canada Attracts Tech Professionals from Around the World

Status: 08/26/2023 5:11 pm

When it comes to recruiting skilled workers from the technology sector, Canada is taking a special approach. Instead of money, the Canadian government entices with security and a small bureaucracy.

Software Engineer Shriram V. He has been dreaming of going to the neighboring country for a few weeks. “Vancouver, Toronto, British Columbia: Lots of options tech-wise.”

Born in India, he has been working in a company in the New York area for a few years. Mostly home office and very flexible. But his visa is linked to the company where he can work in the US. And his partner who came with him cannot work there as per visa regulations.

Sriram asks about the invitation that Canada’s immigration minister, Sean Fraser, recently promoted at a tech conference in Toronto. “Imagine life in Canada,” he told the audience. “Possibly for a long time, not just for a few weeks.”

Invoking the permanent right of abode

The “Technology Talent Strategy” initiative aims to make that possible. With the program just launched, the North American country wants digital nomads from all over the world — and not just to travel across the country, but as Fraser explains on business channel Bloomberg: “You can get a Canadian work permit. Get yourself on track to settle here permanently.”

The initiative initially enables tech talent to work remotely from Canada for their home employer for up to six months without applying for a visa. Canada does not charge taxes during this period. Employees should continue to be paid in their home country as usual.

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If you fall in love with life in Canada after this “trial course”, the recruitment program will open a second door for you. Fraser exults: “If IT people have a job offer in Canada, they can stay here for a few years and then decide if they want to become permanent residents.” In the end, the big prize is not going to Canada for a few weeks, but getting a full work permit there.

High-paying, but highly insecure jobs in America

Fraser frankly admits: the initiative arises from the pressure to stay ahead of technological development. The minister says the province of Ontario has more tech talent than the San Francisco Bay Area.

While the IT sector is booming in big cities like Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto, Canada as a whole is running away from an abundance of tech talent. According to information from the workforce services provider “Randstad Canada”, the country loses almost one percent of its population working in this sector to its larger neighbor, the United States, every year.

There are also financial reasons: technicians in Canada earn the equivalent of about 70,000 euros a year on average, nearly double what they might earn working in American centers like New York or San Francisco. However: In the US, many tech companies from Google to Amazon laid off tens of thousands of workers at the start of the year.

Free Health care

Sriram V. Such workers also appreciate the stability of Canada’s welfare system. “It’s fascinating,” he says. “You don’t have to worry about your basic Social Security. You also don’t have the handcuffs of immigration officials around you.”

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Canadian citizens and permanent residents are entitled to free public health care. However, tech nomads who stay beyond the first six months must pay taxes on their wages in Canada. A worker there pays an average income tax of 25.6 percent this year.

Despite the horrendous rents and cost of living in Canadian cities, the program is attractive to digital nomads. The same applies to IT professionals like quality manager Soumya J: she was one of the first 10,000 applicants admitted to Canada as digital nomads on a US H1B work visa.

A win for all?

Successfully applied for work permit in Canada from New Jersey. Compared to American authorities, it is very easy, he enthuses. She was able to do everything freely on the computer. The authorities in Canada were very helpful.

Now Soumya J. He writes a lot of applications. “Even though I sent many people, not a single recruiter called me back,” he says. “I’ll have to wait and see how it goes.”

It’s unclear how American companies feel about such predatory campaigns by neighboring Canada. Fraser, Canada’s immigration minister, said everyone could win: “It’s going to be a big win for Canada, it’s going to be a big win for working people, and it’s probably going to be a win for the U.S., which can keep its connection with technology. Talent. Because instead of looking for work on the other side of the world, they’re going to North America.” are staying.”