Opportunities for techies to work in Canada – the pathways

Advantages of coming to Canada as a tech worker

There are many opportunities for tech professionals to work in prestigious companies in Canada. If you are a tech professional nurturing the desire to live and work in Canada, we can tell you about the different pathways available to you.

The basics

If you want to arrive and legally work in Canada, you need a work permit. There are certain types of work permits that are specifically meant for tech workers. Nevertheless, you can even directly apply for a Canada PR visa, which can automatically give you the right to work in Canada.

Types of Canada Work permits available to tech workers

Global Talent Stream

This stream is involved in processing 80% of Canadian work permit applications in 2 weeks or less. The stream is used as a high-paced process to rope in highly skilled workers from overseas.

Under this stream, qualifying employers can belong to either of the following categories:

Category A ·      It’s meant for quickly-growing companies that need specialized talent from abroad.

·      The employer has to obtain approval from a referral partner viz. A local government/semi-governmental agency that’s engaged in the economic development of a city or a similar area.

Category B ·      It’s meant for employers seeking certain particular skilled workers who are essentially required for work in Canada.

·      Their jobs are listed in the Global Talent Occupation list.


The CUSMA replaced its predecessor, NAFTA. Transfer of talent between the 3 countries namely the US, Canada, and Mexico is what’s achieved through CUSMA. There are 63 occupations that CUSMA identifies that qualify under the category of Professionals. Computer System Analyst is one among them.

Under CUSMA, there are ICTs (Intra-Company transfers). Employees that are moved between locations within the company to a Canadian branch are referred to as ICTs. Such employees would have worked for at least a year in the company. They would be handling roles in management or working with special knowledge.


As there’s ICT under CUSMA, employees could be transferred from a country other than the US or Mexico. An employee arriving to work in Canada via an ICT has no need for an LMIA.

Canada PR pathways

If you chose to stay longer in Canada, you could apply for a Canada PR visa. Becoming a permanent resident in Canada helps you to forego the need for a work permit. The status of a PR is always higher than a TFW who is a temporary resident in Canada.

The only thing to be mindful of is the possible necessity to renew their PR card. Another perk of being a Canada PR is that it offers a better shot at becoming a citizen just years after living on the PR visa.

Express Entry

It’s the most popular pathway for immigrants to reach Canada.

Express Entry is a points-based application management system. It’s put into use by the federal government for the management of applications for Canada immigration. These applications are filed for high-skilled immigration programs of the federal government: CEC, FSTP, and FSWP.

Foreign tech workers can utilize the FSWP and CEC streams. The FSTP is meant for people involved in trades.

80% of immigration applications are processed by the Express Entry system in 6 months or less. Every candidate profile in the Express Entry candidate pool is ranked with scores by CRS. Factors like education, age, work experience, and skills in Canada’s official language are considered to assign the scores.

On a bi-weekly basis, Canada selects the profiles of candidates who score the highest to issue ITAs for Canada PR.

It’s been found that 1/3rd of all successful immigration applicants are tech workers. Also, 4 out of 5 top jobs most selected for ITAs are in the tech field.

BC PNP Tech draw

The tech draws conducted by British Columbia PNP unveil a priority pathway for certain tech-skilled candidates through the BC Tech stream. The candidates that BC PNP targets have jobs in one of the 29 occupations in the technology field that are listed by the province.

Ontario tech draws

Like British Columbia, Ontario also conducts tech draws to attract tech-skilled foreign workers. These candidates have to qualify for the Human Capital Priorities stream of Ontario. This in turn means that the candidates have to have eligibility for either FSWP or CEC programs.

For eligibility in the Ontario tech draw, you must have the experience of working in one of the following tech occupations:

  • software engineers & designers
  • computer engineers
  • database analysts & data administrators
  • computer programmers & interactive media developers
  • web designers & developers
  • computer & information systems managers

Immigration program for workers in IT, AI, and Visual Effects

An immigration pilot launched by Quebec in April 2021, has 2 streams that cater to tech-based workers. They are:


In the AI stream, there are 2 sub-streams.

  1. Stream for people who graduated from a university or college in Quebec (applicants need a job offer and work experience)
  2. Stream for workers who got trained in AI abroad (applicants needn’t have a job offer)

IT & Visual Effects

The workers under this stream are required to have a minimum work experience of 2 years in the last 5 years in 10 select occupations. They also need to have a new or ongoing job in their field of work. This is besides having the required education.

So, do you feel better informed about your pathways to Canada as a techie? If you liked this article, please go through these suggested articles:

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