Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy: New Rules for Canadian Work Permits

Updated on: 2023-08-08 - 2 mins read
Canada Tech TalentCanadian Work PermitImmigration StrategyCanadian Tech Industry RecruitmentSkilled Workers Global Talent Stream for Canada
Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy: New Rules for Canadian Work Permits

Key Points:

  • Canada's Tech Talent Strategy focuses on attracting and retaining global tech talent to drive innovation and economic growth.
  • The strategy includes four key pillars, involving enhancements to existing programs and the introduction of new measures.
  • A new Innovation Stream under the International Mobility Program aims to attract highly skilled individuals and support Canada's innovation priorities.
  • Canada is also exploring policies to attract digital nomads, allowing them to work remotely from the country.
  • Streamlined work permits for H-1B visa holders in the US to come to Canada will promote labor mobility in North America.
  • Improvements to existing programs like the Global Skills Strategy and Start-up Visa Program aim to expedite work permit processing and support foreign entrepreneurs.


Canada is setting its sights on becoming a global leader in tech talent recruitment and attraction. With a robust strategy in place, the country aims to not only fill the immediate demand for tech jobs but also create a fertile ground for future job creation and innovation. The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, recently unveiled a comprehensive approach, involving four key pillars, to enhance programs offered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Developing the Innovation Stream:

Addressing persistent labor shortages in key tech occupations is a top priority. The new Innovation Stream under the International Mobility Program is set to be launched by the end of 2023. This innovative approach will exempt high-growth employers and talented workers from the labor market impact assessment process. The goal is to support Canada's industrial innovation goals and bolster high-tech industries. Two options are being considered: employer-specific work permits for up to five years and open work permits for highly skilled workers in select in-demand occupations.

Attracting Digital Nomads:

Canada recognizes the changing nature of work, and as such, is actively promoting itself as a destination for digital nomads. Individuals who can perform their jobs remotely from anywhere in the world will find Canada welcoming. Under current rules, digital nomads can relocate to Canada for up to six months while working remotely for foreign employers. Plans are in motion to collaborate with partners to potentially implement policies to attract and retain digital nomads.

Enhancing Labor Mobility:

A streamlined work permit is in the works for H-1B specialty occupation visa holders in the US to come to Canada. This move aims to capitalize on the existing ties between the two countries and facilitate opportunities for skilled workers to contribute to North America's high-tech sector. The open work permit, valid for up to three years, will enable these professionals to work for any employer across Canada.

Boosting High-Skilled Tech Programs:

Canada is committed to bolstering existing immigration programs tailored to high-skilled tech occupations. The Global Skills Strategy, introduced in 2017, ensures swift access to highly skilled global talent. Processing times for work permit applications have rebounded after pandemic-related delays. The Start-up Visa (SUV) Program, designed to offer a path to permanent residence for foreign entrepreneurs, is also expanding its capacity to reduce wait times and attract more founders to Canada.

Unveiling the Potential:

Canada's tech talent strategy is aligned with the nation's commitment to fostering innovation and economic growth. The strategy acknowledges the pivotal role that tech professionals play in advancing various sectors, from artificial intelligence to clean energy. Moreover, Canada's reputation as a multicultural and inclusive society adds to its allure, attracting diverse tech talent from around the world.

Supporting Local and Global Impact:

As Canada's tech ecosystem flourishes, it has the potential to create a ripple effect. Not only will the strategy empower local talent and bolster the high-tech industry, but it will also contribute to global collaboration. Tech professionals, digital nomads, and entrepreneurs coming to Canada will bring their expertise, ideas, and innovative spirit, further enriching the nation's tech landscape.


Canada's ambitious tech talent strategy signals a forward-looking approach that aims to secure its position as a global tech powerhouse. By developing innovative pathways, attracting digital nomads, and enhancing existing programs, Canada is paving the way for a vibrant tech ecosystem that fosters growth, innovation, and collaboration on a global scale. As the strategy unfolds, it holds the promise of ushering in a new era of technological advancement and economic prosperity. Stay tuned for updates as Canada continues its journey toward tech excellence.

Official Link:

CIC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada): Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy