Canada wants tech-savvy immigrants

Is your ‘type’ an accomplished tech professional with a six-figure salary? Then you might have to battle it out with Canada’s immigration office. 

What happened: Canada is moving away from its points-based system for immigrant selection to pursue people with work experience in the tech sector, per The Globe and Mail

  • The ‘category-based’ system aims to grant permanent residency (PR) to more STEM-focused applicants but could, in theory, be used to target any profession. 

Why it matters: Demand for tech talent in Canada is weakening, stemming from a wave of recent layoffs. Meanwhile, there is a need for more healthcare and construction workers. 

  • This year, 28% to 31% of PR invitations will go to those with STEM experience, while invites for healthcare (9% to 12%) and trades candidates (3% to 4%) lag behind.

  • Just last month, Canada accepted 10,000 applicants for work permits as part of a program that was designed to lure in laid-off US tech workers holding H-1B visas. 

Yes, but: The Immigration Department’s requirements were informed by a consultation including tech behemoth Amazon, which asked it to bring in more (and better) talent.

Zoom out: As Canada falls behind G7 countries on innovation, more tech workers—if they can find jobs—could spur more spending on research and development in the sector.—LA