The feeling among Canadian start-ups is that U.S.-based talent continues to covet a move north of the border.
A reported uptick in interest following Donald Trump’s election victory in November 2016 has continued into 2017, as Canada looks to attract foreign technology talent and Trump sets about trying to push skilled workers away.
A survey of Toronto technology companies saw many report at minimum an upturn in interest from U.S.-based workers, with many already hiring.
- Canada’s New Global Talent Stream: All You Need To Know
- Silicon Valley Leaders Tout Canada as New Technology Talent Hub
- Trump Limits H-1B U.S. Visa As Canada Global Talent Stream Looms
Trump has already placed limitations on the H-1B visa, the main avenue for skilled technology talent to move to the U.S. The suggestion is the U.S. president is planning further action.
Meanwhile, Canada has launched the Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which features two-week visa and work permit processing.
On paper, therefore, a U.S.-based technology worker unable to renew their visa could be able to find a job and move to Canada in a matter of weeks.
The impact of the Global Talent Stream is yet to be felt as it was only launched in June. But figures from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) suggest Americans are already moving north.
The data suggests more Americans will come to Canada via the International Mobility Program (IMP) in 2017 than each of the last two years.
Some 14,835 American skilled workers were granted a temporary Canada visa under the International Mobility Program between January 1 and June 30, 2017. In 2016 as a whole, 28,155 were granted IMP visas.
Although Americans also topped the numbers for 2015, the 2017 figures show a renewed appetite to work in Canada among high skilled citizens from south of the border.
Time spent in Canada under the IMP and work experience gathered also count towards a permanent resident application, should temporary visa holders wish to stay on.
With the Global Talent Stream taking hold, there is an avenue for the brightest U.S.-based workers to move north quickly, even if it means transferring within the same company.
Global Talent Stream: All You Need to Know
Category A: For employers who have been referred by a designated organization (listed below).
Category B: For employers seeking to hire skilled workers from a new Global Talent Occupations List (also below).
Category A: List of ESDC Designated Partners as of June 12, 2017
Under Global Talent Category A, employers must be referred by one of the following (subject to change)
- Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
- BC Tech Association
- Business Development Bank of Canada
- Communitech Corporation
- Council of Canadian Innovators
- Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
- Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service
- ICT Manitoba (ICTAM)
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Accelerated Growth Service
- MaRS Discovery District
- National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program
- Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
- Ontario Ministry of Economic Growth and Development
- VENN Innovation
Under Category A, foreign workers must possess a unique and specialized talent to qualify for a Canada work permit, defined as:
- Advanced knowledge of the industry.
- Highly paid position with a salary of usually $80,000 or more.
- Advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer
- Minimum of five years of experience in the field of specialized experience.
Category B: GTS Global Talent Occupations List
For Category B of the Global Talent Stream, employers must hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations found on the following list:
|National Occupations Classification (NOC) code||Occupation||Minimum wage requirement (annual salary)||Minimum wage requirement (hourly rate)|
|213||Computer and information systems managers||not applicable||not applicable|
|2147||Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)||not applicable||not applicable|
|2171||Information systems analysts and consultants||not applicable||not applicable|
|2172||Database analysts and data administrators||not applicable||not applicable|
|2173||Software engineers and designers||not applicable||not applicable|
|2174||Computer programmers and interactive media developers||not applicable||not applicable|
|2175||Web designers and developers||not applicable||not applicable|
|2241||Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians||$81,000||$38.94|
|2283||Information systems testing technicians||$78,000||$37.50|
|5241*||Digital Media and Design||$80,000||$38.46|
*position requires a minimum of five years of industry experience, and skills requirements including: 3D modeling, virtual and augmented reality; animation, level editing, editor and pipeline software and tools in applicable industry; other specialized knowledge of software framework in applicable industry (for example, Unreal 3.0); and/or, Experience in planning and managing a project.
Non-refundable $1,000 to be paid by the employer.
Labour Market Benefits Plan
A key requirement for GTS is the Labour Market Benefits Plan (LMBP).
Developed with ESDC, it must show how hiring a foreign worker will help a company either create jobs for or transfer skills to Canadians. It also allows the ESDC to track a company’s progress.
The LMBP features mandatory and complementary benefits.
Under Category A, the mandatory benefit is creating jobs, whether directly or indirectly, for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
Under Category B, the mandatory benefit is to increasing skills and training investments for Canadians and permanent residents.
The LMBP must also provide two complementary benefits, which cannot be the same as the mandatory benefit. These include, but are not limited to:
- Job creation,
- Investment in skills and training,
- Transferring knowledge,
- Enhanced company performance and
- Implementing best practices or policies as an employer for your workforce.
Global Talent Stream: General Requirements
Employers must provide evidence they are actively engaged in the business needing the temporary worker. The business must provide a good or service related to the job offer.
Employers new to TFWP must submit one document as proof. Returning employers are not required to re-submit documents, but may be asked for additional proof.
Employers are encouraged to actively seek to hire Canadians and permanent residents before looking abroad for workers. A description of how this has been done will be requested.
Wages must match the prevailing amount paid to Canadians and permanent residents for the same position.
Job Duties and Working Conditions
Workers hired under TFWP must only do the job they were hired for. Foreign workers are covered by the same laws that protect Canadians and permanent residents. Exploitation of a foreign worker violates Canadian law.
Provincial and territorial laws cover standards such as:
- Hours of work (including overtime)
- Working conditions
- Termination of employment
Foreign workers must be covered by provincial or territorial workplace safety insurance where required by law. Any private plan must match or better the terms of the provincial or territorial plan.
A job can only require English or French when advertised. If other languages are essential, justification is required at the application stage.
For positions covered by a union, the foreign worker must be treated the same as Canadians and permanent residents also covered by that union, in terms of wages and terms and conditions.
Employers must comply with all general requirements of the TFWP.