BREAKING NEWS: Canada Launches Ambitious Plan to Attract Tech Talent at Collision Conference

Innovative Strategy Unveiled at Premier North American Tech Event
June 27, 2023 – Toronto – Canada’s rapidly expanding industries will generate future job opportunities, and companies require access to outstanding talent to stimulate innovation and propel cutting-edge technologies.

At Collision 2023, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, introduced Canada’s inaugural Tech Talent Strategy. This novel approach incorporates new initiatives and enhancements to existing ones, enabling Canadian businesses to flourish in a competitive environment. As part of Canada’s first-ever Tech Talent Strategy, Minister Fraser revealed these bold attraction measures:

  1. Establishing an open work permit channel for U.S. H-1B specialty occupation visa holders to apply for a Canadian work permit, along with study or work permit options for their family members.
  2. Introducing an Innovation Stream under the International Mobility Program to attract top talent, including:
    • Employer-specific work permits for up to five years for employees designated to work for a company recognized by the Canadian government as contributing to our industrial innovation goals.
    • Open work permits for up to five years for highly skilled professionals in select high-demand fields.
  3. Reinstating the 14-day service standard for work permits under the Global Skills Strategy.
  4. Promoting Canada as a desirable location for digital nomads.
  5. Implementing a STEM-specific draw under category-based selection to issue additional invitations for the Express Entry program.
  6. Enhancing the Start-up Visa Program:
    • Increasing the number of available spots in 2023, with additional growth planned for 2024 and 2025.
    • Allowing applicants to apply for work permits with a duration of up to three years instead of one year.
    • Permitting applicants to apply for open work permits as opposed to those restricting them to their own start-ups.
    • Extending the three-year open work permit to each member of the entrepreneurial team, not just those deemed essential and urgently needed in Canada.
    • Prioritizing applications backed by venture capital, angel investor groups, and business incubators with committed capital, as well as those supported by business incubators who are members of Canada’s Tech Network.

The Canadian government is embracing its emerging position as a global leader in tech talent recruitment and attraction, ensuring that Canada not only fills in-demand jobs today but also attracts the skills and business expertise to create the jobs of tomorrow.


“We’re enthusiastic about the ambitious goals we have set in immigration, because they aren’t just about numbers—they are strategic. With Canada’s first-ever immigration Tech Talent Strategy, we’re targeting newcomers that can help enshrine Canada as a world leader in a variety of emerging technologies. I’m grateful for the collaboration of the tech, start-up and business communities, who have provided valuable insight to develop this strategy. Having a fast and flexible approach, one that is broadly supported by Canadians, is truly Canada’s immigration advantage.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

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