“A tech industry group is advocating for a new visa that would allow qualified individuals to enter Canada without a job offer.”

The Council of Canadian Innovators wants Canada to adopt a High Potential Tech Visa, which would allow in-demand individuals to enter the country without having a work offer.

The Council of Canadian Innovators is urging the federal government to test a new visa that would enable high-skilled computer professionals to come to Canada without a job offer to help alleviate labour shortages in the sector.

The CCI recently unveiled its Talent and Skills Strategy, which includes 13 critical policy suggestions to help policymakers support Canada’s burgeoning digital sector.

The High Potential Tech Visa, as suggested, would target in-demand occupations such as software engineers and data scientists. It would allow holders to work, change employment, and apply for permanent residency in Canada.

CCI observed in its study, The Talent and Skills Strategy, that most persons seeking work visas in Canada must have a job offer in order to qualify. This rule puts a stumbling block in the way of highly competent workers who wish to work in Canada. According to the analysis, if software engineers, data scientists, and other specialists in high-demand industries were permitted to enter Canada in search of work, they would almost certainly find it.

Furthermore, the epidemic has increased the use of remote work. As a result, CCI suggests that the Canadian government negotiate with the business sector on a trial program that would enable highly talented foreign employees to come to Canada without a job offer for a defined length of time

This plan is based on a concept suggested in the United Kingdom that would enable software developers, engineers, and data scientists to enter the nation without having a work offer.

The new tech visa would be in addition to the existing Global Skills Strategy, which seeks to process work permit applications for in-demand jobs in as short as two weeks. The CCI, on the other hand, proposes a visa processing period of 48 hours for this scheme.

According to the research, “by permitting competent tech employees to come to Canada on their own initiative, the government can increase the available supply of skilled workers who could be hired by Canadian companies without forcing firms to go through the time-consuming and bureaucratic process of sponsoring a potential foreign worker.”

The CCI also wants the government to provide a concierge service to assist businesses in navigating the immigration system, making the Global Talent Stream—a work permit program that operates under the Global Skills Strategy and is available to certain employers and select in-demand tech occupations—a more straightforward path to permanent residency.

The CCI also recommended developing a Digital Nomad Strategy to attract more remote workers to Canada, as well as evaluating the National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes on a more frequent basis to better represent the changing nature of technology occupations in the country. They also want Canada to recognize alternative and foreign qualifications for Canadian visa applicants.

Work permits for tech talent are processed in two weeks.

For tech employees, Canada already has several immigration and work permit alternatives. The Global Talent Stream (GTS), which permits selected qualified employees to acquire a temporary work visa within two weeks after applying, is one of the several paths to permanent residency available in Canada. It is one of the pillars of Canada’s Global Skills Strategy, which aims to assist businesses thrive by ensuring that they can readily access highly trained workers.

Employers can obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) through the GTS without having to advertise. It is offered to high-growth businesses that can establish a need for skilled foreign expertise. A designated referral partner must introduce employers in this category to the Global Talent Stream.

Employers wishing to hire qualified personnel for in-demand occupations on the Global Talent Occupations List can also use the GTS.

Employers in both groups must adhere to payment requirements for skilled personnel. Foreign employees employed through the GTS are required to be paid at least the prevailing salary.The highest of the following statistics is the prevailing wage:

the minimum wage floor as defined in the Global Talent occupations list; the wage within the range an employer pays current employees in the same position at the same location, with the same skills and experience;

the government of Canada’s Job Bank’s median pay for the occupation;

 the pay scale that a business offers to current workers in the same role, at the same location, with the same abilities and experience (if applicable).

Under the Global Talent Stream, there are also various work permit exclusions. Without a work permit, highly skilled employees in NOC skill category 0 or A-level jobs may enter Canada for 15 days in a six-month period or 30 days in a 12-month period. Researchers employed by publicly supported research organizations are permitted to visit Canada for up to 120 days per year without requiring a work permit.

(Source CIC News)

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