foreign tech workers canada domestic immigration labour

techsuch May 9, 2021 0 Comments

Highly-skilled foreign workers and tech industry look to CanadaThere has been an on-going debate as to whether expedited visa programs forhighly-skilled foreign trained workers are salutary from a domestic labourpoint of view. One perspective decries them as facilitating domestic jobtheft, while an alternative perspective recognizes that such visas arenecessary to fill glaring gaps in the domestic labour pool. The United Stateshas affirmed the former position; whereas recent changes to Canada’simmigration policy support the latter.The American visa system for highly-skilled foreign workers, the H-1B visa,has a cap of 85,000. This cap is intended to prevent foreign workers fromusurping well-paid jobs from Americans, in a protectionist, America-firstphilosophy. This perspective, coupled with pervasive uncertainty in futureimmigration trends in the Trump presidency, has caused certain industriesdependent on highly skilled labour to look for opportunities elsewhere.Canada’s official position on highly skilled foreign workers is much moreinviting. There is no cap on the number of visas, there is certainty in workpermits, and, as of June 2017, Canada has adopted the Global Skills Strategy,to facilitate and expedite the entry of such individuals. This new programmehas made bringing in foreign talent more accessible and timely, and it reducescosts for employers. Employers will benefit from the transparency of theprogramme, in knowing what the precise requirements for entry are, as well asbeing able to adapt their plans given the speedy two week decision-makingperiod.These diverging perspectives are changing the international flow of labourwith respect to the tech industry. Not only is the tech industry reliant on ahigh level of skill and specific talent, it is also especially reliant onforeign workers, particularly those from India. Large multinationalcorporations are seeking opportunities to have subsidiaries or satelliteoffices in Canada in order to benefit from a more favourable immigrationpolicy. As well, tech start-ups are increasingly looking to Canada as a placeto form their businesses. These Canadian offices are geographically close totheir American counterparts, often in the same time zone, to facilitate easycross-border collaboration. Additionally, the employees may feel more secure,given the accessibility of longer stays and permanent residency, and,potentially, citizenship for themselves and their families.This favorable immigration environment is conducive to the ever expanding techindustry. The majority of tech workers in the tech hubs, such as SiliconValley, are foreign workers. And these innovative workers drive production andgrow the economy. Investing and supporting the tech sector through invitingforeign workers actually creates domestic jobs rather than eliminating them,as these entrepreneurial tech positions create growth and expand companies andtheir need for more employees. The new Global Skills Strategy recognizes thatCanada presently lacks the domestic talent to satisfy the demand in theseindustries. The new program is paving the way for Canadian cities to becomemore competitive in the lucrative tech through including highly skilledforeign workers.If you are an employer looking to hire a highly-skilled foreign worker, or youare a highly-skilled worker looking to come to Canada, or for any otherimmigration-related matters, please contact our Immigration lawyers today. Forany other inquiries, browse our website, or call us directly at 416-449-1400.By: Samantha Hamilton, Student-at-Law###### “This article is intended to inform and entertain. Its content does notconstitute legal advice and should not be relied upon by readers as such. Ifyou require legal assistance, please see a lawyer. Each case is unique and alawyer with good training and sound judgment can provide you with advicetailored to your specific situation and needs.”

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