Canada offers many ways for foreign tech workers to migrate

Canada’s immigration pathways for techies

There are many work and immigration permit programs that Canada offers for foreign tech workers who are highly skilled. With their education and experience, foreign tech workers perform well in Canada’s leading broad economic immigration pathways. These pathways are available both at federal and provincial/territorial levels.

The following are the many immigration and work programs offered under Canada immigration:

Federal immigration programs

Tech workers get the opportunity to arrive and work in Canada through certain provincial streams that are aligned with the Express Entry system. These are immigration programs that have preferences for tech-skilled immigrants. In the most recent Annual Report on Express Entry, the 3 most common jobs of individuals who got ITAs were all in the tech sector.

Global Talent Stream

The GTS was started in 2017 by IRCC. It’s part of Canada’s TFW program. GTS allows for 2-week permit processing for high-skilled TFW workers. There are 2 categories under GTS.

Category A: This stream caters to high-growth companies that have a demonstrable need to recruit specialized talent from world countries. The employers who use this stream must be referred to the GTS by a designated referral partner. This will generally be a governmental or quasi-governmental organization devoted to incubating business or developing in a particular area.

Category B: This stream caters to employers looking for foreign workers with high skills for jobs found on the Global Talent Occupations List. These are in-demand jobs requiring more skilled workers.

For both categories of GTS, the employer must pay the employee a salary that’s comparable to the average salary given to workers to work in Canada in that position. Employers of Category A must create jobs for citizens or PRs of Canada either directly or indirectly. Employers of Category B must commit to increasing investments in skills and training for the chosen candidates.

Once the candidate starts working in Canada, he/she has the option to extend the temporary status or apply for Canada PR.

CUSMA Professionals

A work permit under CUSMA is applicable to US or Mexico citizens. CUSMA is an expedited program for Canadian employers looking to recruit employees without the need for LMIA.

There are 63 jobs, including tech jobs, that qualify under CUSMA Professional work permit. Tech jobs so qualified include computer engineers, computer system analysts, writers for technical publications, and graphic designers.

Intra-Company Transfer

The ICT is meant for workers who are working for a company that has a qualifying relationship with a Canadian location. This relation could be that of an affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch. No LMIA is required for employers to recruit foreign workers under this work permit program.

To be eligible for an ICT, the foreign worker must hold a managerial position and must have worked in the Canadian company for a minimum of 1 year. If the worker isn’t in a managerial role, he/she must demonstrate that they have specialized and proprietary knowledge of the company and its products.

Tech workers like computer engineers, or software product designers have all possibility to be coming in the list of eligible workers under ICT. These tech workers must have designed specific programs to be used internally by the company.

British Columbia

The BC PNP Tech pilot that launched in May 2017 is an expedited application processing system catering specifically for tech workers that apply under various streams. There are 29 tech jobs that are identified by the BC Tech Pilot. Invitations are sent to candidates who qualify for one of the 5 allied existing streams along with having a job offer. The job offered must last at least a year with a minimum of 120 days remaining in validity at the time of filing the application.


Though Saskatchewan has no specific immigration stream for tech workers, the province does choose to limit the invitation rounds to cater to only tech-skilled foreign workers as the need arises. The candidates may be chosen from streams like Express Entry or Occupations-in-demand. There are 3 tech occupations to which work experience is limited by the province.


The recruitment mission of tech talent to Buenos Aires from Oct 18, 2019, to Oct 21, 2019, by the MBPNP, is a good example of how public and private organizations are working together in Manitoba to invite tech talent to the province.


Ontario has a recruitment system for special technology talent that it operates. It operates in tandem with the currently prevalent immigration streams. OINP has identified work experience in specific tech jobs. These jobs are considered eligible for periodic tech-only draws. Selected applications in such tech draws are processed faster along with enhanced services provided.


The Quebec province has a flourishing tech industry. The province has announced a dedicated new pathway for immigration that serves foreign workers in IT, AI, and visual effects.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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ITA – Invitation to Apply

GTS – Global Talent Stream

TFW – Temporary Foreign Worker

IRCC – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

PR – Permanent Residence

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