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Are you a tech worker who is hesitant to look for tech jobs in Canada because you do not want to live there permanently? It is, however, incorrect to assume that Canadian tech jobs are exclusively open to individuals who wish to become permanent citizens of the country.
For someone who wishes to work in a computer career in Canada without committing to permanent residency, there are several choices. Here’s a rundown of your computer worker work visa alternatives in Canada.
GTS (Global Talent Stream)
For all foreign workers seeking a work permit in Canada, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is the primary option. As a tech worker, however, the TFWP should not be your first choice. Rather, this LMIA-required work permit should be your last option.
The Global Talent Stream of the TFWP should be your first choice for a work permit. The GTS Category B includes all occupations on the Global Talent Occupations List. As of today, this list contains 12 occupations or NOC codes, all of which are related to the technology sector.
If you qualify for the GTS, your work permit will be processed and approved in less than two weeks. The employer must also approve the LMIA for this work permit.
However, because the Occupations List focuses on in-demand tech occupations for which employers are struggling to find skilled candidates in Canada, this is not a difficult process.
GTS is the best option for a tech worker seeking a Canadian work permit due to the ease of LMIA approval and the extremely short processing time.
IMP Work Permits Exempt from LMIA
If you do not qualify for the GTS, you should look into LMIA-exempt work permits through the International Mobility Program before looking into the standard TFWP work permit.
IMP work permits are open work permits that do not require you to work for a specific employer in Canada. Furthermore, employers are not required to have a positive LMIA in hand before hiring a foreign worker under these work permits.
As a tech worker looking to work in Canada, you have two IMP options to consider. If your employer has offices in both Canada and other countries, you can see if you qualify for the Intra-Company Transfer work permit.
This option is available if your current employer transfers you to Canada to either start a new Canadian branch or work in the employer’s Canadian branch.
Another IMP work permit option is the Mobilité Francophone. This work permit is only available to those working in NOC 0, A, or B occupations, which means that tech workers are eligible.
To be eligible, you must have CLB 7 or higher French proficiency and work outside of Quebec. There are no other special requirements for this category, so any skilled worker with a job offer in Canada can easily qualify as long as he or she is fluent in French.
Finally, if you do not qualify for any of the above-mentioned work permits, you can choose the standard LMIA-mandatory work permit under the TFWP. Because tech workers are in short supply in the country and Canada is one of North America’s fastest-growing tech hubs, obtaining an approved LMIA for a tech worker is not a difficult process.
As a result, you should have no trouble finding a job in Canada and qualifying for a work permit for a technical position, even if the employer must apply for an approved LMIA before hiring you.
Regardless of the type of work permit under which you are hired, you must be paid wages that are equal to or higher than the average wage paid for similar positions in the company or across the industry.
Furthermore, the employer must submit a plan for how you, the foreign worker, will either transfer your skills to Canadians or become a permanent resident of Canada yourself. Because work permits are typically issued for three years, you must apply for permanent residence before the three-year period expires.