The tech sector is very important to the Canadian economy and global tech talent is in high demand in Canada. In fact, there are many different work permit options for people in IT fields, and the Canadian government expedites the processing of these permits.
The main work permit options for IT professions include Global Talent Stream, CUSMA Professionals and Intra-Company Transferees.
Global Talent Stream
The goal of the Global Talent Stream is to help Canadian employers hire foreign tech talent. Global Talent Stream allows certain skilled workers to obtain a work permit within two weeks of applying.
Additionally, under the Global Talent Stream, employers wishing to hire IT professionals may qualify for an expedited Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), the purpose of which is to ensure that the arrival of a foreign worker does not jeopardize to workers in Canada.
Examples of qualifying technology occupations include software engineers and designers, computer programmers, media developers, information systems analysts and consultants, and computer and information systems managers.
Under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), eligible US and Mexican citizens can obtain Canadian work permits. Work permits granted under NAFTA do not typically require an LMIA prior to application, which means Canadian employers can bring foreign IT professionals to work much faster.
Under CUSMA, there is a list of approximately 60 professions or occupations that qualify for a work permit called the CUSMA professional work permit. Many of the professions listed are related to IT and include computer systems analysts, graphic designers, technical publication writers, and computer engineers.
Transferred within the company
Intra-company transfer (ICT) is another work permit option that does not require an LMIA. To be eligible for the TIC work permit, the foreign worker must be employed by a company abroad for at least one year and there must be a qualifying relationship between the two companies (i.e. subsidiary, affiliate, parent or branch) .
For the TIC work permit, there are three different categories under which a worker can qualify. The third category is for workers who have “specialized knowledge and ownership of the company or its products”, and this is how IT professionals can be eligible for the ICT work permit.