Friday, November 9, 2012

Canada seeking to attract more IT professionals

The Canadian IT sector is thriving. Montreal is a global centre for video game companies for example. Last year (2011) alone, the sector grew by 21% creating 8,000 new jobs.


However, the Information Technology Association of Canada has warned that Canada must attract the best global talent in order to thrive. In a recent report, it said 'For knowledge-based industries, access to a rich and diverse talent pool is as vital as a sustainable supply of trees is to forestry.

Finding these people is a growing and chronic challenge due to the coming demographic crunch and an increasing labour market imbalance. Our industry currently runs at virtually full employment and [we expect] that we will be dealing with 106,000 unfilled jobs over the next four years.'
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canadian government department with responsibility for immigration, says that there are various paths which would enable skilled IT workers to work in Canada.


CIC recommends that IT professionals should apply for permanent resident status via one of the following routes


• The Quebec Skilled Workers Program
This program was largely suspended in June 2012. However, if you are
• Are a temporary resident in Quebec
• Have recently obtained a diploma from a Quebec teaching institution
• You hold a qualification recognised by Quebec
You may still be eligible to apply. According to the Quebec provincial government's Immigration et Communaut├ęs Culturelles website, 'Knowledge of French is an important asset'. The site recommends 'If in doubt, we strongly recommend that you check your level of knowledge of French with a recognized organization.


• the Federal Skilled Worker Class
This program was suspended in July 2012. However skilled workers who achieve the required score as measured by the Canadian points-based grid system will be able to apply for permanent residency when the Class re-opens, probably in January 2013. In order to qualify for permanent residence in this class an applicant must either
• have an offer of employment in Canada or
• be skilled in one of a list of 29 trades and skills listed on the CIC website


There are also three routes to apply for a temporary work visa
• The Quebec Facilitated Labour Market Opinion (LMO) Process
(Before an employer can employ overseas staff, it must acquire a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). A positive LMO will show that there is a need for the foreign worker to fill the job you offer and that there is no Canadian worker available to do the job.)
Employers in IT, along with various other sectors, will be able to receive a positive LMO which will entitle them to employ a skilled foreign worker, without having to advertise jobs locally.


• Temporary Work Permit
Any skilled worker who has a job offer from a Canadian employer will be allowed to apply for a Canadian Temporary Work Permit, providing that that employer has received an LMO.


• NAFTA Professionals
US citizens can take advantage of the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Area) Professionals program and may receive a Temporary Work Permit if offered a job by a Canadian employer. There is no need for the employer to receive an LMO first. These NAFTA citizens must have experience in IT.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in Canada. Please visit our Canadian page for more information: http://www.globalvisasupport.com/canada.html

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