Canada has been aggressively moving to compete for the top foreign high-tech talents with Silicon Valley and other technology-rich regions of the U.S. The Canadian government, of course, does not recognize that it is using uncertainties with the immigration climate in the United States. But experts say that the Canadian Global Skills Strategy program is focused on attracting highly qualified foreign technical workers in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Another initiative of the Canadian authorities is the Global Talent Stream program, which allows issuing work permits to foreign workers in just two weeks. The tightening of the immigration policy of the current US government under President Donald Trump encourages the best AI developers to turn their eyes to the north instead of Silicon Valley.
While United States tightens H-1B visa requirements, Canada takes the opportunity to attract the top talents.
Statistics show that more and more highly qualified specialists from countries such as India and China prefer Canada over the United States. Recent government studies have revealed a growing number of job seekers in technology companies in Canada. The share of choosing Canada among high-tech job seekers from India increased from 6% to 13% between August 2016 and July 2018. As for the United States, the numbers for the same period decreased from 60% to 50%.
Not only the federal government takes such steps. In August 2017, British Columbia successfully launched a new immigration program aimed at IT-professionals. The new program is part of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) and is called the Tech Pilot. Within the framework of this program, every week the government sends invitations to qualified candidates who have a valid job offer in one of the key technological occupations. BCPNP Tech Pilot is intended for professionals whose occupations are on the list of 29 IT professions that the province considers to be key to the technology sector of British Columbia. IT is one of the main factors of economic growth in the province, and employment in this area is at the highest level ever recorded in British Columbia.
To apply for BCPNP Tech Pilot, candidates need to have a valid job offer in an eligible tech occupation; be at least one year (365 days) in length, and have at least 120 days remaining at the time of application to the BC PNP.