On October 30, 2020, the much-anticipated 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan was announced by the government of Canada detailing its’ plan to invite more than 1.2 million immigrants by the end of 2023. The government stated that the country has chosen to increase its immigration targets with the aim of strengthening the economy and filling labour gaps within the healthcare and tech sectors as well as skilled trades as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is great news for companies and skilled workers within the tech sector as Canada is now more than ever under the spotlight with this new plan. Foreign workers who want to take advantage of this plan and move to Canada as soon as possible should take note of the following options:

Global Talent Stream (GTS)

Canada has been inviting skilled tech workers under this program and facilitating a very quick entry for them on a work permit since the program’s inception in 2017. GTS is focused on foreign talents specialized in IT and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The processing time for a work permit under this program is only two weeks and there is no cap limit on the number of application intakes per year and consists of a foreseeable pathway to permanent residency, thus being perfectly situated to profit from a probable immigration of highly skilled workers from across the globe.

Start-Up Visa

The Start-Up Visa program has recently been drawing a lot of attention for tech companies. It allows foreign entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to apply for permanent residency if they are able to secure a significant investment commitment from a designated Canadian angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator in Canada. Once the applicants receive approval from any of these private investment entities, they would be able to file the PR application. The bonus is Canada facilitates the entry of foreign entrepreneurs early in the process by LMIA-exempt work permit to start their business venture while their permanent residence application is being processed.

Express Entry

One of Canada’s most popular permanent residence programs for tech workers is Express Entry. In fact, tech workers are the main occupational group of immigrants who move to Canada through Express Entry. The quick nature of the program (6 months processing time) is one of the major benefits to the applicants, as well as the ability to obtain an open work permit for the applicants in Canada who have received ITA (invitation to apply) from the immigration office. Furthermore, as part of the new plan, the government highlighted that as a result of the ambiguity with regard to when the borders will reopen, it would look at expanding and fast-tracking the pathway for immigrants already residing in the country!


Research performed by the Canadian immigration department has revealed that immigrants who have freshly arrived to Canada as skilled workers are performing terrifically in the labour market and that immigration on such a large scale is necessary if the country wants to continue to keep itself competitive within the global market. As stated by the immigration minister last week when announcing the new Immigration Levels Plan: “Immigration reflects who we are, who we were, and who we want to be in the future”.

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