Canadian visa programme may lure tech workers

Updated June 28, 2020

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TORONTO: A fast-track visa programme that Canada launched in 2017 has attracted a growing number of tech workers, and US President Donald Trump’s latest immigration crackdown is set to further boost intake once Covid-19 restrictions ease, lawyers say.

The number of successful applicants to Canada’s Global Skills Strategy (GSS) programme rose five-fold over its first three years, with more than 23,000 workers approved under the top five tech categories, data provided to Reuters by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shows. More than 2,300 applications for those same top five tech roles were approved from January to March 2020, ahead of the Covid-19 shutdowns that led to border closures and a sharp drop in immigration. The programme boasts a two-week processing time.

Immigration lawyers told Reuters they were broadly in favor of the programme, which some described as transparent and consistent, and an example of how Canada has been able to take advantage of Trump’s immigration stance since he entered the White House in 2017.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2020