More international workers are being hired by technology companies in the Toronto region thanks to a fast-track work visa program introduced by Canada’s government last year, a new study reports.
Of the 53 high-growth tech companies who responded to the survey, 45 percent reported hiring international candidates in 2017 and 53 percent experienced a jump in international applications in 2017 over 2016.
A majority of survey respondents credited Canada’s Global Skills Strategy and its Global Talent Stream for the increase in international hires. Introduced in June 2017, the Global Talent Stream fast-tracks the visa approval process for skilled foreign workers who meet specific employment needs.
Thirty-five percent of the companies who responded to the survey reported using the Global Skills Strategy program to hire international workers.
“Talent is tight in Toronto, having the ability to attract a foreign national in as little as two weeks is beneficial, particularly with how fast-paced technology and the industry overall is moving,” the CEO of one of the tech companies told the survey
Companies surveyed reported the vast majority of international hires hailing from the United States, and substantial numbers also coming from India, China, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.
Engineering was the top position among international hires, followed by sales, marketing, data scientists, operations, and C-suite executives.
One company that responded to the survey reported rising interest from junior and mid-level engineers currently working in California’s Silicon Valley on temporary work visas.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s talk of ending the popular H-1B visa program that many foreign workers rely on is widely seen as one reason why many are looking north to Canada.