The Information Technology (IT) sector in Canada is currently booming, partly as a result of the government’s recent efforts to attract the best IT professionals and companies worldwide.
Under the Quebec Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Worker programs, IT workers like computer engineers can apply for permanent residency in Canada without an employment offer. If they have a job offer from a Canadian company and a work permit, they can apply as temporary foreign workers. In Canada, IT workers can get high paying jobs and enjoy a quality of life that is considered one of the highest around the world.
Canada’s IT Industry
Information Technology is one of Canada’s most progressive industries, with full employment and opportunities for professionals to find and keep high-paying jobs. According to the Information Technology Association of Canada, IT professionals are paid 52% higher than the national standard rate.
A computer engineer in Canada typically makes from $70,000 to more than $100,000 annually, depending on their experience and skills. According to a recent list, Database Analysts and Web Designers earn some of the 20 highest entry level salaries in the country. Even those who recently graduated in this field and have no working experience usually have higher paychecks than their peers who are involved in other industries, with a starting salary of around $45,000/year.
The Shortage of Foreign Skilled IT Workers
Early this year, the Information and Technology Association of Canada in 2013 said that the recruitment and retention of foreign-trained professionals plays a major role in maintaining good business in the country. With experts predicting that more than 100,000 IT jobs will be opened within the next 4 years alone, it is highly probable that foreign workers will become increasingly important in maintaining the industry’s success.
According to a recent research for Industry Canada, each participating IT firm was in search of new professionals. At least 75% of these companies also believed that Canada seriously lacks local talent, and around 66% said they depended on foreign workers for a substantial percentage of their newly hired employees.
Fortunately, IT professionals have a good number of options to get to Canada and work in these unfilled positions. There are so many opportunities for IT professionals and the Canadian government is actively promoting the value of these workers by providing fast and simple ways of immigrating to the country.
The IT Advantage for Permanent Resident Status
Canada’s IT professionals have a variety of immigration programs where they can apply. Two of the more popular options are the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) programs, where specific IT fields are listed as eligible occupations or fields of training. Engineers can apply to the FSW program, while other IT professionals such as technicians, support staff and programmers, can take the QSW route.
Additionally, Canada has recently offered another option, the Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa program, that targets immigrant entrepreneurs. The program is designed to help PR applicants to get financial support while establishing their enterprise in Canada.
The program has been promoted globally, including in Silicon Valley in the US, as a fast and straightforward option for foreigners who want to migrate to Canada and start their business.
According to former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, this is the government’s way of making Canada the best option for launching the world’s biggest and most promising companies. He says the new program also speaks of Canada’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation in the labor market.
The Need for Temporary Workers in Canada
Since Canada’s economy is in great need of talented workers in the IT sector, prospective immigrants do not have to wait to get PR status in the country.
More than 250,000 foreign workers are currently in Canada and employed in different fields. To arrive in the country as a foreign temporary worker, a person must have a job offer from a Canadian employer and have a Temporary Work Permit. Jobs can be searched online through many job search tools available on the Internet.
Canada is signatory to some international agreements that help foreign workers come to the country more easily. One popular example is the North American Free Trade Agreement which caters to work permit applicants from the US, as well as Mexican workers who can work in Canada in certain occupations, including Graphic Designers and Computer Systems Analysts, among others.