Canada’s commitment to attracting and retaining global talent in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) sector makes it a desirable destination for many foreign professionals looking for immigration and work permits in the country.

Recent announcements aim at further expanding the country’s immigration and work permit opportunities for STEM professionals to foster economic growth and global competitiveness. This post comprehensively overviews Canada’s new and most prominent temporary and permanent residence options for STEM talent.

Express Entry: A Popular Federal Process for Permanent Residence

Express Entry is one of the main ways Canada welcomes skilled immigrants into the country. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced, on May 31st, the launching of category-based selection draws specific for Express Entry candidates.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that it would prioritize Express Entry candidates with strong French language proficiency or professionals with work experience in the following fields:

  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
  • Agriculture and agri-food
  • Healthcare
  • Transport
  • Trades, such as carpenters, contractors, and plumbers

IRCC held its first STEM category-based draw on July 5th, where the body invited 500 STEM professionals to apply for permanent residence in the country. The category-based draw invites top-ranking candidates in general and targeted draws who can meet the country’s labour and job market vacancies and further its economic goals.

IRCC uses a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank candidates in the Express Entry pool. This process allows IRCC to invite the most eligible STEM applicants who meet all the set requirements from the draw.

Global Talent Stream Work Permits

This immigration and work permit opportunity is aimed at foreign nationals specializing in IT. The Global Talent Stream (GTS) has a two-week standard for processing work permit applications for skilled tech talent.

The GTS offers two categories, including:

  • Category A: caters to high-growth companies looking for unique, specialized talent internationally. A designated referral partner must refer them to the GTS.
  • Category B: caters to employers outsourcing certain high-skilled workers for occupations on the Global Talent Occupations List. These occupations must be determined to be in high demand and must have insufficient labour supply in the country.

STEM professionals are eligible under Category B, as the occupations mainly consist of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics positions.

Notably, GTS is also available in Quebec and offers similar opportunities for STEM talent in the province.

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