Minister Sean Fraser Makes a Big Announcement About Immigration at Collision

 A new approach to bringing digital talent to Canada was unveiled by Minister of Immigration Sean Fraser, and it includes a digital nomad programme that makes it easier for more foreigners to live and work here.

Fraser made a special announcement at the Collision Conference in Toronto on Tuesday, stating that the digital nomad approach would let Canadians to work in Canada for up to six months while employed by a foreign company.

Fraser added, "And should they obtain a job offer while they're here, we'll allow them to continue working in Canada.

There is already a programme in existence that enables foreigners who get a job offer to switch to a work visa in Canada. However, according to Fraser, a tech worker with a position at a foreign employer may move to Canada today and continue working for that employer under the digital nomad plan.

Here is as an excerpt from the press conference that followed Fraser's announcement:

Fraser stated that he would not impose a cap on the number of participants in the programme and that it would instead be "driven by demand rather than an artificial limit set by government."

According to Fraser, everything is done as part of a plan to entice the brightest experts from all over the world to work in Canada. It is described as "Canada's first-ever Tech Talent Strategy" in a government press release and contains certain "aggressive" steps meant to entice top talent.

For permanent residents who hire workers or work in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) fields, a "new and dedicated pathway" has also been announced. This would take the shape of a brand-new STEM-focused draw that would be integrated into the current Express Entry system.

A worldwide skills strategy that was first introduced five years ago to draw talent but was plagued by bureaucratic delays would also be updated, according to Fraser. The changes would reduce the time it takes to approve work permits to only two weeks, according to Fraser, "so companies can access the talent they need, when they need it."
The minister also reiterated his previous announcement to expand the number of visa openings in Canada from 1,000 to 3,500 per year, providing "a pathway to permanent residency for entrepreneurs who create companies that would hire Canadians."

In response to the last question, Fraser stated that Canada would prioritise applications within the system based on criteria such as whether a company has committed capital or has secured the support of a "trusted partner."

Fraser said, "but for those who are waiting, we're also going to give open work permits for them and their families to be in Canada for three years while they wait for their applications to be finished.

 Travellers from 13 more countries now eligible to visit Canada without a visa

For "the world's most highly-talented people" to be able to immigrate to Canada and work for digital businesses, regardless of whether they already have a job offer, Fraser added that Canada will also be creating a special stream.


As a result of the recent events in the IT industry in the U.S., "where we've seen the public narrative around layoffs," Fraser said, Canada will have a new way to entice employees from the southern hemisphere.

"As of July 16, we will have a stream that will allow 10,000 H-1B visa holders in the United States to come and work in Canada," Fraser stated.

He continued, citing the roughly 400,000 H-1B visa holders in the country as justification for the government's decision to cap the number of new applicants for those visas at 10,000. He indicated the start date for that programme is July 16.

After making his decision, Fraser held a news conference to discuss it. "We want to make sure that we create an opportunity for a number that we can more appropriately manage to test out this new idea," Fraser said.

Those who are accepted will receive an open work permit good for up to three years and will be able to work for "almost any employer anywhere in Canada," according to a government announcement. The spouses of the applicants may also apply for a temporary resident visa.

Fraser said that he couldn't guarantee that Canada will offer a comparable programme to other countries, but he wouldn't rule out the idea based on how this new programme performs.

Keep in mind that there are many similarities between the tech markets in the United States and Canada, including the fact that some employers have offices on both sides of the border. Fraser added that every person who enters the country on an H1-B visa possesses a level of language proficiency that would enable them to succeed in life in Canada.

But if things go well and we discover alternative jurisdictions with comparable advantages, we leave those choices open.

Here is Fraser making the announcement at Collision:

Here is as an excerpt from the press conference that followed Fraser's announcement:

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