The Canadian government has revealed plans to implement a fast-track visa and work permit system as part of their Global Skills Strategy which they hope will help to attract the best global talent to the country. The plans is to set a benchmark of between 10 to 14 days for processing the Global Skills visas for “low-risk, high-skill talent” applicants. It is proposed that a special government immigration team will be assigned to the visa application process who will work in conjunction with companies to get the visas processed within the time scales. Companies will be allowed to apply for a certain number of permits based on their requirements, the labour market and other criteria including knowledge transfer and creating more jobs for Canadian citizens. The announcement is part of a plan by the Canadian government to make Canada an inviting proposition for the very best talent throughout the world and allow it to complete with its United States neighbour. The plans also include creating a Short Duration Work Permit exemption which will allow overseas residents to enter the country for less than 30 days for work or academic study. The new rules are due to be implemented by Spring 2017. The government are hoping that this initiative will allow tech and high growth companies based in Canada to fill skills shortages at short notice and make the labour market more fluid. Some of Canada’s high profile tech companies including Shopify and Hootsuite have welcomed the move during a time in which it has been announced that Canada will face a shortage of more than 200,000 tech workers by 2020. “We think this will be a game-changer,” said Alexandra Clark of Shopify. The new visa regulations are part of an wider initiative to help and promote the technology sector in Canada and help boost foreign investment in the technology sector.
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