Why Toronto would be a good location for Duolingo

Shelby Thevenot
Published: July 8, 2020

After the CEO of Duolingo said that he may be forced to move jobs to Toronto due to the U.S. immigration ban, prominent Canadians are saying, “Let us know if we can help.”

The tweet by Luis von Ahn went viral on July 6. Canada’s Chief Trade Commissioner, Ailish Campbell, and the COO of Shopify, Harley Finkelstein, offered their support for the tech giant to move jobs north of the border.

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

Twitter was quick to point out that Toronto’s multicultural demographic would be a great fit for Duolingo, a tech company that offers language lessons in a mobile app.

Nearly half of Toronto’s 3 million residents are foreign-born, according to the 2016 Statistics Canada census. This makes for over 200 languages spoken in the city.

A recent study from Ryerson University found that the Greater Toronto Area was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in Canada and the U.S. thanks to immigration.

Toronto is also becoming known as a tech hub in Canada. Last year Toronto was the number one city in Canada and the U.S. for “brain gain,” meaning there were more jobs created in tech than there were grads in the same field.

There are also several avenues for foreign tech workers to immigrate to Canada. Here are just three options.

Global Talent Stream

Canada’s Global Talent Stream provides work permits in two weeks to skilled workers. In order to be eligible for this Temporary Foreign Worker Program stream candidates must either work for one of the designated companies or be employed for certain tech occupations.

This facilitated immigration pathway has been attracting tech talent to Canada since 2017.

Express Entry

Express Entry is Canada’s application management system for three main economic-class immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Nearly 110,000 new permanent residents and their family members were admitted to Canada through Express Entry in 2019. It is Canada’s largest source of economic-class immigrants.

Candidates enter their profiles into the Express Entry pool, where they are given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on factors such as age, work experience, education, and language ability.

The highest-scoring candidates are issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence through regular Express Entry draws.

Many Express Entry candidates also seek out a provincial nomination, which automatically awards them an additional 600 CRS points. This bonus boosts them to the front of the line to receive an ITA.

One example of a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draw that is tailored for tech workers specifically, is the Ontario Tech Draw.

OINP Tech Draws

Ontario occasionally holds invitation rounds for Express Entry candidates with work experience in one of six occupations:

  • Software engineers and designers (NOC 2173)
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers (NOC 2174)
  • Computer engineers (NOC 2147)
  • Web designers and developers (NOC 2175)
  • Database analysts and data administrators (NOC 2172)
  • Computer and information systems managers (NOC 0213)

So far there have been two Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) Tech draws in 2020.

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

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