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Canadian company wants tech workers affected by U.S. immigration ban

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“What if my visa gets cancelled?”

“What if I lose my job and health insurance?”

Those are the messages on nine billboards around Silicon Valley, the hub of innovation and technology in the San Francisco Bay Area of Southern California—and a Canadian company is behind them.

Communitech is using this ad campaign to target foreign tech workers in the Bay Area who are affected by the U.S. immigration ban. The company will offer tech workers a work permit as well as health insurance. The work permit will be processed quickly through the Global Talent Stream.

In June, U.S. President Donald Trump suspended immigration for the remainder of 2020 for certain visa holders. This includes H1-B visas that are issued to highly-skilled tech immigrants.

Some foreign tech workers in the U.S. have been worried about their employment and immigration status since the ban, and a Canadian tech company Communitech is looking to capitalize on that.

“We are all looking for great talent and I think the great thing about Canada is that it is a very welcoming place. We do care about diversity and inclusion,” said the CEO of Communitech, Iain Klugman, speaking to ABC7 News.

While the reason behind the immigration ban in the U.S. is to preserve employment for American citizens, Klugman recognizes that each foreign tech worker that comes to Canada creates a number of jobs for Canadians. According to Klugman, that number is between six and 19.

Many Silicon Valley CEOs are also facing difficulty hiring talent from all over the world. Michael Worry, CEO of Nuvation Engineering appreciates that Canada does well at “accelerating these systems,” AB7 News reports.

Canada makes it considerably easier for Canadian employers to recruit highly skilled talent through the Global Talent Stream.

The processing time is just two weeks after the employer submits a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which also takes two weeks.

The LMIA is a document an employer needs to obtain before hiring a foreign worker. The purpose of the document is to show that there no Canadian or permanent resident is available to fill the position.

An employer would need to be eligible for one of two categories through the Global Talent Stream.

Category A requires the employer to be referred by a designated referral partner, except in Quebec where the referral must come from a Quebec partner.

In the case of Communitech, this requirement would be waived, since Communitech itself is a designated referral partner.

Contact a lawyer who can help with Canadian work permits

The candidate must have advanced knowledge of the industry, hold an advanced degree and have five years of experience. The annual base salary offered must be north of $80,000, depending on the occupation’s prevailing wage.

As for Category B, the employer must be hiring for one of twelve occupations. The salary of the position also depends on the occupation’s prevailing wage.

In addition to the Global Talent Stream, Canada’s provinces also boast tech-specific immigration streams such as the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program Tech Pilot, as well as Ontario Tech Draws.

The U.S. immigration ban paves the way for Canada to emerge as a leader in technology and innovation, taking advantage of the country’s welcoming immigration policy.

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