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Canada opens new job opportunities for Nigerian immigrants, others

by Samson Echenim

Canada has unveiled its first-ever immigration tech talent strategy that will create new job opportunities for other countries including Nigeria.

This comes a few days after Germany passed an immigrant law designed to encourage more people from outside the European Union to come to the country for work.

The talent strategy which was launched at the 2023 Collision Conference in Toronto includes new measures and improvements on existing measures to help businesses in Canada thrive in a competitive landscape.

“Over this year, Canada is going to be developing a specific stream for some of the world’s most highly talented people that will be able to come to Canada to work for tech companies whether they have a job offer or not,” Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said on Tuesday.

“We are going to be launching a digital Nomads strategy which is going to allow people, who have a foreign employer to come and work in Canada for up to six months,” he said.

He said they will live in communities in the county and spend money and should they receive job offers while they are here, they are going to allow them to continue to stay and work in the country.

“Finally, we have been watching very closely what has been going on in the tech sector in the United States where we have seen a public narrative about layoffs. We have been having private conversations about opportunities” he added.

According to the minister, going forward, as of July 16, they will have a stream that will allow 10,000 H-1B visa holders in the United States to come and work in Canada.

“The reality is that you have the ideas but you need the talents. You have told us that and we have been listening. We are going to do everything we can to push Canada as the destination where your ideas can become a reality,’ he said.

Canada’s aging population and lower birth rate have been shrinking its labour force, forcing the country to intensify its efforts to attract large, young and vibrant immigrants by offering immigration-friendly policies.

The country landed 437,120 Permanent Residents (PRs) in 2022, a nearly eight percent increase from the total number of PRs in 2021, according to data the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

For Nigeria, it grew by 41.9 percent to 22,130 last year from 15,595 in the previous year.

Last year, the Canadian federal government announced an aggressive plan to take in 500,000 immigrants a year by 2025, with almost 1.5 million new immigrants coming to the country over the next three years.

“We’re enthusiastic about the ambitious goals we have set in immigration because they aren’t just about numbers—they are strategic. With this strategy, we’re targeting newcomers that can help enshrine Canada as a world leader in a variety of emerging technologies,” Fraser said.

Last month, Canada announced new measures to make it easier for families of recent immigrants to relocate to the country just a few days after the UK said it was restricting foreign students from bringing their families into the country starting next year.

That same month, the country announced that its express entry was now implementing a category-based selection to help tackle labour shortages and boost the economy.

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