Canada has unveiled an immigration initiative to attract highly skilled technology professionals from the United States with H-1B work visas.

H-1B visas are for nonimmigrant foreign workers with specialized skills. Beginning July 16, up to 10,000 of these visa holders will be able apply to work in Canada. The move is part of the country’s new Tech Talent Strategy.

“The Government of Canada is embracing Canada’s emerging role as a leader in global tech talent recruitment and attraction to ensure Canada is not only filling in-demand jobs today, but also attracting the skills and business talent to create the jobs of tomorrow,” a statement by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said.

This follows a November announcement in which the government set a goal to tackle an impending labor shortage.

By 2025, the country wants to welcome 1.45 million immigrants, focusing on people trained in health care and other in-demand job skills, and securing a skilled workforce for key sectors of its economy.

Canada’s population of 38.25 million is about 11.5% of the 331.9 million in the United States, where the H-1B visa category currently allows more than 85,000 highly skilled foreigners to work in the country for at least three years.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reported that for fiscal year 2024, the agency received 780,884 applications from employers and approved 110,791 applications. In fiscal 2023, applications totaled 483,927, and 127,600 people were selected.

“This persistent labor shortage, workforce shortage, is impacting everyone [Canada and the U.S.],” said Rebecca Shi, executive director of the bipartisan American Immigration Business Coalition, an alliance of 1,400 employers and CEOs across the United States.


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