News

Canada Makes It Surprisingly Easy to Move There If You Work in Tech

Published On 11/10/2016 Published On 11/10/2016
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With any election, the results are disappointing for tens of millions of voters. The victory of president-elect Donald Trump is no different this year and it has many at least looking at what it might take to live in another country. At least, the crashing of Canada's immigration site would suggest that's true. It's generally a complicated move to make, if not borderline impossible. 

But there is an exception in Canada: It's easy to move there if you work in tech. It's not just because the tech industry was largely against a Trump presidency or that California, home to Silicon Valley, voted overwhelmingly against him, but because Canada is looking to bolster their burgeoning tech industry while giving their economy a boost.

Early in November, the Canadian government implemented a handful of measures with the goal of attracting foreign tech workers. The changes will alter how visas work for temporary staff and make them easier to acquire, put fewer barriers on companies hiring foreign talent, and will make obtaining visas easier and quicker (with a two-week turnaround instead of a multi-month turnaround on visas and work permits),

While the timing is fortuitous for those who are so frustrated they feel they must throw their hands up in the air and walk away, the timing wasn't due to the U.S. presidential election. The measures are the result of Canada losing talented tech workers to California and other countries for years.

"The strategy, unveiled Tuesday [November 1] by Finance Minister Bill Morneau," writes the Globe & Mail, "includes measures that will make it easier for fast-growing Canadian tech firms and multinational corporations operating here to quickly bring in skilled foreign workers for jobs they are struggling to fill in Canada."

Jim Woodgate, investigator and director of research at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, told Vice, "We've had many years of net migration of our brightest minds to our southern neighbor. I'd say it's time to repay the compliment."

While it's not feasible to pack your bags and walk to another country at a moments notice, there's a path for Americans in the tech industry to find work in Canada's growing tech economy, which includes familiar names like Hootsuite, Shopify, and Sortable. If the measures work for Canada, it could be bad for the U.S. as talented high-skill tech workers leave the country for greener pastures.

h/t Business Insider

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Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist. He holds a Guinness World Record, but has never met the fingernail lady. He’s written for Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, The Rumpus, and other digital wonderlands. Follow him @dlukenelson.

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