Alberta’s government is lagging behind technology companies trying to recruit international talent to the growing sector struggling to fill positions.
On Thursday, the province announced The Accelerated Tech Pathway through the Alberta Immigration Nominee program. The focus is on speeding up visas for highly educated foreign technology workers.
“Under this new path, technical professionals across Canada and abroad can be permanent residents for as long as six months if they have a job offer in a sought-after tech job,”
said Labor Secretary Tyler Shandro.
READ MORE: ‘We just can not keep up’: Does Calgary lack technical talent?
Shandro said Alberta could nominate 6,250 people for permanent residency, but it is unclear how many of them would be in the technology sector.
The program may not come fast enough for Calgary-based Vog App Developers. It currently has up to 30 positions open.
“The current situation we have with many developers is that they are being tied up in the Canadian immigration system,” said CEO Vince O’Gorman.
READ MORE: How Immigrants Contribute to Alberta’s Economic Prosperity
“One of our developers has been through that program for almost two years now, so if the government can speed it up – and the support of the Alberta government – it will definitely help the technology industry here.”
It’s a common story. Software engineer Victor Alencar lives in Brazil, but accepted a job at Mobsquad in Calgary. The danger of soon having two children is relieved that there may be greater certainty of staying longer.
READ MORE: Alberta’s government must invest in the technology sector now: Edmonton Global
“I think one of the fears of moving to a new country is knowing if you can stay without worrying about your visa status,” Alencar said. “Knowing the application becomes easier, it definitely helps a lot.”
His little daughter has an appointment every day now. The family hopes to move to Calgary in April if all the paperwork comes through.
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