Canada provides expats that work in the technology industry with several cities to consider when looking for work in the North American Country. By all accounts, Canada is open for business for tech workers if you meet the right criteria. Here is basic information about how to land the proper Canadian visa and the cities where great technology jobs can be found.
Immigrate to Canada as a Skilled Worker Through Express Entry
Canada has identified tech workers in specific demographics as qualified skilled workers due to their ability to make a positive impact on the Canadian economy. Express Entry is the program that manages this effort, and how it works is rather simple. People that want to expatriate to Canada fill out an online profile, and then the Canadian government ranks them and offers the chance to apply as permanent residents.
Tech Sector in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario
Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario - both of which are in the regional municipality of Waterloo. Here you'll find the Canadian headquarters of Google, the company's "biggest R&D office in Canada." The company describes it's office there by writing: "our software engineers, product managers, user experience researchers, and designers collaborate to build systems used by hundreds of millions around the globe."
It is also home to BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion), the incubator Communitech HUB, Open Text and more.
Tech Sector in Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia is undoubtedly one of the biggest and most exciting tech centers in Canada.
The visually-spectacular city is home to Sony Pictures Imageworks, PMC-Sierra, Hootsuite, EA Canada, and Vision Critical, among others.
EA Canada boasts on it's website that "EA Canada (EAC) is EA’s largest and one of its most venerable studios. EAC develops several of EA's biggest global sports franchises, including FIFA Soccer, NHL hockey and UFC. The EAC campus in Vancouver (located in suburban Burnaby) is home to approximately 1,300 employees at an impressive state-of-the-art campus featuring a theater, coffee bars, restaurants, an expansive fitness room, and a full-size soccer field."
Hootsuite is a serious industry and media darling that is garnering loads of praise... and financing.
In a recent interview of Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes in the Vancouver Sun, Holmes said that "I think from a Canadian perspective it's going to allow us to continue building out what I call maple syrup mafia, building out a flagship company within Vancouver and within Canada. We're very excited about the momentum this is going to allow us to have in terms of hiring and attracting and retaining great talent.
"We're heading toward over 700 by the end of the year and we’re ramping up our hiring. We had our fall career fair in Vancouver where we had lots of great, smart people come by and were looking for more talent all the time."
Tech Sector in Markham, Ontario
Near Toronto, you will find Markham, Ontario, another center of technology in the Canadian economy.
Markham's economy is fueled in part by a number of multinational tech companies that have their Canadian headquarters located there. These include Advanced Micro Devices, Avaya, IBM, Motorola, and Oracle, among others.
An article on Huff Post about attracting international tech talent to Markham by Mayor Frank Scarpitti included this quote about the city's outlook on expats: "Diversity is part of Markham's DNA. Professionals, business executives, retail operators and skilled trades persons come to our city from all over the world. In fact, close to 60 per cent of our residents were born outside of Canada. Their energy, passion and hard work allow them to build new lives for themselves and create jobs for our community."
Greater Toronto Area
Greater Toronto Area - specifically Mississauga and Brampton - is not surprisingly home to its own wealth of opportunity for tech expats.
Microsoft's Head office in Canada is located in Mississauga, and Apple recently moved it's headquarters to Toronto.
An article in the Globe and Mail about Toronto's Technology Industry noted that: "A combination of tax changes for foreign investors, an effort to concentrate startups into creative hubs and the success of a few tent-pole companies has created space for more startups to flourish. Those positive examples are giving potential founders the belief that they can stay in Toronto and build global companies."