Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced three new initiatives aimed at creating a special innovation stream for skilled workers to migrate and stay in Canada. He made this announcement appearing as a guest speaker at the Collision Tech Conference in Toronto, ON at the Enercare Center where about 36,000 tech saavy business professionals from around the globe are meeting over a 4 day period to discuss AI and other tech related themes. 

There is much to be divulged in the days ahead but, in brief, the initiatives involve the following main topics: 

  1. Attracting H1B visa holders from USA who may not have a future to remain in the USA but who are talented individuals who will be invited by Canada to enter and receive an open work permit. They will then presumably be allowed to remain and file their pr application. As of July 16TH, 2023 10,000 H1B visa holders to be allowed to enter Canada; 
  2. Launching a new dedicated pathway to workers in STEM;  
  3. New application to process work permits in two weeks; 
  4. In regards to the start up visa program the government would enable the priorization of applicants so that the backlog is dealth with and they will issue work permits for three years while their PR applications are being processed; 
  5. Specific stream for worlds most talented people to apply for pr status; 
  6. The government will create a new digital nomad strategy where applicants who travel to Canada as visitors and who are able to secure a job offer within six months of their arrival in Canada will be allowed to stay.  

The minister says its time to get to work and he is correct. The policy announcement makes for good talk and discussion. It is a long time coming for Canada to finally step in and create a pathway for H1B visa holders who have no future in USA to find a place that fits them in Canada. There is so much talent that it makes eminent sense to make it feasible for IT talent to be able to make Canada their home. Why it took so long for our government to get there is anyone’s guess. However, be wary as there have not been any details to the announcements he made this week. The devil as they say is always in the details. 

Announced on June 28th, 2023, the Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the first group of applicants to be selected from STEM the week of July 5, 2023 in the Express Entry system for PR applicants. STEM stands for: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The idea is to acknowledge the incredible value and talent skilled professionals have in these fields and to fast track their pr status. The announcement can be found at this web link: 

The Minister said: “This focus on candidates with STEM expertise – including data scientists, software developers and programmers, mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries, and electrical and electronics engineers – will help Canada’s science and technology sector, bringing in the skilled talent that businesses need to drive innovation and achieve their growth potential.” 

Another new announcement included the following: This is geared towards foreign nationals who applied to renew their work permit before June 7, 2023 and their renewal was based on s. 186(u) in the IRPR. The policy is in effect from June 27, 2023 until June 27, 2026. The government includes in their announcement: “This public policy, pursuant to section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the Act), will allow eligible foreign nationals who are working in Canada and who either hold a work permit or have applied to renew their work permit and are authorized to work under paragraph 186(u) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) to study without a study permit.”  

David H. Davis is the founder and owner of Davis Immigration Law Office. He and his team can be reached by email at: on the web at or by phone at 204-956-2336 extension 208. David has over 33 years of legal experience in Canadian immigration legal matters.