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Canada eases entry for foreign researchers

Foreign researchers coming to work at public Canadian universities for short periods no longer have to apply for a work permit, as part of the government’s Global Skills Strategy launched this week.

We must ensure that our country has the right people with the right skills so that it can grow,” said innovation minister Navdeep Bains. Photo: Flickr/Province of British Columbia.

“These measures will make Canadian universities even more attractive to the brightest minds in the world"

Universities have welcomed the inclusion of the work permit exemption for academic stays of up to 120 days in the strategy, which also introduces expedited visa processing for some highly skilled professions.

Foreign researchers working on projects at a publicly funded degree-granting institution or affiliated research institution will be eligible for one 120-day stay in Canada every 12 months.

And universities will also be able to access a dedicated service channel that will support employers and provide guidance on visa applications for foreign talent.

“We must ensure that our country has the right people with the right skills so that it can grow”

The Global Skills Strategy, which came into force on June 12, aims to boost the Canadian economy by filling skills gaps with international talent.

“We must ensure that our country has the right people with the right skills so that it can grow,” commented Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Navdeep Bains.

“Our government will make it easier for companies to bring in highly skilled talent,” he added.

The inclusion of measures to help universities attract international talent demonstrates that “the federal government recognises the important role Canadian universities play in ensuring Canada can compete in the global research and innovation race”, according to Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada.

“These measures will make Canadian universities even more attractive to the brightest minds in the world, building universities’ capacity to advance knowledge, foster innovation and build prosperity,” he added.

As well as the short term work permit exemption, the Global Skills Strategy aims to make it easier for employers to recruit highly skilled workers in certain fields such as computer engineering.

“Employers that are making plans for job-creating investments in Canada will often need an experienced leader, dynamic researcher or an innovator with unique skills not readily available in Canada to make that investment happen,” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

“The Global Skills Strategy aims to give those employers confidence that when they need to hire from abroad, they’ll have faster, more reliable access to top talent.”

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