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Canada wants to be the next Silicon Valley

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Canada wants to be the next Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley’s immigration woes could be great news for Canada.

The U.S. government is making it more difficult for companies to quickly hire talent from other countries, with a cap on expedited visas for highly skilled workers and a pending plan to overhaul the H-1B visa program. Meanwhile, Canada is testing new, speedier visas.

On Monday, the Canadian government started its new program to issue work permits and temporary resident visas in two weeks instead of the usual year. The two-year pilot, part of a Global Skills program first announced last year, will be available to “innovative” companies seeking highly skilled workers.

It’s the latest attempt by Canada to lure tech business north of the border. It’s also experimenting with looser regulations, tax breaks and rebranding. Later this year, Ontario will launch an ad campaign targeting Silicon Valley decision makers and workers.

“It is not for us to criticize the administration. It us for us to recognize an opportunity when we see it,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Growth. “The current direction of the administration, which appears to look more inward than outward, is in stark contrast to what we believe is the direction we want to go in.”

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