Foreign IT: how to get a job in Canada faster

Due to Canada perception as one of the best countries to live and work in a lot of people want to know – whats the best way to come work and live here? A lot of people incorrectly assume if they keep on applying for tech jobs from abroad they will get an interview. The only problem with that is even if a company does interview you – they will still need to pay thousands of dollars to apply for your work permit, and sometimes wait for up to 10 months to receive decision from Service Canada.

Recent Update: Government of Canada introduced tech work permit where they will give their decision within 2 weeks vs 10 months before. However you still need company to give you an offer and then company will apply on your behalf. 

Another way a lot of people overlook is that if you come to Canada to study (even for an 8 months degree) – you will be eligible up to 3 year OPEN work permit and can apply for your permanent residency and Canadian citizenship afterwards. You can also bring your spouse and children with you and apply for PR while you are studying so that you can receive your PR by the time your study work permit expires.

A lot of people will point out that it is expensive to do it this way, but it does not have to be. A 1 year program at lower cost university is around $5,000 – $10,000 Canadian dollars and annual expenses with housing can be had for another $5,000-10,000 so you can have a chance for a better life in Canada for under $20,000.

Pexels / Pixabay

Top three cheapest universities to get your master’s degree in Canada if you are a foreign student and money is a concern?

Graduate international tuition and fees: $5,377/year

Graduate international tuition and fees: $5,718/year

Graduate international tuition and fees: $8,220/year

You might also want to check out Top Canadian Universities with Computer Science Degrees and Top 1000 Canadian Universities and How They Rank in the World.

Once you have completed studies in an eligible program at an eligible Canadian post-secondary institution, international graduates can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, which will allow you to work in Canada.

In its effort to retain international students, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has recently made changes to the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program to make it more flexible and responsive to the needs of international students. Under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, international graduates can now obtain a three year open work permit, allowing them to work for any Canadian employer in any industry. They are not required to have a Canadian job offer at the time of application.

Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, international students must:

– have studied full-time for the eight months preceding the completion of their program (please see note below) and must have graduated from:
– a public post-secondary educational institution (university, college, or CEGEP); or
– a private post-secondary educational institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions, and receives at least 50 per cent of its financing for operations from government grants; or
– a Canadian private educational institution authorized by provincial or territorial statute to confer degrees;
– apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation from their academic institution that they have met the requirements of their program;
– have completed and passed the program of study and received written notification that they are eligible to obtain their degree, diploma, or certificate; and
– have a valid study permit when applying for the work permit.

Potential applicants should note that:

– the program of study must be a minimum of two years for the graduate to obtain the three year work permit. However, if the program was less than two years but longer than eight months, the graduate can still obtain a work permit for the same duration as the program of study. In cases where a student has obtained a one year degree or diploma from an accredited educational institution within two years of having successfully completed a previous accredited Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma, he or she may qualify for a three-year open work permit; and

– while a student must have been studying full time in the eight months preceding the date of application for an open work permit, an exception is made in the case where a student fulfills all the requirements except full time study in the last session of their program. For example, if a student only needs two courses in the final session to complete the program but all previous study has been full time, the student may still apply for the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program.

Toronto based Meta, artificial intelligence for science, acquired by Facebook founder foundation

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the organization launched by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan to advance human potential and promote equality, has acquired Meta, a Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based developer of an AI for scientists to read, understand and prioritize scientific papers.

No financial information was released.

Meta’s platform aims to make relevant scientific papers more discoverable; according to founders and siblings Amy and Sam Molyneux, since 1809, 25 million biomedical research papers have been published. Meta’s platform is meant to make sense of all this data and deliver it to industries within science depending on interest.

Mark Zuckerberg,  Co-founder, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative said:

“Most scientific breakthroughs have been preceded by the invention of new tools that help us see and experiment in new ways.”

A note from Cori Bargmann, President of Science, and Brian Pinkerton, Chief Technology Officer of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative posted on Facebook said:

We are excited to share that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has agreed to acquire Meta, a company that has developed an AI that helps scientists read, understand and prioritize millions of scientific papers.

Believe it or not, that’s not so easy today. In the field of biomedicine alone, researchers publish more than 4,000 scientific papers every day. But many of these papers will not be read by the scientists who could learn the most from them. Scientists know that existing search tools can’t capture all of the relevant knowledge in this immense volume of scientific research. Meta is a tool that helps fill that gap.

Meta uses artificial intelligence to analyze and connect insights across millions of papers. It seeks out the most relevant or impactful studies in a scientific area the moment they are published, and finds patterns in the literature on a scale that no human being could accomplish alone.

We will be working to make Meta even more powerful and useful for the entire scientific community, and are committed to offering these tools and features for free to all researchers.

Meta’s tools can dramatically accelerate scientific progress and move us closer to our goal: to support science and technology that will make it possible to cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century. Meta will help scientists learn from others’ discoveries in real time, find key papers that may have gone unnoticed, or even predict where their field is headed.

The potential for this kind of platform is virtually limitless: a researcher could use Meta to help identify emerging techniques for understanding coronary artery disease; a graduate student could see that two different diseases activate the same immune defense pathway; and clinicians could find scientists working on the most promising Zika treatments sooner. In the long run, it could be extended to other areas of knowledge: for example, it could help educators stay up to date on developmental science to better understand how children learn.

We are enthusiastic about working with Sam Molyneux, his sister and co-founder, Amy Molyneux and the entire Meta team to support and improve this new tool. If you are intrigued, you can reserve a free account at and get a feel for what it does, and stay tuned for updates to the platform.

Scientists and engineers working together can achieve amazing things — and can help us succeed in our mission to advance human potential and promote equal opportunity.

Montreal educational startup Oohlala raises $5.2m Canadian in Series A

OOHLALA, a Montreal based mobile app designed to provide college students with information about their university, including events and course schedules, raised $4 million USD in Series A funding. University Ventures led the round, and was joined by Y Combinator, GoAhead Ventures, Real Ventures, LiYuan VC, Fundersclub, and several angel investors including Joe Montana.

Oohlala’s mission is to help higher ed institutions improve the student experience. The product extends to all aspects of student life, and strives to reduce the complexity of campus life into a simplified user experience that facilitates student success.

As an education technology company, the mission is to provide both a valuable product to students and insightful data for administrators to improve efficacy.

The vision is shared by 175+ institutions we partner with across the world, each of whom has worked alongside us and helped us craft the best experience possible for students.




Manage your wealth by Wealthica, Montreal startup, started by ex iWeb employees

Wealthica is a Montreal startup – All your investments in one place.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Martin Leclair, Eric Chouinard and Simon Boulet. All 3 are ex-iWeb. iWeb was sold to Internap a few years ago, then we thought about what we should do next. We realized no tools existed to provide us with an unbiazed and consolidated view of all our investments. Eric & I co-founded iWeb. Simon was among the first sysadmin we hired at iWeb and has a very strong and broad technical background. Simon acts as CEO/CTO at Wealthica and leads product development and technology.

How are you being financed?

So far we financed Wealthica ourselves. We might be looking at funding this year if we find the good fit.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

Trust. Most of the big banks don’t have APIs for retrieving customer data. Our users are required to entrust us with their banking username and password so that we can retrieve their investments. Thankfully robo-advisors and indepentant institutions often are more open and provide their clients with a safe way for Wealthica to import their investments without giving away their credentials.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

We are a remote team so we search everywhere on remote work boards and sites or other online resources. We try to find developers with an entrepreneurial mindset that use online tools and that are familiar with continuous development.

Who is your biggest competition?

There are very few investment aggregation services for Canadians. In the USA there are robo-investing services that offer aggregation but most of them do not support Canadian financial institutions. There is Mint, but Mint does a very poor job at tracking investments and is more suited for regular accounts and budgeting. There are a few startups in Canada that seem to want to offer aggregation or unified view of their investments to investors but it’s hard to identify a real competitor. Since we build our own aggregation robot we could somehow be in competition with Yodlee. Beside that, we could be a threat to traditional financial tools like Croesus or Univeris, especially for the high net worth and family offices market.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

Our dashboard will remain free for individual investors, and we will be releasing a paid plan to Wealthica with more advanced reports and features in the next months. Our paid plan will target higher net worth investors that have specific taxes and reporting needs. We’re also looking at integrating Wealthica aggregation API directly into existing financial softwares and advisors CRMs.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

The sales cycle in the financial sector is very long. Big banks often go through lenghtly bid processes, for which as a startup you often don’t qualify at the end.


Canadian Tech Community asks Govt of Canada to accept more immigrants: Diversity is our strength

The following letter was published on Facebook few days ago by the Canadian Tech Community and sent to the Government of Canada for consideration. This was done due to a recent ban by the American president, Donald Trump, in the US.

This letter is in addition to Immigration Open Letter signed by Facebook and Microsoft in the United States partly stating:

We share your goal of ensuring that our immigration system meets today’s security needs and keeps our country safe, We are concerned, however, that your recent Executive Order will affect many visa holders who work hard here in the United States and contribute to our country’s success. We hire both thousands of Americans and some of the most talented people from abroad, who work together to help our companies succeed and expand our overall employment. Please use companies as a resource to help achieve immigration policies that both support the work of American businesses and reflect American values.”

The following Canadian letter is asking Canadian government to give special consideration to people who were banned under Trump’s order to be able to work in Canada with full benefits and potential apply for permanent residency in Canada.

The Canadian tech community comprises many different nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, mental and physical abilities, and perspectives. We believe that this diversity is a source of strength and opportunity.

On this topic, we are united.

Canadian tech companies understand the power of inclusion and diversity of thought, and that talent and skill know no borders. In choosing to hire, train, and mentor the best people in the world, we can build global companies that grow our economy. By embracing diversity, we can drive innovation to benefit the world.

The 21st century will be driven by pluralistic economies powered by pluralistic societies.

This is a belief founded upon personal experience for many in our community. Many Canadian tech entrepreneurs are immigrants, are the children of immigrants, employ and have been employed by immigrants. As connected economies, decisions by the United States can directly impact every business north of the border. The recently signed Executive Order to block entry of citizens from seven countries has already impacted several in our community.

As a community, we are all affected. As a community, we stand together in opposition to the marginalization of people based upon their race or religion. The Canadian tech community supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s message that Canada will and must remain inclusive to all nationalities.

We also stand directly opposed to any and all laws that undermine or attack inclusion, and call on Prime Minister Trudeau and our political leaders to do the same.

The Canadian tech community also calls on the Canadian federal government to institute an immediate and targeted visa providing those currently displaced by the US Executive Order with temporary residency in Canada. This visa would allow these residents to live and work in Canada with access to benefits until such time as they can complete the application process for permanent residency if they so choose.

Diversity is our strength. We as Canadians recognize our privilege as a prosperous nation. We believe providing refuge to people seeking safety should remain our compass.

In the hours following the US decision, many members of our community have privately shared personal stories of their immigrant experience. We ask them now to share those stories publicly so they may be amplified.

Shopify, leading ecommerce tech company in Canada, has opened a new R&D office in Toronto

Shopify has opened a new office in Toronto and is looking to hire up to 1,000 employees by 2019.  The new address is at 420 Wellington and can now accommodate up to 200 new employees.

Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, that develops computer software for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems.


Mayors’ Duel

Toronto Mayor John Tory had a bit of a spat with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson when he called Shopify a Toronto success story. Jim Watson replied back that it is an Ottawa success story.  Then Craig Miller, Chief Product Officer at Shopify, had to get involved with the following iconic twit:

As for creating new tech jobs in Toronto, Stergios Anastasiadis, the director of engineering at Shopify, said that he will be hiring developers with experience in building mobile, application, and hardware development.

Apply for a job at Shopify at:

Top Ten Most Crowd Funded Kickstarter Canadian Campaigns Ever

Kickstarter is one of the top leading crowdfunding websites on the internet and has acted to support many innovative endeavors, connecting fans to the creators of the projects they want to see made.

In the 2016, Pebble Time, the colour e-paper smartwatch with up to 7 days of battery and a new timeline interface was the leader of the pack on Kickstarter in terms of money raised: over $CA 26 million (!!!) dollars pledged from 78,471 backers. Unfortunately, this was not a Canadian campaign but originated in Palo Alto, California.

OVER $$$CA 26 Million Dollars RAISED!!!


In the list below we list top 10 highest earning campaigns to date from Canada. Most of the top crowdfunding campaigns on the list have originated either in Toronto, Ontario or Montreal, Quebec. Vancouver / Ottawa / Calgary – what is going on? Time to wake up and hustle.

Here are the top 10 highest-earning campaigns to date that came from Canada (all pledges were converted to Canadian $): 

#10. Neptune Pine: Smartwatch. Reinvented – CA$ 801,224

From: Montreal, Canada: 2,839 backers pledged CA$ 801,224 to help bring this project to life.

Neptune Pine, the definitive all-in-one smartwatch. Voice calls, video chat, full keyboard, GPS & much more.


#9. POLAR Pen & Stylus 2.0 – Made from MAGNETS – CA$ 817,164

From: Waterloo, Canada: 14,253 backers pledged CA$ 817,164 to help bring this project to life.

POLAR is the world’s first modular pen made from MAGNETS. This beautifully simple product will transform into endless possibilities.


#8. Vanhawks Valour | First ever connected carbon fibre bicycle – CA$ 820,083

From: Toronto, Canada: 802 backers pledged CA$ 820,083 to help bring this project to life.

The first connected bike featuring performance tracking, security sensors & interactive feedback to radically change the way you ride.


#7. Castle Story – strategy game – CA$ 936,612

From Montreal, Canada: 27,060 backers pledged CA$ 936,612 to help bring this project to life.

Castle Story is a voxel-based creative strategy game about building castles brick by brick and defending them against enemies.


#6. Bulat: Your Go-To Kitchen Knife – CA$ 942,716

From: Toronto, Canada: 5,131 backers pledged CA$ 942,716 to help bring this project to life.

Creating a remarkable chef’s knife for a better price. Meticulous design and exceptional materials make for one incredible blade.


#5. Luuup Litter Box – The Best Cat Litter Box Ever Made – CA$ 1,178,504

From: Toronto, Canada: 14,333 backers pledged CA$ 1,178,504 to help bring this project to life.

Our ingenious three sifting tray litter system is the smartest, cleanest and last litter box you’ll ever have to buy.


#4. Helix™ – The World’s Best Folding Bike – CA$ 2,262,621

From: Toronto, Canada: 1,069 backers pledged CA$ 2,262,621 to help bring this project to life.

Big wheels. Titanium frame. Smaller, lighter, safer and easier to use than any other folding bike in the world. Made in Canada.


#3. ZNAPS – Connection is just a snap away – CA$ 3,007,370

From: Toronto, Canada: 70,122 backers pledged CA$ 3,007,370 to help bring this project to life.

ZNAPS is a magnetic adapter specially designed to seamlessly fit your mobile devices and cables, so you can charge and sync with the peace of mind that your devices are safe and protected.


#2. Smart Parka – The World’s First Complete Winter Coat

From: Toronto, Canada: 8,805 backers pledged CA$ 3,257,695 to help bring this project to life. 

A winter coat with built-in gloves, scarf, length extension, hat pouch and tech pockets. Built for two different temperature ranges.


DRUM ROLL PLEASE .. AND #1 TOP BACKED (Montreal company beating Toronto by about $CA 100,000) CANADIAN CAMPAIGN IS ….



#1. Revols – Premium Quick Custom-Fit Wireless Earphones –  CA$ 3,374,513

From: Montreal, Canada: 10,569 backers pledged CA$ 3,374,513 to help bring this project to life. 

Canada’s #1 crowdfunding campaign of all time! Bluetooth earphones with tips that mold to the unique shape of your ears in 60 seconds. Unparalleled fit, comfort, sound and features.


Did we miss any? Or maybe you know why Canada’s West Coast Vancouver is not not on the list? Let us know in the comments below. 

Canadian tech startups, news, opinions and jobs in Canada