Canada Work Permits: Global Talent Stream

Canada Work Permits: Global Talent Stream

Global Talent Stream is the fastest Canadian immigration pathway.

Canada is in dire need of highly-skilled workers. For qualified applicants and employers, the government of Canada has streamlined economic immigration through the Global Talent Stream (GTS) program. The Global Talent Stream is an immigration program that provides a pathway for Canadian employers to speed up the hiring of temporary foreign workers for specialized occupations.

Unlike some other categories of work permits, which can take months to be processed, work permits under the Global Talent Stream program are processed in as few as 10 business days.

Overview of the Global Talent Stream

Canada’s Global Talent Stream program is designed to expedite the immigration process for highly skilled workers in order to ensure that high-growth Canadian companies are able to fill their positions and continue contributing to the Canadian economy. It also helps Canadian employers remain competitive against other global employers seeking highly skilled talent, particularly in the fields of engineering and technology.

The Global Talent Stream program is managed within Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker program. Many of the standard, time-consuming steps required for employers to obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) are removed within the Global Talent Stream, making it a significantly more attractive option for employers and employees alike.

Although the Global Talent Stream program does not have a minimum recruitment requirement, companies are encouraged to hire Canadians and permanent residents first and are asked to describe any recruitment efforts conducted as part of the application process.

In order to hire a temporary foreign worker through the Global Talent Stream, an employer must fit within one of two categories: Category A (Designated Partner Referral) or Category B (In-Demand Occupation).

Category A: Designated Partner Referral

Under Category A, a designated referral partner must submit a referral vouching for the employer’s legitimacy and eligibility. A list of designated referral partners for the Global Talent Stream can be located here. For employers in the Windsor-Essex county region, where Sisu Legal is located, designated referral partners include Invest Windsor Essex, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership, and other pan-Canada and Ontario-wide organizations.

The designated referral partner must validate with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that the hiring company meets the eligibility requirements. These requirements include the following:

  • The company is operating in Canada;
  • The company has a focus on innovation;
  • The company has a willingness and capability to grow or scale up;
  • The company is seeking to fill a unique a specialized position in the company; and
  • The company has already identified a qualified foreign worker to potentially fill the unique and specialized position.

In order to qualify as “unique and specialized talent” within Category A, the position must:

  • Pay at least $38.46 per hour ($80,000 annually), or the equivalent to the prevailing wage for the relevant occupation - whichever is higher;
  • Be filled by a person with:
    • Advanced knowledge of the industry;
    • Holding an advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer, and/or have a minimum of 5 years of experience in the field of specialized experience.

As a general rule, an eligible company under Category A should only need to fill a limited number of unique and specialized positions. ESDC will only consider accepting more than 2 Category A referrals for an eligible company per calendar year if the company has demonstrated success in meeting its Labour Market Benefits Plan commitments.

Category B: In-Demand Occupations

Under Category B, employers may only hire highly-skilled foreign workers for occupations on EDSC’s Global Talent Occupations List. All occupations on the list have been predetermined by EDSC to be both in-demand and ones for which there is an insufficient domestic labour supply. The occupations are primarily within the tech and engineering fields, and a full list can be found here.

Labour Market Benefits Plan

All companies that hire through the Global Talent Stream program must work with ESDC to develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan. The purpose of this Plan is to demonstrate the company’s commitment to activities that will create lasting, positive impacts on the Canadian labour market. The commitments a company makes are divided into mandatory and complementary benefits.

Those companies who utilize Category A must commit to creating jobs for Canadians and permanent residents as their mandatory benefit.

Those companies who utilize Category B must commit to increasing skills and training investments for Canadians and permanent residents and their mandatory benefit.

Complementary benefits might include things such as job creation, investment in skills and training, enhanced company performance, or transferring knowledge to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Both Category A and B employers must commit to achieving a minimum of two complementary benefits with at least one activity for each benefit. The complementary benefits selected must be different from the mandatory benefit.

ESDC will conduct progress reviews of your Plan on an annual basis to assess whether the company is meeting the commitments made in their Plan. Companies who do not make reasonable efforts to meet their Plan commitments, or who do not complete their Progress Review within the requested time frame, typically receive a negative decision on all future applications to the Global Talent Stream for a period of two years.

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