Canada's Global Talent Stream is to Become Permanent

Updated: Apr 08, 2019 | Tags: Canada Work Permit, Canada Visa, Canada Visa Application


Canada’s pilot scheme for the Global Talent Stream has been heralded as game changing for startups in the country. The federal government has proposed that it should be made permanent, which is a move welcomed by many, according to a statement by the Council of Canadian Innovators.

Employers in certain industries will benefit

The Global Talent Stream was launched in 2017 and is part of the country's Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The scheme operates by fast-tracking work visa applications submitted by workers from abroad who are eligible to apply. These individuals have the skills set that many Canadian employers in specialist industries are looking for. For example, in industries such as the sciences, information technology, mathematics and engineering.

Under this Canada immigration scheme, a company wishing to employ a foreign worker can submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This application means the company does not have to prove that they initially tried to fill the post by recruiting candidates from Canada. It also helps to speed up the approval process for the prospective foreign worker.

Rapid processing times

If, according to the LMIA, there are no Canadian national workers to fill a position, a visa for work purposes can be obtained rapidly, enabling the individual to be employed. Therefore, the benefit to employers is that they have easier access to highly skilled workers.

The work visa issued under the Global Talent Stream is not linked to other type of Canada visa or even to a Canada ETA, which allows limited entry to Canada under certain restrictions. Furthermore, the scheme's work permit can usually be obtained in around 10 working days, whereas a standard Canada Visa is subject to varying processing times. However, a Canada ETA can usually be acquired online and quickly.

Certain criteria must be met

The new strategy proposing to reduce processing times to around 10 days applies to skilled foreign workers who meet the following requirements:

  • Their application is from outside of Canada
  • The Labor Market Impact Assessment process grants them an exemption through the International Mobility Program
  • The position they will fill is classed as NOC 0 or A
  • The work permit is employer-specific and companies must submit an application through the Employer Portal, paying the employer compliance fee (which is $230).

Even though the improved processing times are very beneficial to employers in Canada, they must still bear in mind that a foreign employee will need to produce all the mandatory documents to support their application. This could also involve securing police clearance and passing medical assessments.

A decision announced during the 2019 budget

Turning the pilot scheme into a permanent program was announced during the 2019 budget on March 19. This decision resulted from encouragement by many professional bodies. Among these bodies and associations was the Council of Canadian Innovators, representing over 100 of the fastest growing technology startups in Canada.

As part of the 2019 budget, the Canadian government announced that the Global Talent Stream has led to Canadian employers pledging to create 40,000 new jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, over 10,000 co-op work placements and to invest over $90 million in developing skills, training and coaching opportunities.

Helping Canada's businesses to step up to the next level

In a statement to the media, the executive director of the Council of Canadian Innovators, Benjamin Bergen, is reported as saying that turning the pilot into a permanent program will help Canadian tech giants to continue to access the talented individuals they need to take their businesses to the next competitive level.

Bergen recognises that highly skilled and talented individuals are the fuel that companies need for fast growth. Enabling a swift visa turnaround time in under two weeks is game changing for the country's businesses who are striving to build teams of workers with new skills and international experience from countries outside of Canada.

The Information and Communication Technology Council (ICTC) of Canada has predicted that by 2021, their sector will have more than several hundred thousand job vacancies. Securing the skills of international digital workers worldwide is an ideal way for sector leaders to develop their companies and bring down opportunity costs that result from talented individuals being hard to source.

Long-lasting benefits to the Canadian jobs market

Employers who take advantage of the scheme need to create a Labour Market Benefits Plan. This must show precisely they will provide long-lasting benefits to the country's jobs market, as well as to the Canadian economy in more general terms. Among these benefits are the creation of jobs and the transfer of skills, knowledge and experience.

Over the next five years, starting from 2019-2020, the Canadian government has committed to providing $35.2 million in support of the Global Talent Stream, showing its commitment to this important part of Canada immigration.