Global Talent Stream: A fast track for high skilled workers

Canada wants to attract innovative companies and high skilled workers. However, the processing time to get work permits for foreign workers can sometimes be a major hassle for fast-growing companies. That’s why in 2017 the Canadian government created the Global Talent Stream in order to allow certain high skilled workers to obtain a work permit in as fast as (2) two weeks for visa-exempt nationals.

Canada wants to attract innovative companies and high skilled workers. However, the processing time to get work permits for foreign workers can sometimes be a major hassle for fast-growing companies. That’s why in 2017 the Canadian government created the Global Talent Stream in order to allow certain high skilled workers to obtain a work permit in as fast as (2) two weeks for visa-exempt nationals.

There are two categories of employers under this program.

Category A

Category A of the program is for high-growth companies that can demonstrate a need to recruit unique specialized talent from abroad and who are referred to the Global Talent Stream by a designated referral partner. The lists of designated referral partners can be found here:

Designated referral partners outside Quebec

  • Accelerate Okanagan
  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • BC Tech Association
  • Burlington Economic Development Corporation
  • Business Development Bank of Canada
  • Canadian Economic Development for Quebec Regions
  • Cape Breton Partnership
  • City of Brampton
  • City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Office
  • City of Mississauga
  • Communitech Corporation
  • Council of Canadian Innovators
  • Economic Development Winnipeg
  • Edmonton Economic Development
  • Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Genesis (Newfoundland)
  • Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service
  • Government of Alberta, Alberta Labour and Immigration
  • Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
  • Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Education and Training
  • Government of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Business Inc.
  • Government of Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade – Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
  • Government of Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade – Ontario Investment Office
  • Government of Prince Edward Island, Island Investment Development Inc.
  • Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of the Economy
  • Halifax Partnership
  • Tech Manitoba
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Accelerated Growth Service
  • Invest Ottawa
  • Invest in Canada
  • Kingston Economic Development Corporation
  • Launch Academy
  • London Economic Development Corporation
  • MaRS Discovery District
  • National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)
  • Privy Council Office, Special Projects Team
  • Regional Municipality of Niagara
  • Regional Municipality of York
  • Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership
  • Toronto Global
  • Town of Oakville
  • Vancouver Economic Commission
  • Venn Innovation
  • Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation
  • WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation

Designated referral partners in Quebec

  • Investissement Québec
  • Montréal International
  • Québec International
  • L’Association québécoise des technologies

Category B

Category B is for employers looking to hire certain highly skilled foreign workers for certain designated occupations.

Global Talent Occupations List

  • Computer and information systems managers
  • Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
  • Mathematicians and statisticians
  • Information systems analysts and consultants
  • Database analysts and data administrators
  • Software engineers and designers
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • Web designers and developers
  • Computer network technicians
  • Information systems testing technicians
  • Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game
  • Digital media designers

For these foreign workers, the processing time to get a work permit will take only two (2) weeks for visa-exempt nationals or four (4) weeks when a visa is required (this translates into priority processing of two (2) additional weeks at the Visa Office).

Conditions:

  • Pay the prevailing wage* to the foreign worker.
  • Develop a Labour Market benefit plan outlining the benefits that the foreign talent will bring to the Canadian Labour market as well as presenting the activities that the employer will undertake to encourage job creation, skills and training investments.
  • For Category A employers, commit to creating jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. This job creation may be direct or indirect.
  • For Category B employers, commit to increasing investments in skills and training for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
  • Employers in both categories must commit to (2) two further complimentary benefits such as investment in skills and training, transferring knowledge to Canadians, improving the company’s performance, job creation, etc.

For more information on this program, don’t hesitate to contact one of our attorneys.

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*Prevailing wage

For the purpose of the Global Talent Stream, you must pay the prevailing wage which is defined as the highest of either:

  • The regional median hourly wage posted on Job Bank
  • The wage that is within the wage range that you are paying your current employees hired for the same job and work location, and with the same skills and years of experience

Under Category A, for the first 2 unique and specialized positions requested by an employer and approved by the TFW Program per calendar year, at least $38.46 per hour that amounts to no less than a base salary of $80,000 annually. For any additional unique and specialized positions requested by the employer (in other words, more than 2) and approved by the TFW Program per calendar under Category A, at least $72.11 per hour that amounts to no less than a base salary of $150,000 annually

Under Category B, for occupations with wage floors, employers must offer the hourly wage rate at minimum. Annual wage floors are provided for illustrative purposes only

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