Global Talent Stream

Global Talent Stream is to help employers in Canada fast-track the hiring of foreign tech talent. The Global Talent Stream allows certain skilled workers to obtain a work permit within two weeks of applying. It is one of the pillars of Canada’s Global Skills Strategy, which aims to help innovative companies grow by ensuring they can access the highly skilled talent they need quickly. Among other initiatives, this work stream establishes a two-week standard for the processing of work permit applications (and temporary resident visas, if applicable) for highly skilled talent.

2 Categories of Global Talent Stream

Category 1

High-growth companies that can demonstrate a need to recruit unique specialized talent from abroad fall under Category A. Employers in this category must be referred to the Global Talent Stream by a designated referral partner.

Category 2

Category B is for employers looking to hire certain highly skilled foreign workers for occupations found on the Global Talent Occupations List, which have been determined to be in-demand and for which there is insufficient domestic labour supply. This list may be updated periodically to respond to labour market needs.

Employers in both categories are required to meet conditions relating to the payment of skilled workers. Foreign workers hired through the GTS must be paid at the prevailing wage or higher. The prevailing wage is defined as the highest figure of either:

  • the median wage for the occupation on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank,
  • the wage within the range an employer pays current employees in the same position at the same location, with the same skills and experience,
  • the minimum wage floor as defined in the Global Talent occupations list (if applicable).

Labour Market Benefits of GTS

Employers looking to hire skilled workers through the Global Talent Stream are required to work with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan. This plan outlines the positive benefits that foreign talent will bring to the Canadian labour market and activities that the employer will undertake to encourage job creation, skills and training investments.

Category 1 employers are required to commit to creating jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. This job creation may be direct or indirect.

Category 2 employers are required to commit to increasing investments in skills and training for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

employers in both categories are required to commit to two further complimentary benefits, supported by defined activities. These benefits may include but are not limited to, job creation, investment in skills and training, transferring knowledge to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and/or improving company performance. Activities to support these benefits may include, but are not limited to, hiring more Canadian citizens or permanent residents, training current employees in new techniques, creating paid co-op or internship programs for local students, and/or increasing revenue and investments.

If employers are applying for positions in both Category 1 and Category 2, they must commit to one activity as part of the job creation benefit and one activity as part of the investments in skills and training benefit, as well as at least two complementary benefits.

No Work Permit Required

Under the Global Talent Stream, two new categories of workers are now exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit. Highly-skilled workers in skill type 0 or skill level A occupations of the NOC may enter Canada to work for 15 days in a six-month period, or for 30 days in a 12-month period, without obtaining a work permit. Researchers working on research projects at a publicly-funded degree-granting institution or affiliated research institution may come to Canada for 120 days in a 12-month period, without requiring a work permit.