Canadian Government Opening Pathways for Highly Specialized Global Talent

The Canadian Government has opened the doors to the highly skilled, specialized, in-demand foreign nationals who will help in the growth of Canadian entities’ businesses by bringing the Global Skills Strategy into effect on June 12, 2017. This new strategy aims at attracting foreign investment and bringing foreign skilled talent with lesser provisions and barriers into Canada.

The Government has fostered two ways to ensure faster and timely entry of foreign skilled workers for short-term work positions and for foreign talent required by Canadian firms who wish to scale-up their highly-skilled workforce with global talent. 

(1)  Short Duration Work Permit Exemptions: Foreign skilled workers coming to Canada for less than 30 days are now exempt from the requirement of obtaining a work permit. Previously, if any foreign worker entered the Canadian labour market, even for one day, they required work authorization. Now, if a foreign worker is coming to perform work for 30 days or less and their occupation is classified as “highly skilled” or “managerial”, they are eligible to work without a work permit. 

Researchers are also eligible for this work permit exemption for 120 days if they are coming to work at a publicly funded, degree-granting institution at the college or university level. Researchers who play a significant role or add value to a research project and who can demonstrate academic excellence or expertise in a field related to the position are eligible for this work permit exemption. 

(2)  Global Talent Stream: This stream offers expedited access to unique, specialized and highly-skilled temporary foreign workers. It is intended for innovative, high-potential, high-growth firms to scale-up and grow.  It is also meant for Canadian firms seeking to hire highly skilled foreign workers for in-demand occupations. This program is broken down into two streams: (1) Category A which is for innovative, high-growth, high-potential firms who wish to hire unique and specialized talent and (2) Category B which is for Canadian businesses that are seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill the occupations listed on the Global Talent Occupations List.

Both Category A and Category B firms will be required to work with the Department of Employment and Social Development to develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan that demonstrates their commitment to activities that will track overall job creation, skills and training investments, and provides a benefit to the Canadian economy through the employment of the highly-skilled global talent. 

Unlike the existing labour market assessment process, there will be no recruitment requirement and the assessment of the application will be based on the benefit to the Canadian labour market rather than the availability of local Canadian workers for the position. 

Manizeh Mistry, Deputy Head – Global Immigration

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