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Canada Global Talent Stream

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    Global Talent Stream 2024

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    Introduced in June 2017, This stream is a two-year pilot program that assists certain Canadian employers to hire highly-skilled talent from around the world.  The Canada 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. This allows Canadian employers to advance the hiring of foreign workers to fill specialized occupations when Canadians aren’t available for specific roles.

    The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is Canada’s answer to an economy in need of highly-skilled workers. According to data released in June 2019, two years into the GTS, nearly 40,000 people had come to Canada through the stream. Of these newcomers to Canada, nearly 24,000 were highly skilled workers in occupations such as computer programming, information system analysis, and software engineering.  

    The GTS, part of Canada’s Global Skills Strategy, is an immigration program that allows Canadian employers to expedite the hiring of foreign workers to fill specialized occupations when Canadians aren’t available for specific roles. Canada’s global talent stream opens doors for skilled professionals. 

    Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aim to process Global Talent Stream work permit applications in only two weeks, making the program the fastest immigration pathway for workers seeking a new life in Canada.

    Consequently, it’s easy to see why more than 1,100 Canadian employers used the Global Talent Stream in its first two years. These employers have committed to creating more than 48,000 jobs and more than 12,500 paid co-op positions while dedicating over $113 million to skills development and training.

    board showing the Canada Global talent stream

    There are two categories under the Global Talent Stream.  

    Category A – In-Demand Occupation:

    Category A 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.

    Global Talent Stream, employers must be seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign talent to fill positions in jobs found on the Global Talent  Occupation List. Global talent occupations List for Category -A :

    0213Computer and information systems managersPrevailing wagePrevailing wage
    2147Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)Prevailing wagePrevailing wage
    Sub-set of 2161*Mathematicians and statisticians * Positions for actuaries or related occupations are excluded from this subset.Prevailing wagePrevailing wage
    2171Information systems analysts and consultantsPrevailing wagePrevailing wage
    2172Database analysts and data administratorsPrevailing wagePrevailing wage
    2173Software engineers and designersPrevailing wagePrevailing wage
    2174Computer programmers and interactive media developersPrevailing wagePrevailing wage
    2175Web designers and developersPrevailing wagePrevailing wage
    2281Computer Network technicians$39.42 or higher prevailing wage$82,000 or higher prevailing wage
    2283Information systems testing technicians$38.46 or higher prevailing wage$80,000 or higher prevailing wage
    Sub-set of 5131**Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game ** The position requires a minimum of three years’ industry experience in the visual effects, video game or animation industries in one or a combination of the following roles: producer, technical director, creative director, artistic director or project manager, senior coordinator, department manager, with three years of job experience in at least one or more of the following skills relevant to the visual effects, video game or animation industries: surfacing and look development; character or simulation rigging; matte painting; managing budgets or teams; or technical pipeline development and application for visual effects, video games, or animation production.$37.50 or higher prevailing wage$78,000 or higher prevailing wage
    Sub-set of 5241***Digital Media and Design ***The position requires a minimum of three years’ industry experience in at least one of the following digital media design skills: 3D modeling, compositing, paint and roto, layout and match move, digital environment and Matte painting, texture, lighting shading, character effects, effects and simulations, design and scenario, rigging, user interface or user experience, responsive design (for gaming), virtual reality, augmented reality, digital media animation, levels editing for digital media design, software editing for digital media design, pipeline software development or applications relevant for digital media designwage$38.46 or higher prevailing wage$80,000 or higher prevailing wage

    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).

    Category B – Designated Partner Referral:

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

    As of June 2019, the list of designated referral partners for employers located outside Quebec includes the following organizations. This list may be updated periodically.

    • 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 Hamilton’s Economic Development Office
    • 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
    • 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
    • ICT Association of Manitoba (ICTAM)
    • 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
    • Vancouver Economic Commission
    • Venn Innovation
    • Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation
    • WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation.

    Labour Market Benefits Plan

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

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

    In addition to the above mandatory benefits, employers in both categories are required to commit to two further complementary 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 A and Category B, 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. 

    Employers may be monitored to ensure compliance with the Labour Market Business Plan, and to evaluate the successes of the GTS.


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