December 19, 2017 – Canada’s fast-track visa for technology workers, the Global Talent Stream, has made a better start than anyone imagined after welcoming 2,000 candidates in three-and-a-half months.
Businesses are lauding the federal government for sticking to the promised two-week processing time for the best and brightest technology workers.
Some are even reporting processing times of less than 10 working days for bringing in new staff members from overseas. The standard time before the June 12, 2017 Global Talent Stream launch was six months.
Canada Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen is said to be pleased with how well the program has started. The fast-track visa was devised in response to the business community, who said growth was being slowed by an inability to bring in the best people quickly.
Canada’s success comes as US President Donald Trump cracks down on the equivalent H1-B visa in America. Although no formal action has been taken to limit the popular visa for foreign workers, reports suggest immigration staff are stalling at every opportunity and delaying applications that once would have sailed through.
- Global Talent Stream: Early Success For Fast-Track Canada Visa Pilot
- Quebec Launches New Global Talent Stream
- Canada’s Global Talent Stream: Full List of In-Demand Jobs
Indian nationals are the most popular candidates for Canada’s Global Talent Stream, taking nearly half of the 2,000 visas so-far issued, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Chinese workers have taken nearly 300 visas, with French, Brazilian, South Korean and American workers among the top six countries.
Key technology roles such as software engineers, systems analysts and programmers are among the main categories of jobs available. The more successful the visa becomes, the more likely it will be used, as other technology firms begin to use it.
A key element of the Global Talent Stream is that registered employers will need to commit to creating jobs for Canadians and transferring knowledge to Canadian workers, under a Labour Market Benefits Plan.
The Global Talent Stream is part of a broader Global Skills Strategy to directly help Canadian businesses including start-ups, thrive.
Key Elements of The New Global Talent Stream
- Two-week standard for processing Canada work permit applications (and Canada visa applications when applicable) for highly skilled talent.
- Dedicated service for companies looking to make significant job-creating investments in Canada.
- Dropping of the work permit requirement for short-term highly skilled work (30 days or less in a 12-month period), and brief academic stays.
- Companies applying for workers through the Global Talent Stream will have access to the new streamlined application process that will provide:
- Client-focused service to help guide eligible employers through the application process and the development of the Labour Market Benefits Plan, with a service standard of 10 business days.
- Eligibility for workers to have their work permit applications processed in 10 business days.
Global Talent Stream: Requirements
Category A: List of ESDC Designated Partners as of September 12, 2017
Under Global Talent Category A, employers must be referred by one of the following (subject to change)
- Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
- BC Tech Association
- Business Development Bank of Canada
- Communitech Corporation
- Council of Canadian Innovators
- Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
- Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service
- ICT Manitoba (ICTAM)
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Accelerated Growth Service
- MaRS Discovery District
- National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program
- Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
- Ontario Ministry of Economic Growth and Development
- VENN Innovation
Quebec Designated Partners
- Investissement Quebec
- Montréal International
- Quebec International
Under Category A, foreign workers must possess a unique and specialized talent to qualify for a Canada work permit, defined as:
- Advanced knowledge of the industry.
- Highly paid position with a salary of usually $80,000 or more.
- Advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer
- Minimum of five years of experience in the field of specialized experience.
Category B: GTS Global Talent Occupations List
For Category B of the Global Talent Stream, employers must hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations found on the following list:
|National Occupations Classification (NOC) code||Occupation||Minimum wage requirement (annual salary)||Minimum wage requirement (hourly rate)|
|213||Computer and information systems managers||prevailing wage||prevailing wage|
|2147||Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)||prevailing wage||prevailing wage|
|2171||Information systems analysts and consultants||prevailing wage||prevailing wage|
|2172||Database analysts and data administrators||prevailing wage||prevailing wage|
|2173||Software engineers and designers||prevailing wage||prevailing wage|
|2174||Computer programmers and interactive media developers||prevailing wage||prevailing wage|
|2175||Web designers and developers||prevailing wage||prevailing wage|
|2241*||Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians||$81,000 or higher prevailing wage||$38.94 or higher prevailing wage|
|2283*||Information systems testing technicians||$78,000 or higher prevailing wage||$37.50 or higher prevailing wage|
|Sub-set of 5131*||Position requires a minimum of five years of 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, with 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; or technical pipeline development and application for visual effects, video games, or animation production.||$75,000 or higher prevailing wage||$36.06 or higher prevailing wage|
|Sub-set of 5241*||Digital Media and Design|
Position requires a minimum of five years of experience in at least one of the following digital media design skills: 3D modeling, 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 design.
|$80,000 or higher prevailing wage||$38.46 or higher prevailing wage|
* Quebec sets its own minimum wage floors for applications from within Quebec. Consult the Quebec immigration website for more information
Non-refundable $1,000 to be paid by the employer.
Labour Market Benefits Plan
A key requirement for GTS is the Labour Market Benefits Plan (LMBP).
Developed with ESDC, it must show how hiring a foreign worker will help a company either create jobs for or transfer skills to Canadians. It also allows the ESDC to track a company’s progress.
The LMBP features mandatory and complementary benefits.
Under Category A, the mandatory benefit is creating jobs, whether directly or indirectly, for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
Under Category B, the mandatory benefit is to increasing skills and training investments for Canadians and permanent residents.
The LMBP must also provide two complementary benefits, which cannot be the same as the mandatory benefit. These include, but are not limited to:
- Job creation,
- Investment in skills and training,
- Transferring knowledge,
- Enhanced company performance and
- Implementing best practices or policies as an employer for your workforce.
Global Talent Stream: General Requirements
Employers must provide evidence they are actively engaged in the business needing the temporary worker. The business must provide a good or service related to the job offer.
Employers new to TFWP must submit one document as proof. Returning employers are not required to re-submit documents, but may be asked for additional proof.
Allowable documents include a Canadian business licence, legal incorporation forms, tax documents and attested documents. For a full list, click here.
Employers are encouraged to actively seek to hire Canadians and permanent residents before looking abroad for workers. A description of how this has been done will be requested.
Wages must match the prevailing amount paid to Canadians and permanent residents for the same position.
Job Duties and Working Conditions
Workers hired under TFWP must only do the job they were hired for. Foreign workers are covered by the same laws that protect Canadians and permanent residents. Exploitation of a foreign worker violates Canadian law.
Provincial and territorial laws cover standards such as:
- Hours of work (including overtime)
- Working conditions
- Termination of employment
Foreign workers must be covered by provincial or territorial workplace safety insurance where required by law. Any private plan must match or better the terms of the provincial or territorial plan.
A job can only require English or French when advertised. If other languages are essential, justification is required at the application stage.
For positions covered by a union, the foreign worker must be treated the same as Canadians and permanent residents also covered by that union, in terms of wages and terms and conditions.
Employers must comply with all general requirements of the TFWP.
Employers in Quebec
As of September 11, 2017, Quebec employers are also able to take full advantage of the Global Talent Stream. The key difference is that Quebec employers must submit their application simultaneously to ESDC and the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
Read more news about Canada Immigration by clicking here.