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Canada Launches Global Skills Strategy June 12 | Canada Immigration News

On June 12, 2017, the Government of Canada launched the Global Skills Strategy to give Canadian employers faster access to highly skilled foreign workers. Work permits applications under the new Global Talent Stream will be processed within two weeks.

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Did you know: Global Skills Strategy Summary

  1. Two-week processing standard for work permits under the Global Skills Strategy if the Canadian employer is:
    1. Referred to the Global Talent Stream by a designated partner, or
    2. Hiring a worker in a position on the Global Talent occupations list
  2. New work permit exemption for NOC 0 and NOC A workers for stays of 15 days every six months or 30 days every 12 months
  3. New work permit exemption for researchers working on research projects at publicly-funded institutions for stays of 120 days every 12 months

New Global Skills Strategy

The Global Skills Strategy is an initiative by the Government of Canada to make is easier for Canadian businesses to grow by attracting foreign talent. Among other things, it establishes a new Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which offers an accelerated pathway to receiving a work permit for certain kinds of foreign workers.

Immigration Reminder: Canadian Work Permits

With a few limited exceptions, foreign nationals need a work permit to work in Canada. The process to get a work permit starts with receiving a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. Your Canadian employer must usually apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from ESDC. A positive LMIA proves that the employer tried, and failed, to find a Canadian permanent resident or citizen to fill the position being offered to you.

Once your Canadian employer provides you with a copy of a positive LMIA, you can apply for a work permit from IRCC. IRCC then processes your application and, if approved, issues you a work permit. This allows you to come to Canada. It’s a temporary permit, which means that when it expires you have to leave Canada, unless you extend it or apply for permanent residence.

The process of finding a foreign worker, applying for a LMIA, and applying for a work permit can take a long time. It can take months to get a LMIA and a work permit, which makes it difficult for employers to fill positions quickly, and discourages talented workers from coming to Canada.

The two-week standard for processing under the Global Talent Stream of the Global Skills Strategy is designed to help address that concern for some specialized skilled workers. There’s also no recruitment requirement for the Global Talent Stream, which makes it much easier for employers to hire foreign workers.

There are two categories under which employers may be eligible for the Global Talent Stream.


Canadian employers may be eligible for Category A if they have been referred to the Global Talent Stream by one of ESDC’s designated partners, and are hiring unique and specialized talent. Unique and specialized talent means someone with:

  • Advanced knowledge of the industry;
  • An advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer; or
  • A minimum of five years of experience in the field of specialized experience; and
  • A highly paid position.

Designated Partners

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Accelerate Okanagan
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 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
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 York
Vancouver Economic Commission
Venn Innovation
Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation
WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation


Canadian employers may be eligible for Category B if they are hiring someone to fill a position on the Global Talent occupations list.

Global Talent Occupations List

NOC CodeOccupation
0213Computer and information systems managers
2147Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
Subset of 2161*Mathematicians and statisticians
*Positions for actuaries or related occupations are excluded from this subset
2171Information systems analysts and consultants
2172Database analysts and data administrators
2173Software engineers and designers
2174Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175Web designers and developers
2281Computer network technicians
2283Information systems testing technicians
Sub-set of 5131*Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game
*in addition to the position having an annual salary of at least $75,000 ($36.06 per hour) or the prevailing wage (if the prevailing wage is higher), the position must require 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.
Sub-set of 5241**Digital media designers
**in addition to the position having an annual salary of at least $80,000 ($38.46 per hour) or the prevailing wage (if the prevailing wage is higher), the position must require 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

Short Term Work Permit Exemptions

There are also two new work permit exemptions under the Global Skills Strategy.

The first is for workers whose occupations are classified as NOC 0 or NOC A. These workers are now allowed one 15-day work permit-exempt stay in Canada every six months, or one 30-day work permit-exempt stay every 12 months.

The second is for researchers. Researchers coming to Canada to work on a research project at a publicly-funded degree-granting institution or affiliated research institution will be allowed one 120-day work permit-exempt stay in Canada every 12 months.



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