In the fast-paced and ultra-competitive world, employers just cannot afford to wait months for the work permit formalities to be completed for an in-demand position without qualified domestic workers.
This is why Canada has setup the Global Talent Stream, which is a unique stream under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
This stream offers fast-track processing of work permits for Canadian employers seeking to hire specialized and unique talent or foreign workers for IT and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) occupations
About the Global Talent Stream
The biggest advantage of this stream is that work permits can be issued in as little as two weeks for eligible Canadian employers. Unlike other countries with complicated lottery systems and huge waiting lists, a highly-skilled foreign worker can get permission to enter and work in Canada within 15 days of applying for the work permit.
The GTS consists of two categories. Category A is for employers seeking to hire unique and specialized foreign talent. Category B is for Canadian employers seeking to hire foreign workers for positions belonging to occupations included in the Global Talent Occupation List.
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Category A—the Process
The foreign worker can apply for work permit under Category A only if the Canadian employer is referred by a GTS designated partner.
The partner will assess factors like:
- Is the employer operating in Canada?
- Is the employer focusing on innovation?
- Is the worker being hired for a unique and specialized position?
Barring exceptional circumstances, the innovation-centric employer can qualify for just two referrals per calendar year.
Defining Unique and Specialized Talent
A worker with ‘unique and specialized talent’ is one who:
- Has advanced knowledge of an industry, and
- Has an advanced educational qualification, and
- Has five years of specialized experience in the field, and/or
- Has been appointed for annual salary of CAD $80,000 or the prevailing wage for the occupation, whichever is higher.
Category B—the Process
Category B is open to all Canadian employers, including those without specific focus on innovation.
This category focuses on occupations that are
- In-demand in Canada, and
- Without sufficient domestic labor supply
If the foreign worker’s occupation is listed in the Global Talent Occupation List and his/her key duties and responsibilities match the relevant NOC, then such worker can apply for the two-week processing work permit under Category B.
LMIA Process under the GTS
While a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement is still required, Canadian employers enjoy certain relaxations when hiring GTS workers.
Under GTS, the employer is exempt from mandatory domestic recruitment efforts. A non-GTS LMIA application will be rejected if the employer does not advertise the position across Canada and take all reasonable efforts to find a Canadian worker for the position.
This requirement does not apply to employers under the GTS.
Instead, employers must submit a Labour Market Benefits Plan and demonstrate how their business activities will have lasting impact on the labor market in Canada.
Labour Market Benefits Plan
This is a variant of the standard LMIA process where the employer must commit to fulfill:
- the mandatory benefit, and
- At least two complementary benefits, and
- At least one activity for each benefit.
Category A employer must submit a plan on how the GTS position will create direct or indirect jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. If jobs won’t be created, then the GTS application will be rejected.
Category B employers must demonstrate how the GTS position will result in increase skills and training investments for Canadians.
Further, the Labor Market Benefits Plan must outline how the position will result in at least two of any of the following complementary benefits. This list is just indicative of the benefits that the employer must target.
- Job creation
- Investment in skills and training
- Transfer of knowledge to Canadian citizens or permanent residents
- Enhanced company performance
- Implementing best practices/policies for the workforce
Activities for the Mandatory and Complementary Benefits
The GTS has detailed activities that will help employers achieve the benefits detailed above.
- Hiring more full-time and/or part-time Canadian citizens or permanent residents
- Partnerships with educational and other skilling organizations
- Coop or internship opportunities to Canadian citizens or permanent residents
- Support hiring of underrepresented groups
- Direct training to Canadian citizens or permanent residents
- Ensuring the highly-skilled foreign worker supervises, mentors, or otherwise supports knowledge transfer to Canadian citizens or permanent residents
Permanent Residence for GTS Applicants
The TFWP requires employers to create transition plans to reduce dependence on foreign workers. One option includes helping the work-permit holder apply for permanent residence under Express Entry.
Considering that only highly-skilled workers can apply under the GTS, an ITA through Express Entry or a PNP is unlikely to be a big problem. With professional immigration assistance, you can fast-track your work permit as well as your PR application and start a prosperous life in Canada in just two weeks.