Recently-Launched Pilot Program To Streamline Highly Skilled Foreign Workers Permit Application Process
To strengthen the Canadian workforce and economy, the Canadian government is turning to highly skilled foreign workers to fill positions currently facing a labour shortage. By filling these positions in an efficient and timely manner, Canadian businesses can thrive and grow with the help of qualified workers. In turn, these workers pass on their skills to Canadian workers and further benefit the workforce. For businesses interested in hiring skilled foreign workers, contact a corporate immigration law firm.
As reported by CIC News, the Canadian government launched the Global Talent Stream (GTS) pilot program on June 12, 2017. The GTS seeks to fast-track the work permit application process for highly skilled workers, and is part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
The GTS set application processing time to two weeks so businesses can fill positions quickly with skilled foreign workers, assuming they cannot otherwise find skilled talent in Canada. Two new work permit exemptions are also in effect.
The Global Talent Stream
The GTS is part of Canada’s Global Skills Strategy to prioritize and streamline work permit applications for high-demand jobs that require skilled workers. This pilot program, run by Employment and Social Development Canada, will initially run for 24 months. As a result, a corporate immigration law firm has become a must-have resource for applicants and businesses alike.
Under the GTS, businesses can be categorized into one of two categories:
- Category A—Businesses deemed high-growth and in need of foreign talent to generate growth; and,
- Category B—Business that need highly skilled foreign talent to fulfill occupations on the Skills Shortage List.
For businesses to qualify for Category A, they must be recommended by GTS referral partners and recognized as high-growth, prove that they are hiring specialized talent, and the position must be highly paid (i.e., a minimum annual salary of $80,000 CAD).
For businesses to qualify in Category B, they must first prove their need for foreign talent to fill highly skilled occupations on the Global Talent occupations list and be willing to pay the prevailing wage or higher.
Businesses and employers must apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Once the LMIA has been obtained, a foreign worker can apply for a work permit through the GTS. The LMIA is documentation that the employer could not fill a job position with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
The Global Talent occupations list recognizes several jobs as part of a skills shortage in Canada; therefore, these positions have focused heavily on the Canadian tech sector. They include:
- Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers);
- Information systems analysts and consultants;
- Database analysts and data administrators;
- Software engineers and designers;
- Computer programmers and interactive media developers;
- Web designers and developers;
- Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians;
- Information systems testing technicians; and,
- Digital Media and Design (positions requiring a minimum of five years’ industry experience only, specific skills requirements apply).
Category B businesses in these fields may access the GTS to fast-track worker applications.
The Global Talent Stream represents a part of Canada’s continued focus on encouraging immigration. As a result, while the focus remains on tech, as Canada faces economic challenges, this focus may shift to meet demand. In later comments, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen expressed that he hoped the final step for many of these temporary foreign workers and permanent residents would be full Canadian Citizenship.
For now, economic and corporate immigration remain key drivers of Canadian immigration efforts. For more information about hiring skilled foreign workers and the work permit application process, contact a corporate immigration law firm.