Backgrounder - The Global Talent Stream


The Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is a 24-month pilot program which aims to help innovative companies quickly access the highly skilled talent they need to scale-up and grow.

The Global Talent Stream is available to:

  • Category A: Employers in Canada seeking to hire unique and specialized foreign workers and that have been referred to the Global Talent Stream by an ESDC Designated Partner because they are an innovative Canadian company seeking to scale-up and grow.
  • Category B: Firms in Canada that need to hire highly skilled foreign workers for occupations found on ESDC’s Global Talent Occupations List because they have been determined to be in demand and for which there is insufficient domestic labour supply.

Effective as of June 12, the Global Talent Occupations List has been updated to ensure it continues to reflect the Canadian labour market and the needs of innovative companies.

The following changes have been implemented:

  • engineering managers (NOC 0211), architecture and science managers (NOC 0212), and mathematicians and statisticians (subset of NOC 2161) have been added to the list;
  • electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians (NOC 2241) have been removed from the list due to changing labour market conditions; and
  • the requirements for producer, technical, creative and artistic director, and project manager in the visual effects and videogame fields (subset of NOC 5131), and digital media designers (subset of NOC 5241) have been amended to better reflect highly skilled, in-demand positions.

The Global Talent Stream gives eligible employers access to a new streamlined process that provides:

  • client-focused service to help them through the Global Talent Stream application process;
  • no minimum recruitment requirements;
  • processing of applications including the Labour Market Benefits Plan in 10 business days by ESDC 80 percent of the time; and
  • eligibility for temporary foreign workers to have their work permits processed in 10 business days by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada 80 percent of the time.

This results in timely, responsive and predictable service that allows companies to attract top talent to scale-up, grow and remain globally competitive.

The Global Talent Stream pilot is one of the pillars of the Government of Canada’s Global Skills Strategy. It is a key part of the Innovation and Skills Plan which aims to make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation, to help create more well-paying jobs, and strengthen and grow the middle class. It is one of the many ways in which the Government is positioning Canada at the leading edge of a changing world economy. The other pillars of the Global Skills Strategy are permanent and include:

  • establishing a two-week standard for processing work permit applications (and temporary resident visas when applicable) for highly skilled talent;
  • creating a dedicated service for companies looking to make significant job-creating investments in Canada; and
  • dropping the work permit requirement for short-term highly skilled work (for instance, 30 days or less in a 12-month period) and brief academic stays.

Throughout the second year of the two-year pilot, the Government will continue to review employer use of the Global Talent Stream to determine the next steps for the Program. This includes checking in with employers on their progress on their commitments made in their employer-specific plans.

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