Hire a top foreign talent through the Global Talent Stream

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Transitioning to online applications

As of April 2023, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is moving to online LMIA applications. Consult the LMIA Online Portal Resources page frequently for details and updates.

Get a head start and use the LMIA Online Portal today!

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is intended to be used when you're facing short-term skills and labour shortages, and only when no Canadians and permanent residents are available.

The Global Talent Stream offers timely, responsive and predictable client-focused service to help you access highly skilled global talent to expand your workforce here in Canada and to be competitive on a global scale. This Stream is designed for innovative firms in Canada that are referred to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) by a designated referral partner and that need unique and specialized foreign nationals in order to scale-up and grow. It's also intended for firms in Canada that need to fill an in-demand, highly skilled position on the Global Talent Occupations List.

As of April 4, 2022, employers submitting a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application for a high-wage position may request an employment duration of up to 3 years. The employment duration must align with the employer's reasonable employment needs. The duration may be issued for longer in exceptional circumstances whereby the employer provides an adequate rationale.

High-wage positions include:

Before you apply

Review this checklist:

    • determine if you want to use a third-party representative
    • determine if your LMIA application is subject to processing fees
    • your most recent business license
    • your most recent Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) tax documents
    • your recruitment and advertisement documents

Don't forget

Review the checklist before starting your application.

Employers applying to the Global Talent Stream can expect:

Hiring temporary foreign workers in British Columbia or Manitoba

If you're hiring temporary foreign workers (TFWs) in British Columbia or Manitoba, you must apply for the employer registration certificate with the province first and include a copy of the certificate or proof of exemption with your LMIA application. Your application will be considered incomplete if submitted without the required documentation. Be sure to consider provincial processing times before you submit your LMIA applications.

For more information on provincial laws on the employer registration requirement and possible exemptions in British Columbia and Manitoba, visit the following websites:

Hiring temporary foreign workers in Quebec

For positions in Quebec for an employment period of more than 30 consecutive days:

  • LMIA applications must be submitted at the same time to Service Canada and Quebec's Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration (MIFI) (in French only)
    • failure to do so will prevent your application from being processed and will result in its closure. No refund of the processing fee will be made
  • all applications must be submitted to MIFI in paper format
  • the names of the TFWs must be included in the application

For more information, consult Hiring in the province of Quebec.


On May 12, 2020, IRCC announced a temporary public policy. The new policy allows some TFWs who are already in Canada to change jobs before a final decision is made on their work permit application.

Employers hiring these TFWs may receive priority processing of the requests to add or change names on approved LMIAs. To do so, employers must notify Service Canada in writing that the TFW:

  • is in Canada, and
  • wishes to benefit from IRCC's COVID-19 temporary public policy

How to apply

Your LMIA application can be submitted up to 6 months prior to the expected job start date.

There are 2 ways you can apply:

  1. online through the LMIA Online Portal, or
  2. by emailing a PDF application form

Apply online

The fastest way to apply is through the LMIA Online Portal. It's a reliable and secure platform that allows you to complete and submit an online application to Service Canada.

To access the LMIA Online Portal, you need to have a Job Bank account.

1) Create a Job Bank for employers account if you don't already have one

It takes approximately 10 minutes to register, and up to 5 business days for Job Bank to process new employer file.

2) Access the LMIA Online Portal using your Job Bank for employers' credentials

Your account details will be required for authentication purposes.

3) Submit your application


Send a PDF application form by email

If you're unable to apply through the LMIA Online Portal, visit the LMIA Online Portal resources webpage for information on how to request an exemption and a PDF LMIA application form.

If you're applying for multiple positions at the same time, you can complete and submit the GTS – Annex 1 Additional Occupation form (EMP5625) instead of completing a separate application for each position.

For applications where the work location is in Canada with the exception of Quebec

Submit your application:

  • using Data Gateway, or
  • to the Service Canada processing centre responsible for this specific program or for processing the LMIA applications in the region where the TFW will be employed

For positions in Quebec

Submit your application:

Make changes to your pending application

If you need to make changes to your application once submitted, and before the LMIA decision is made, contact the appropriate Service Canada processing centre or the Employer Contact Centre to modify the application and avoid processing delays.

If you need to change the stream you had originally selected, withdraw your original application and reapply under the new stream. Processing fees aren't refunded and cannot be transferred to your new application.

After you apply

As of April 4, 2022, employers may request an LMIA validity extension up to 18 months if:

  • the previously issued positive LMIA has a validity period of 6 or 9 months, and
  • the LMIA is valid on the day the extension request is received by Service Canada

The extension requests can be made to the Service Canada processing centre that initially processed the LMIA.

A dedicated team at ESDC will provide all Global Talent Stream employers with streamlined, client-focused service.

Employers applying to the Global Talent Stream can expect:

Applications are assessed to determine the impact that hiring TFWs would have on Canada's labour market. As part of the assessment process, ESDC/Service Canada will ensure that the employer has met all program requirements.

In accordance with amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, ESDC/Service Canada has the authority to temporarily suspend LMIA processing when there's reason to suspect that an employer isn't complying or hasn't complied with certain conditions that would put the health or safety of TFWs at serious risk.

Suspending the processing of an LMIA isn't a decision that ESDC/Service Canada takes lightly. The intent is to protect TFWs from entering a potentially harmful workplace while ESDC/Service Canada investigates the allegations. The LMIA processing suspension will be lifted as soon as it's known that the serious risk to the TFWs health or safety was unfounded or has been resolved.

Once the assessment process is complete, the employer will be notified in writing of the final decision of their LMIA application.

Changing a TFW name on a positive LMIA

Employers who need to change/replace the name of a TFW on a positive Global Talent Stream LMIA must send a completed Request to add or remove a Foreign National's name form (ESDC-EMP5661) by email to NC-GTS-VTM-TFWP-PTET-GD@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca.

Processing times vary depending on the number of names to be changed:

Important: For Category A applications, a Global Talent Stream designated referral partner must submit a new referral to validate that the Category A eligibility criteria continues to be met based on the new foreign worker(s) identified. Name change requests for Category A positions won't be processed without a new referral.


Name changes aren't performed for Global Talent Stream LMIAs when the LMIA was previously used for a work permit application (as verified by IRCC).


If you wish to change/replace the name of your already identified foreign worker for reasons related to COVID-19, you can now benefit from an expedited name change process. You'll need to indicate that the name change request is due to hardships related to COVID-19 when you contact the processing centre that initially processed your LMIA.


For positions located in Quebec, you must have a positive LMIA to make a name change. The request must be submitted at least 90 calendar days before the expiry of the LMIA. No name changes will be made if the LMIA is under assessment. For more details on the required steps, consult Connaître les conditions pour remplacer un travailleur temporaire | Gouvernement du Québec (quebec.ca) page (French only).

Modification to a positive LMIA

Employers must take immediate action when changes have been made or need to be made to a foreign national worker's terms and conditions of employment as described in the positive LMIA letter and any annexes. ESDC/Service Canada recommends that employers consult the Modification to a positive LMIA page to determine when a change requires contacting the Employer Contact Centre or submitting a new LMIA form. In accordance with the provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, ESDC may conduct an inspection to verify the employer's compliance with the conditions set out in the positive LMIA letter and annexes. This inspection could include a review of the employer's file. As a result, if Service Canada doesn't have a copy of the changes, the employer will be held accountable for the information that's on file.

Note: Information included in the Modification to a positive LMIA page doesn't apply to the process of changing/replacing TFW names on a positive LMIA. For details on that process, refer to the Changing a TFW name on a positive LMIA section.

Cancelling a job offer

If you no longer require the service of the TFW for which you've received a positive assessment under the Global Talent Stream or decide to cancel your job offer, prior to the entry of the TFW, it's important that you inform the worker directly and also let the Employer Contact Centre know of the situation by calling 1-800-367-5693. Your Global Talent Stream application processing fee won't be reimbursed if you cancel a job offer.

End of employment

If you cannot locate the TFW for which you've received a positive assessment under the Global Talent Stream or the worker doesn't show up for departure from Canada at the end of your employment contract with the worker, you must:

Documentation retention

You must keep all documents used to support your application for a minimum of 6 years beginning on the TFW's first day of work. We may request these documents at any time to verify your past compliance with program conditions.

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