Hire a top foreign talent through the Global Talent Stream

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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 (GTS) 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 Service Canada by a designated referral partner and that need unique and specialized temporary foreign workers (TFWs) 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.

  • If you hire a worker through the GTS, you must develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan (LMBP) that demonstrates your employer-specific commitment to activities that will have lasting, positive impacts on the Canadian labour market. Progress reviews of your LMBP will be conducted annually to assess how well you're meeting your commitments
  • Progress reviews of your LMBP as a GTS employer are separate and distinct from all compliance-related activities conducted under the TFWP

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:

  • the GTS
  • the high-wage stream, including in-home caregiver positions
  • the agricultural stream, and
  • applications to support permanent residency

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
    • your referral form(s), completed by your designated referral partner (Category A only)

Don’t forget

Review the checklist before starting your application.

Employers applying to the GTS can expect:

  • to receive a positive or negative LMIA
    • processing time for an LMIA is 10 business days (80% of the time) beginning the first business day following the day we receive the application
  • support throughout the application process by TFWP officers
  • accelerated work permit processing by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for approved applicants (10 business days, 80% of the time)

Hiring TFWs in British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan

If you’re hiring TFWs in British Columbia, Manitoba or Saskatchewan, 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 the province, visit the following websites:

Hiring TFWs in Quebec

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

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 with an exemption only

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

  • Create and fill out your LMIA application
  • Upload all required documents supporting your business legitimacy (if applicable)
  • GTS Category A only: Upload your referral form(s), completed by your designated referral partner. Each TFW requested under Category A requires a separate completed referral form
  • Submit the application form along with the required documents and the processing fee (if applicable) via the LMIA Online Portal


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 Global Talent Stream – Annex 1 Additional Occupation form (EMP5625) instead of completing a separate application for each position. For Category A, a referral form completed by your designated referral partner is required for each requested TFW.

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

Employers applying to the GTS can expect:

  • faster processing of your GTS applications with a service standard of 10 business days starting on the business day after the application has been received by Service Canada – this service standard is expected to be met 80% of the time
  • personalized, high-touch assistance throughout the assessment process, and
  • eligibility for your highly skilled global talent workers to have their work permits processed in 2 weeks by IRCC – this service standard is expected to be met 80% of the time

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

In accordance with amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, 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 Service Canada takes lightly. The intent is to protect TFWs from entering a potentially harmful workplace while 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.

Positive LMIA

The employer will receive a decision letter confirming the LMIA is positive. Until April 30, 2024, this positive LMIA is valid for up to 12 months after it’s issued. As of May 1, 2024, this positive LMIA will be valid for up to 6 months after it’s issued.

For privacy reasons, the letter will not include the names of the TFWs. However, it provides specific details about the job offer, such as the wages, working conditions and occupations as well as a system file number. The names of the workers will appear in Annex B, which is intended for the employer's records only, and is not to be shared with the TFW as it is not required for the purposes of applying for a work permit.

Once the positive LMIA letter is received, it is the employer's responsibility to:

  • send a copy of this letter and the employment contract, signed by the employer, to the TFW
  • ask the TFW to apply to IRCC for a work permit. The TFW must include with the work permit application a copy of the positive LMIA letter and the employment contract signed by both the employer and the worker

Provincial variations

If the job is located in Quebec, the employer must:

  • send to the TFW a copy of the:
    • positive LMIA letter issued jointly by Service Canada and Quebec's Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration (MIFI)
    • Quebec Acceptance Certificate issued by the MIFI, and employment contract signed by the employer
  • ask the TFW to submit this documentation along with the work permit application to IRCC. Visit IRCC's website to find a Canadian visa office

Changing a TFW name on a positive LMIA

Employers who need to change/replace the name of a TFW on a positive GTS LMIA must send a completed Request to add or remove a foreign national’s name form (ESDC-EMP5661) by email to the processing centre that initially processed the LMIA.

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

  • 10 names or less – request must be received at least 15 business days prior to the LMIA validity date
  • more than 10 names – request must be received at least 20 business days prior to the LMIA validity date

Important: For Category A applications, the employer must submit a new completed form from a designated referral partner to validate that the Category A eligibility criteria continues to be met based on the new TFW(s) identified. Name change requests for Category A positions won’t be processed without a new referral.


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


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 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 TFW terms and conditions of employment as described in the positive LMIA letter and any annexes. 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, Service Canada 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 whom you’ve received a positive assessment under the GTS or decide to cancel your job offer, prior to the entry of the TFW, it’s important that you inform the TFW directly and also let the Employer Contact Centre know of the situation by calling 1-800-367-5693. Your GTS application processing fee won’t be reimbursed if you cancel a job offer.

End of employment

If a TFW for whom you’ve received a positive LMIA cannot be located or doesn't show up for departure from Canada at the end of employment, you should:

  • make reasonable efforts to reach the worker
  • notify the Canada Border Services Agency and IRCC
  • notify Service Canada by sending the following information to the processing centre that issued the positive LMIA:
    • LMIA number(s)
    • employer name/business number
    • name(s) of departed TFW(s)
    • date of departure
    • physical work location
    • details on how TFW(s) left
    • any other relevant information

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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