Program requirements for the Global Talent Stream

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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Eligibility for the Global Talent Stream

You may be eligible for Category A of the Global Talent Stream if you have been referred to the Global Talent Stream by one of  the Stream's designated partners and you are hiring unique and specialized talent

Or

You may be eligible for Category B of the Global Talent Stream if you are seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations found on the Global Talent Occupations List. A referral is not required to be eligible for Category B.

As an employer applying through the Global Talent Stream, you must comply with the Program requirements for the Global Talent Stream. You must also uphold the conditions and rules set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act regarding hiring a temporary foreign worker.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program has measures in place to verify and ensure employers' compliance with these requirements, and employers who fail to do so will be subject to consequences for non-compliance.

Processing fee

You must pay $1,000 for each position requested under the Global Talent Stream to cover the cost of processing your application.

  • The processing fee payment (in Canadian dollars) can be made by:
    • Visa
    • MasterCard
    • American Express
  • The processing fee will not be refunded if your application is withdrawn at your request, cancelled or if your application receives a negative assessment. Refunds are issued only if a fee was collected in error
  • The processing fee cannot be paid by nor be recovered from the temporary foreign workers

Third-parties

Use of a third-party

If you choose to use the services of a third-party representative (paid or unpaid), you must complete the third-party information sections of the application.

You must not recover the costs for the services of a paid representative from the temporary foreign worker.

We may communicate directly with you to verify information provided on the application form from the third-party representative and to complete the Labour Market Benefits Plan as it will include commitments that are employer specific.

We will not mediate a dispute between you and a third-party representative nor communicate complaints to a regulatory body on your behalf.

If you have a complaint about your third-party representative, there are ways to get help.

Paid third-party representatives

You may choose to ask a third-party representative to act on your behalf when seeking to use the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to hire a temporary foreign worker. A paid representative must be authorized to collect a fee or to receive any other type of payment to act on your behalf or to advise you in the application process. An authorized third-party representative is:

  • a member in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society or students-at-law under their supervision, or the Chambre des notaires du Québec
  • a paralegal in the Province of Ontario's law society
  • a member in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council

Unpaid third-party representatives

An unpaid representative can also assist you but is not authorized to collect a fee or to receive any other type of payment for rendering services. An unpaid representative can be a:

  • family member
  • friend
  • not-for-profit group
  • religious organization

Business legitimacy

All employers applying to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) must supply documents along with their Labour Market Impact Assessment application, including a Global Talent Stream application, to demonstrate that their business and job offer are legitimate.

Labour Market Benefits Plan

You are required to work with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan that demonstrates your commitment to activities that will have lasting, positive impacts on the Canadian labour market.

A Labour Market Benefits Plan will help you and the Government of Canada identify and track your overall job creation, skills and training investments that will benefit the Canadian economy through your employment of highly-skilled global talent.

The commitments in your Labour Market Benefits Plan will be divided into mandatory and complementary benefits.

If you have been referred by one of the Global Talent Stream's designated partners and are seeking to hire unique and specialized talent (Category A), you must commit to creating jobs as your mandatory benefit, either directly or indirectly for Canadians and permanent residents.

If you are an employer in Canada seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations on the Global Talent Occupations List (Category B), you must commit to increasing skills and training investments for Canadians and permanent residents as your mandatory benefit.

In addition to the applicable mandatory benefit for Category A or B in your Labour Market Benefits Plan, you must also commit in the Plan to achieving a minimum of two complementary benefits with at least one activity for each benefit. The complementary benefits identified by an employer in their Plan cannot be the same as the mandatory benefit.

Complementary benefits, could include, but are not limited to job creation, investment in skills and training, transferring knowledge to Canadians and permanent residents, enhanced company performance and implementing best practices or policies as an employer for your workforce.

Activities to support mandatory and complementary benefits outlined in an employer’s Labour Market Benefits Plan could include, but are not limited to:

  • increasing the number of Canadians and permanent residents employed full-time and part-time by the employer;
  • establishing or enhancing educational partnerships with local or regional post-secondary institutes or with other organizations that are supporting skills and training (for example, providing post-secondary institutes with free licenses or other access to specialized software that will help to build student skills on key industry tools);
  • providing paid co-op or internship opportunities for Canadians and permanent residents at the firm;
  • developing and implementing policies to support the hiring of underrepresented groups, (for example, hosting and/or attending events that support the professional development and/or hiring of underrepresented groups in the labour market and women in high-skilled technical and/or leadership roles at the firm);
  • providing direct training to Canadians or permanent residents, including supporting employees to travel to and attend industry or industry sector conferences relevant to the development of their specialized skillset;
  • ensuring that the highly skilled foreign workers directly supervise and mentor Canadian workers at the firm to support knowledge transfer;
  • increasing growth of revenue, employment or investment at the firm;
  • developing or improving best company practices or policies related to attraction/retention of Canadian workforce (for example, by supporting code sprints and hackathons to hire new employees); and
  • developing or enhancing partnerships with organizations that assist with the identification of top domestic capital.

ESDC will work with you to complete the Labour Market Benefits Plan during the Global Talent Stream application process.

If you already have an approved Labour Market Benefits Plan and are submitting another application to the Global Talent Stream for additional position(s), you will not have to submit a new Labour Market Benefits Plan; however a review of your existing Plan will be conducted.

As part of this review, you could be asked to provide an update on your commitments to date in the Labour Market Benefits Plan. You could also be asked to amend or expand existing commitments to reflect your request for additional position(s). This will help ensure that returning employers to the Global Talent Stream continue to provide positive lasting benefits for Canadian workers.

Please note that a decision by a returning employer not to amend their Labour Market Benefits Plan on request by ESDC officials could result in a negative assessment for the additional requested position(s).

As noted under the Processing Fee section of the Program Requirements for the Global Talent Stream, processing fees for an application will not be refunded in the event of withdrawal or a negative assessment, or for choosing to go through a different Temporary Foreign Worker Program stream.

Progress Reviews

Progress Reviews of your Labour Market Benefits Plan are completely separate and distinct from measures to ensure your compliance as an employer with the requirements and conditions of hiring a temporary foreign worker.

Progress Reviews of your Plan will be conducted by ESDC approximately every six months to assess how well you are meeting the employer-specific commitments detailed in your Plan. The regular Reviews are your opportunity to report on the progress that your company is making in creating lasting, positive impacts on the Canadian labour market. In addition, when necessary you can use the opportunity of a Progress Review to work with ESDC to make adjustments to your employer-specific Plan to ensure your commitments are accurate.

Your cooperation and responsiveness with ESDC in regards to scheduling and conducting these Progress Reviews is important to ensuring your continued eligibility for the Global Talent Stream. Of note, you will be accountable for the benefits committed to in your employer-specific Labour Market Benefits Plan even if a foreign national that you hired for a position under the Global Talent Stream becomes a permanent resident of Canada while working in your organization.

The first Progress Review of your Labour Market Benefits Plan will be scheduled approximately six months after you sign your Plan. The Review date for your first Progress Review does not change even if you make amendments to your Labour Market Benefits Plan through subsequent Global Talent Stream applications for additional foreign workers. The Review date also does not change depending on when your foreign worker is issued a work permit.

Recruitment

While there is no minimum recruitment requirement for the Global Talent Stream, you are encouraged to recruit Canadians and permanent residents before offering a job to a temporary foreign worker. You will be asked, as part of your application to describe any recruitment efforts conducted.

Wages

Wages offered to temporary foreign workers should be similar to wages paid to Canadian and permanent resident employees hired for the same job and work location, and with similar skills and years of experience.

For the purpose of the Global Talent Stream, you must commit to pay the highest of either:

  • For the first two unique and specialized positions requested by an employer under Category A, an annual salary of at least $80,000, or an annual salary equivalent to the prevailing wage for that occupation if it is higher than $80,000. For any additional unique and specialized positions requested (in other word more than two) by the employer under Category A, an annual salary of at least $150,000, or an annual salary equivalent to the prevailing wage for that occupation if it is higher than $150,000;
  • For a highly-skilled position requested under Category B, the applicable minimum wage for the occupation, as identified in the Global Talent Occupations List;
  • the wage that is within the wage range that you are paying your current employees hired for the same job and work location, and with the same skills and years of experience; or
  • the median wage on Job Bank.

To determine the median wage on Job Bank:

  • go to Job Bank
  • in the “Job search” field, enter the job title or the National Occupations Classification (NOC) Code that best describes the duties and requirements of the position
  • the hourly median wage will be listed in the middle column, by community or area. If the median wage is listed as ‘'N/A'', consult the provincial or territorial wage. If it is not available, consult the national wage

The temporary foreign workers wages must be reviewed and adjusted, when applicable, at least annually, to ensure they continue to receive the prevailing wage for the occupation and region where they are employed.

If the position requires additional skills and years of experience over the applicable NOC description, the wages offered should reflect these additional requirements.

For the purpose of determining the wage rate being offered, we will only consider guaranteed wages, which exclude:

  • overtime hours
  • tips
  • benefits
  • profit sharing
  • bonuses
  • commissions
  • other forms of compensation

Note

If you are hiring a Temporary Foreign Worker in the province of Quebec, consult the Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion website (available in French only) to determine the wages that must be offered. Wages offered must be consistent with the wage rate paid to Canadians and permanent residents, working in the same occupation and geographical area.

Job duties and working conditions

The temporary foreign workers you hired through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program must only perform duties that correspond to the occupation they were hired for.

Canadian law protects all workers in Canada, including temporary foreign workers. The exploitation of temporary foreign workers is considered a violation of Canadian laws and human rights.

Employment in most occupations is covered under provincial or territorial legislation that deals with labour and employment standards such as:

  • hours of work (including overtime)
  • compensation
  • working conditions
  • termination of employment

Every province or territory has a Ministry of Labour that can provide information to assist employers and temporary foreign workers with questions or issues related to work. Some employers are federally regulated and, therefore, are covered by the employment standards under the Canada Labour Code.

Workplace safety

You must always ensure that the temporary foreign workers you want to hire under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are covered from the provincial or territorial workplace safety insurance provider, where required by law. Where the provincial or territorial legislation allows employers the flexibility to opt for a private insurance plan, you must ensure that:

  • any private plan chosen provides better or the same level of compensation to that offered by a province or territory
  • all employees on the worksite are covered by the same provider

If you are enquiring about private insurance plan equivalency, contact the appropriate provincial or territorial workplace safety authority.

The coverage you purchased must correspond with the temporary foreign workers' first day of work in Canada and the costs must not be recovered from the temporary foreign workers.

Language restriction

English or French are the only languages you can identify as a job requirement in your application and job advertisement. However, if another language is essential for the job, you must provide a justification on the application.

Unionized positions

If you are applying to hire temporary foreign workers for positions covered under a collective agreement, you must:

  • advertise and offer the same wage rates as those established under the collective agreement
  • offer the temporary foreign workers the same terms and conditions as Canadian and permanent resident workers
  • submit a copy of the section of the collective bargaining agreement on the wage structure

The hiring of temporary foreign workers must not affect current nor foreseeable labour disputes at the workplace.

We recommend that you work actively with union representatives to recruit Canadians and permanent residents.

Employer compliance

As an employer, you must comply with all the Temporary Foreign Worker Program requirements for the position you are requesting. Learn about employer compliance and the possible consequences of non-compliance. The Progress Reviews on your Labour Market Benefits Plan under the Global Talent Stream are separate and distinct from these employer compliance measures.

List of Designated Partners for referral to Category A of the Global Talent Stream (as of August 13, 2018)

For Category A of the Global Talent Stream, employers must be referred by one of the Steam’s designated referral partners. The role of designated referral partners is to refer innovative Canadian companies with whom they are able to vouch for in terms of legitimacy and eligibility for Category A. The list of designated referral partners for the Global Talent Stream includes the following organizations (as of August 13, 2018):

  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • BC Tech Association
  • Business Development Bank of Canada
  • Canadian Economic Development for Quebec Regions
  • City of Hamilton's Economic Development Office
  • Communitech Corporation
  • Council of Canadian Innovators
  • Economic Development Winnipeg
  • Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Global Affairs Canada's Trade Commissioner Service
  • Government of Alberta, Alberta Labour
  • Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
  • Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Education and Training
  • Government of Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade – Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
  • Government of Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade – Ontario Investment Office
  • Government of Prince Edward Island, Island Investment Development Inc.
  • Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of the Economy
  • Halifax Partnership
  • ICT Association of Manitoba (ICTAM)
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada - Accelerated Growth Service
  • Invest Ottawa
  • London Economic Development Corporation
  • MaRS Discovery District
  • National Research Council - Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)
  • Privy Council Office, Special Projects Team
  • Vancouver Economic Commission
  • Venn Innovation
  • Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation

For the list of designated referral partners located in Quebec for the Global Talent Stream, employers from Quebec are invited to consult Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion website (French only).

Employers should note that applications to Category A cannot be processed until ESDC has confirmed that a designated referral partner has submitted a referral vouching for the employer’s legitimacy and eligibility for Category A of the Stream.

Eligibility for Category A of the Global Talent Stream

For Category A of the Global Talent Stream, an innovative company must be referred by one of the Stream’s designated referral partners on the basis that the position being requested requires unique and specialized talent to help the firm scale-up and grow.

In order to be eligible for Category A, a designated referral partner must validate that a company meets the following eligibility criteria at the time of each referral to ESDC:

  • Is operating in Canada;
  • Has a focus on innovation;
  • Has a willingness, and is capable of growing or scaling up;
  • Is seeking to fill a unique and specialized position in the company; and
  • Has identified a qualified foreign worker for potential hire into that unique and specialized position.

A unique and specialized position is indicated by:

  • A highly paid position with an annual salary of at least $80,000, or an annual salary equivalent to the prevailing wage for that occupation if it is higher than $80,000; and
  • Advanced knowledge of the industry; and
  • Advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer; and/or
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in the field of specialized experience.

In general, an innovative company that is eligible to be referred to Category A should also be seeking to fill a very limited number of unique and specialized positions (for example, one or two over the course of the pilot) on the basis that very few specialized individuals exist with the unique skill-set required for the positions being requested under Category A of the Global Talent Stream.

In certain exceptional circumstances, ESDC may consider accepting more than two referrals for an innovative company to Category A provided the company has been successful in meeting its Labour Market Benefits Plan commitments to date under the Global Talent Stream. The circumstances under which multiple referrals to Category A (in other words more than two referrals) could be accepted are outlined below:

  1. For each additional position requested by the innovative company to Category A, the designated referral partner has reconfirmed to ESDC that the employer meets the eligibility criteria for Category A and has also provided its assessment of the additional unique and specialized position being requested; and
  2. For each additional position requested by the innovative company to Category A, the designated referral partner has confirmed to ESDC that the employer meets at least one of the following benchmarks:
    • Is “high growth” in terms of revenue, as indicated by:
      • Average annualized growth rates in revenue greater than 20% per year, over a three-year period, and with 10 or more employees at the beginning of the period; or
    • Is “high growth” in terms of job creation in Canada, as indicated by:
      • Average annualized growth rates in job creation in Canada greater than 20% per year over a three-year period, and with 10 or more employees at the beginning of the period; and
  3. The annual wage for the additional position being requested by the innovative company under a multiple referral to Category A is at or above $150,000, or an annual salary equivalent to the prevailing wage for that occupation if it is higher than $150,000. There is no flexibility in the application of the wage requirement for additional positions being requested under Category A.

Global Talent Occupations List for Category B of the Global Talent Stream (as of June 12, 2018)

For Category B of the Global Talent Stream, applications will be accepted from firms in Canada that need to hire highly skilled foreign workers for occupations found on ESDC's Global Talent Occupations List, which have been determined to be in-demand and for which there is insufficient domestic labour supply.

Note that applications for positions in occupations that are on the Global Talent Occupations List will not be processed if those occupations are also under refusal to process orders in the Province of Alberta for work locations in that province.

Global Talent Occupations List
National Occupations Classification (NOC) code Occupation Minimum wage requirement (annual salary) Minimum wage requirement (hourly rate)
0211 Engineering managers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
0212 Architecture and science managers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
0213 Computer and information systems managers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
Sub-set of 2161* Mathematicians and statisticians

* Positions for actuaries or related occupations are excluded from this subset.

Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2171 Information systems analysts and consultants Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2172 Database analysts and data administrators Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2173 Software engineers and designers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2175 Web designers and developers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2283 Information systems testing technicians $78,000 or higher prevailing wage

If you are submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion website (French only) for wage floors

$37.50 or higher prevailing wage

If you are submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion website (French only) for wage floors

Sub-set of 5131**

Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game

**The position must require a minimum of three years of experience in the visual effects, video game or animation industries in one or a combination of the following roles: producer, technical director, creative director, artistic director or project manager, senior coordinator, department manager, with three years of job experience in at least one or more of the following skills relevant to the visual effects, video game or animation industries: surfacing and look development; character or simulation rigging; matte painting; managing budgets or teams; or technical pipeline development and application for visual effects, video games, or animation production.

$75,000 or higher prevailing wage

If you are submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion website (French only) for wage floors

$36.06 or higher prevailing wage

If you are submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion website (French only) for wage floors

Sub-set of 5241***

Digital media designers

***The position must require a minimum of three years of job experience in at least one of the following digital media design skills: 3D modeling, compositing, paint and roto, layout and match move, digital environment and Matte painting, texture, lighting shading, character effects, effects and simulations, design and scenario, rigging, user interface or user experience, responsive design (for gaming), virtual reality, augmented reality, digital media animation, levels editing for digital media design, software editing for digital media design, pipeline software development or applications relevant for digital media design

$80,000 or higher prevailing wage

If you are submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion website (French only) for wage floors

$38.46 or higher prevailing wage

If you are submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion website (French only) for wage floors

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