Program requirements for the Global Talent Stream

Job Bank wage update

Job Bank wages are updated every year in the fall. The 2023 update took place on November 29, 2023.

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Eligibility

You may be eligible for Category A of the Global Talent Stream (GTS) if you’ve been referred to the GTS by one of the stream's designated referral partners and if you’re hiring an individual with unique and specialized talent to help your business scale up and grow.

If the requested occupation is included on the global talent occupations list, it’ll be processed as a Category B application and must meet Category B requirements.

Or

You may be eligible for Category B of the GTS if you’re seeking to hire highly skilled temporary foreign workers (TFWs) to fill positions in in-demand occupations found on the global talent occupations list. A referral isn’t required to be eligible for Category B.

As an employer applying through the GTS, you must comply with the program requirements for the GTS. 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 TFW.

The TFW Program (TFWP) has measures in place to verify and ensure employer 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 to cover the cost of processing your Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application.

Recruitment fees

There may be a variety of fees and costs incurred in the process of recruiting TFWs, including but not limited to:

As an employer, you must confirm and ensure that you or anybody recruiting on your behalf doesn’t charge or recover any recruitment fees, directly or indirectly, from the TFWs. Failure to do so will result in a negative LMIA decision.

Third-party representatives

Use of a third-party representative

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

You mustn’t recover the costs for the services of a paid representative from the TFW. The third-party representative also cannot demand or recover the processing fee or other costs related to recruiting from the TFW.

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 (LMBP) as it will include commitments that are employer-specific.

We won’t 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 TFWP to hire a TFW. 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:

Unpaid third-party representatives

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

Recruiters

A recruiter or anybody recruiting for the employer is someone who:

Some provinces and territories have specific requirements for recruiters and recruitment activities. It’s your responsibility to ensure you comply with those requirements. As an employer, you’re also responsible for the actions of anyone who recruits on your behalf.

New employers

Employers who haven’t employed a TFW in the past 6 years prior to submitting a LMIA application will be subject to a review. The employer must demonstrate that they made reasonable efforts to provide a workplace that’s free of abuse and that they weren’t an affiliate of an employer who is ineligible for the TFWP or in default of any amount payable in respect of an administrative monetary penalty.

A workplace that’s free of abuse includes

  1. proactive efforts made to prevent workplace abuse
  2. reactive measures taken to stop abuse

An affiliate includes an employer that’s controlled by another employer

  1. 2 employers that are under common control, or
  2. employers that aren’t operated at arm’s length

Business legitimacy

All employers applying to the TFWP must supply documents along with their LMIA application, including a GTS application, to demonstrate that their business and job offer are legitimate.

Labour Market Benefits Plan

You’re required to work with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to develop an LMBP that demonstrates your commitment to activities that will have lasting, positive impacts on the Canadian labour market.

An LMBP will help you and the Government of Canada identify and track your overall job creation, skills and training investments and other activities that will benefit the Canadian economy through your employment of highly skilled global talent.

The commitments in your LMBP will be divided into mandatory and complementary benefits.

If you’ve been referred by one of the GTS’s designated referral partners and are seeking to hire unique and specialized talent (Category A), you must commit to creating jobs for Canadians and permanent residents as your mandatory benefit.

If you’re an employer in Canada seeking to hire highly skilled TFWs 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 LMBP, you must also commit to achieving a minimum of 2 complementary benefits in the plan with at least 1 activity for each benefit. The complementary benefits identified by an employer in their LMBP cannot be the same as the mandatory benefit.

Complementary benefits could include, but aren’t 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.

If you’re applying for positions in both Category A and Category B, you must commit to 1 activity as part of the job creation benefit and 1 activity as part of the investments in skills and training benefit, as well as at least 2 complementary benefits.

Activities to support mandatory and complementary benefits outlined in an employer’s LMBP could include, but aren’t limited to:

ESDC will work with you to complete the LMBP during the GTS application process.

Note:

The GTS encourages employers to commit to “Increase Diversity in the Workplace” through their LMBP.

In today’s global market, supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce is key.

  • It increases innovation and helps businesses attract and retain the best global talent
  • It also ensures that all Canadians have equal access to opportunities

Employers who have already committed to “Increase Diversity in the Workplace” have performed a variety of activities. For example, they’ve:

  • developed recruiting plans to target people from underrepresented groups
  • participated in professional development events for underrepresented groups
  • created groups within their organizations related to diversity and/or underrepresented groups

Consult the applicant guide for more ways to support an “Increase Diversity in the Workplace” commitment in your LMBP.

If you already have an approved LMBP and are submitting another application to the GTS for additional positions, you won’t have to submit a new LMBP; however, updates or additions to your existing LMBP may be required.

As part of this review, you could be asked to provide an update on your commitments to date in the LMBP. You could also be asked to amend or expand existing commitments to reflect your request for additional positions. This will help ensure that returning employers to the GTS continue to provide positive lasting benefits for Canadian workers. Note that a decision by a returning employer not to amend their LMBP on request by ESDC officials could result in a negative assessment for the additional requested position(s).

If you anticipate applying to the GTS for multiple TFWs over a 12-month period, an LMBP can be developed based on the forecasted number of positions to be requested, provided that the commitments made in your LMBP reflect the additional positions sought. If you and ESDC officials agree to use this model, you likely won’t have to update your LMBP each time you return to the GTS until your forecast has been met. Note that this applies only to the LMBP element of the application process, as you’re still required to submit an application each time you wish to access the GTS.

As noted under the processing fee section, processing fees for an application won’t be refunded in the event of withdrawal or a negative assessment, or for choosing to go through a different TFWP stream.

Progress reviews

Progress reviews of your LMBP are separate and distinct from measures to ensure your compliance as an employer with the requirements and conditions of hiring a TFW.

Progress reviews of your LMBP will be conducted by ESDC on an annual basis to assess how well you’re meeting the employer-specific commitments detailed in your LMBP. The annual reviews are your opportunity to report on the progress that your company is making in creating lasting, positive impacts on the Canadian labour market.

Your cooperation and responsiveness with ESDC in regard to scheduling and conducting these progress reviews (including providing supporting documentation) is important to ensuring your continued eligibility for the GTS.

If you don’t make reasonable efforts to meet your LMBP commitments, or complete your progress review within the requested timeframe, you’ll likely receive a negative decision on future applications to the GTS for a period of 2 years. The 2-year period, during which applications to the GTS would generally result in a negative decision, is to begin on the date that the employer is evaluated as having made unreasonable efforts on their LMBP. This progress review assessment of your LMBPs won’t impact your access to other program streams.

Note that you’ll be accountable for the benefits committed to in your employer-specific LMBP even if a TFW whom you hired for a position under the GTS becomes a permanent resident of Canada while working in your organization.

The first progress review of your LMBP will be scheduled approximately 1 year after you sign your LMBP. The review date for your first progress review doesn’t change even if you make amendments to your LMBP through subsequent GTS applications for additional TFWs. The review date also doesn’t change depending on when the TFW is issued a work permit.

Recruitment and advertisement

While there is no minimum recruitment requirement for the GTS, you’re encouraged to recruit Canadians and permanent residents before offering a job to a TFW. You’ll be asked, as part of your application, to describe any recruitment efforts conducted.

Wages

Wages offered to TFWs 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 GTS, you must pay the prevailing wage, which is defined as the highest of either:

To determine the median wage on Job Bank:

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’ll only consider guaranteed wages, which exclude:

Employers who hire TFWs for unionized positions must offer the same wage rates and forms of compensation as those established under the collective agreement.

Hiring in the province of Quebec

If you’re hiring a TFW in the province of Quebec, consult Quebec’s Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) website (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.

Employers offering a wage that’s below the prevailing wage rate will be considered as not meeting the labour market factor for the assessment of wages. Therefore, they’ll receive a negative LMIA.

Prevailing wage reviews

For LMIA applications submitted as of January 1, 2024, employers are required to update the wages of TFWs to reflect the prevailing wage. This wage review, as part of the LMIA and employment agreement, ensures that TFWs are paid the prevailing wage at the start of and throughout their employment period.

Regardless of the wage indicated on the LMIA application, employers are required to reassess and apply the prevailing wage at the beginning of a TFW’s period of employment. The prevailing wage must be reviewed annually using updated wages posted on Job Bank (if applicable). Because Job Bank wages are updated yearly in the fall, employers have until January 1 of the following year to do their review.

The updated wage can never go below the wage identified in the positive LMIA at any time during a TFW’s employment period, even if the prevailing wage decreases.

If you’re hiring TFWs in Quebec, consult the wage table provided by the MIFI (French only).

Employers who don’t update wages accordingly may be subject to sanctions under the TFW Program’s employer compliance regime including administrative monetary penalties and bans from using the program.

You don’t need to report a wage modification to Service Canada if it meets the prevailing wage. Consult Modification to a positive LMIA to determine when a change requires contacting the Employer Contact Centre or submitting a new LMIA application.

Job duties and working conditions

The TFWs you hired through the TFWP must only perform duties that correspond to the occupation they were hired for.

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

Employers must:

Employment in most occupations is covered under provincial or territorial legislation that deals with labour and employment standards, such as hours of work, working conditions and termination of employment. In fact, every province or territory has a Ministry of Labour that can provide information to assist employers and TFWs with questions or issues related to work.

Note: Some employers are federally regulated and, therefore, are covered by the employment standards under the Canada Labour Code.

Health insurance

In applicable provinces/territories, you must obtain and pay for private health insurance that covers emergency medical care for any period during which the TFW isn’t covered by the applicable provincial/territorial health insurance system.

The coverage the employer purchases must correspond with the TFWs’ first day of work in Canada and the costs mustn’t be recovered from the TFWs.

During an employer inspection, an ESDC/Service Canada inspector will look at the policy coverage to make sure that it hasn’t been charged back to the worker, and that it covers at minimum the costs of basic emergency health care for sudden illness or injuries during the period the TFW isn’t covered by the provincial/territorial health insurance. Some private insurance companies offer more comprehensive plans, but ESDC will accept a basic plan so long as it ensures that the TFW won’t have to pay for medical care if they become sick or have an accident while working in Canada.

To demonstrate compliance, the employer must be able to show proof of payment for suitable private health insurance for each TFW, as well as the terms of the policy coverage (for example, the details of what is covered).

Workplace safety

You must always ensure that the TFWs you want to hire under the TFWP 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:

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

The coverage you purchased must correspond with the TFWs' first day of work in Canada and the costs mustn’t be recovered from the TFWs.

Employment agreement

Although a copy of the employment agreement isn’t required at the time of LMIA submission, you must commit to providing a completed and signed employment agreement to each TFW on or before their first day of work with you. An employment agreement must:

Employers can develop and use their own employment agreement as long as it contains all the necessary information. You can also use the employment agreement template.

Employers must maintain complete employment records that fully document compliance with the employment agreement throughout the duration of the employment.

For positions in Quebec, visit the MIFI website (French only) for specific requirements regarding the employment contract.

Language of work

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.

Positions with no language requirement

There may be rare cases where an offer of employment doesn’t require any language for the TFW.

If there’s no language required for the job, you must provide more details on the application, including:

Examples of reasonable measures are:

Unionized positions

If you’re applying to hire TFWs for positions covered under a collective agreement, you must:

The hiring of TFWs mustn’t affect current nor foreseeable labour disputes at the workplace. During LMIA assessment, if it is determined that hiring TFWs is likely to adversely affect the course, the outcome or the settlement of any labour dispute, you’ll receive a negative LMIA decision.

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 TFWP requirements for the position you’re requesting. Learn about employer compliance and the possible consequences of non-compliance. The progress reviews of your LMBP under the GTS are separate and distinct from these employer compliance measures.

List of designated referral partners for Category A (as of January 2024)

For Category A of the GTS, employers must be referred by one of the stream’s designated referral partners. The role of designated referral partners listed below is to refer innovative Canadian companies with whom they’re able to vouch for in terms of legitimacy and eligibility for Category A.

Pan-Canadian

Atlantic Canada

New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island

Central Canada

Ontario
Quebec

Western Canada

Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
Northwest Territories
Saskatchewan

Applications to Category A must be accompanied by a referral form completed by a designated referral partner vouching for the employer’s legitimacy and eligibility for Category A of the stream. Applications submitted to Category A without a referral form will be considered incomplete and won’t be processed.

Eligibility for Category A

For Category A of the GTS, an innovative company must be referred by 1 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:

A unique and specialized position is indicated by:

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, 1 or 2 positions per year) 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 GTS.

In certain exceptional circumstances, ESDC may consider accepting more than 2 referrals for an innovative company per calendar year (resetting on January 1) to Category A provided the company has been successful in meeting its LMBP commitments to date under the GTS. The circumstances under which multiple referrals to Category A (in other words, more than 2 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. the annual wage for the additional position being requested by the innovative company under Category A per calendar year is at least $72.11 per hour ($150,000 annual base salary), or equivalent to the prevailing wage for that occupation if it’s higher. Employers must offer the equivalent of both the hourly wage rate and annual base salary at minimum. 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 (updated December 2022)

For Category B of the GTS, applications will be accepted from firms in Canada that need to hire highly skilled TFWs for occupations found on ESDC's global talent occupations list, which have been determined to be in-demand and for which there’s insufficient domestic labour supply.

For occupations with wage floors, employers must offer the hourly wage rate at minimum. Annual wage floors are provided for illustrative purposes only .

Global talent occupations list
NOC code 2011 NOC code 2021 Occupation For illustrative purposes only

Minimum wage requirement (annual salary)
Minimum wage requirement (hourly rate)
0213 20012 Computer and information systems managers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2131 21300 Civil engineers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2133 21310 Electrical and electronics engineers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2143 21330 Mining engineers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2146 21390 Aerospace engineers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2147 21311 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
Sub-set of 2161* Sub-set of 21210* Mathematicians and statisticians *Positions for actuaries or related occupations are excluded from this subset. Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2171 21211 – Data scientists

21220 – Cybersecurity specialists

21221 – Business system specialists

21222 – Information systems specialists

21233 – Web designers
Information systems analysts and consultants Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2172 21211 – Data scientists

21223 – Database analysts and data administrators
Database analysts and data administrators Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2173 21231 – Software engineers and designers

21211 – Data scientists
Software engineers and designers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2174 21230 – Computer systems developers and programmers

21232 – Software developers and programmers

21234 – Web developers and programmers
Computer programmers and interactive media developers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2175 21233 – Web designers

21234 – Web developers and programmers
Web designers and developers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2241 22310 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians $86,000 or higher prevailing wage

If you’re submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult the MIFI website (French only) for wage floors
$41.35 or higher prevailing wage

If you’re submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult the MIFI website (French only) for wage floors
2281 22220 Computer network technicians
(NOC 2021 occupation: Computer network and web technicians)
$85,000 or higher prevailing wage

If you’re submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult the MIFI website (French only) for wage floors
$40.87 or higher prevailing wage

If you’re submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult the MIFI website (French only) for wage floors
2283 22222 Information systems testing technicians $85,000 or higher prevailing wage

If you’re submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult the MIFI website (French only) for wage floors
$41.03 or higher prevailing wage

If you’re submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult the MIFI website (French only) for wage floors
Sub-set of 5131** Sub-set of 51120** Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game **The position must require a minimum of 3 years of experience in the visual effects, video game or animation industries in 1 or a combination of the following roles: producer, technical director, creative director, artistic director or project manager, senior coordinator, department manager, with 3 years of job experience in at least 1 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. $85,000 or higher prevailing wage

If you’re submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult the MIFI website (French only) for wage floors
$40.87 or higher prevailing wage

If you’re submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult the MIFI website (French only) for wage floors
Sub-set of 5241*** Sub-set of 52120*** Digital media designers ***The position must require a minimum of 3 years of job experience in at least 1 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’re submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult the MIFI website (French only) for wage floors
$38.46 or higher prevailing wage

If you’re submitting an application from the province of Quebec, consult the MIFI website (French only) for wage floors

Note: Due to the TFWP’s migration to NOC 2021, the published global talent occupation list will display NOC 2011 codes and NOC 2021 codes. Some NOC codes are duplicated in this table as a result of the NOC migration.

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