Hire temporary workers faster with the Global Skills Strategy

You want to attract top talent to work for your company, and you want a fast and predictable process to do this. To help you get these highly-skilled workers faster, we introduced the Global Skills Strategy. The strategy features faster application processing times, work permit exemptions and enhanced customer service.

Who is eligible for two-week processing

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt workers

LMIA-exempt workers qualify for two-week processing of their work permit application if they meet all of these requirements:

  • they’re applying from outside Canada
  • their job is either skill type 0 (managerial) or skill level A (professional) of the National Occupational Classification
  • you have submitted an offer of employment using the Employer Portal and paid the employer compliance fee.

International Experience Canada applicants are not eligible.

LMIA-required workers

LMIA-required workers qualify for two-week processing if they meet all of these requirements:

  • they’re applying from outside Canada
  • you have a positive LMIA through the Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (this will be on the LMIA decision letter)

Spouses and dependents

Your worker’s spouse, common-law partner and dependent children are also eligible for two-week processing on applications. This applies to applications for a

  • visitor visa
  • work permit
  • study permit

They must submit a complete application and apply at the same time as the worker.

How your worker can get two-week processing

Once the worker has the documents and information they need from you, the worker and their family members must

  • apply online from outside Canada
  • submit a complete application
  • include a medical exam (if needed)
  • include police certificates (if needed)
  • pay the processing fees
  • submit your biometrics results within two weeks of submitting your application (if needed)

To qualify for two-week processing, your worker and their family members (spouse, partner or dependent children) must apply at the same time.

Your worker won’t need to apply for a visa or eTA. We’ll issue the documents they need when we process their work permit application.

Local visa office requirements

Many of our visa offices abroad have specific instructions that you need to follow. Check your local visa office requirements to make sure you are including all required documents with your application.

You can find your local instructions in the application package.

  1. Go to the work permit application.
  2. Select apply online.
  3. Select the country or territory you’re applying from.
  4. Download the country-specific “visa office requirements” from the list of documents, if there are any.

If you don’t see any visa office requirements in the list of documents, then there are no special instructions for your location.

Examples of some requirements that can change depending on location:

Special instructions for LMIA-required applicants

These applicants must also:

  • answer “yes” when asked during the online eligibility check: “Did Employment and Social Development Canada issue your employer’s Labour Market Impact Assessment under the Global Talent Stream?”
  • apply as soon as they receive your LMIA decision letter

Work permit exemptions

Under the strategy, two types of worker do not need work permits for short term work:

  • highly-skilled workers
  • researchers

Highly-skilled workers

These workers must meet both of these requirements:

  • Their job is under skill type 0 (executive, managerial) or skill level A (professional) in the National Occupational Classification
  • They will only work for a short period of time:
    • up to 15 consecutive days, once every six months, or
    • up to 30 consecutive days, once every 12 months


These workers must meet both of these requirements:

  • They will perform research at a Canadian publicly funded degree-granting institution or its affiliated research institution.
  • They will work for one 120-day period in Canada, once every 12 months.

Extending the worker’s stay

These workers must stop working when their exemption ends. To work in Canada again, they have two options:

  • apply for a work permit from outside the country
  • wait until they are eligible to use the short-term work permit exemption again

Waiting time between work permit exemptions

The length of the wait depends on the length of the next exemption your worker wants to use.

After using any of the short-term exemptions, your worker must wait:

  • 6 months until they can use a 15-day exemption
  • 12 months until they can use a 30- or 120-day exemption.

For example, if your worker entered Canada using the 15-day work permit exemption, they will need to wait at least six months before they will be able to use the 15-day exemption again.

Dedicated service channel

We offer a dedicated service channel (DSC) to:

  • employers making a significant investment in Canada
  • universities that support publically-funded research chair holders coming to Canada

The DSC gives you access to an account manager who will:

  • assess your needs
  • answer your questions
  • give you guidance

To be eligible for the DSC, your company must be identified and referred by one of our referral partners. If you’re eligible, the DSC will contact you.

The DSC does not process applications or offer special exemptions from the Labour Market Impact Assessment process.

DSC Referral Partners

This list will be updated regularly as new partners are added.

Referral Partners for the province of Quebec

The Government of Quebec’s Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) designates Referral Partners for the province of Quebec. You can find a list of partners (available in French only) on the MIDI website. Quebec-based companies can use federal partners or MIDI-designated referral partners.

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