Canada to launch new Global Talent Stream

The government of Canada has outlined details of a new Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The new stream, among other initiatives, will establish a two-week standard for processing of work permit applications (and temporary resident visas when applicable) for highly skilled talent. The Global Talent Stream is scheduled to be operational as of 12thJune 2017.

With this initiative, companies in Canada will be able to bring in highly-skilled international workers quickly and efficiently. At this moment, the exact hiring situations that would be eligible for two-week processing times is in development. A Global Talent List of eligible high-demand occupations is being created in consultation with labour market experts and key stakeholders. This list is expected to be publicized in advance of the programme’s launch.

In the wake of an announcement in the US last week, regarding cuts to the country’s H-1B visa programme, the Global Talent Stream could attract many workers who had previously planned to work in the States/

Canada’s tech sector is expected to benefit significantly. Speaking at the announcement of the Global Talent Stream in Toronto on March 9, Benjamin Bergen, Executive Director of the Council of Canadian Innovators, said that “The Global Skills Strategy will help high-growth Canadian technology firms by making it easier and faster to attract and acquire the global talent they need to scale up and compete on the world stage. Canada’s most successful innovators welcome the new two-week turnaround standard for work permit applications, the streamlined process for applications, and the continued efforts of the federal government in supporting Canada’s tech sector.”

Meanwhile, Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, stressed the importance of the new stream

“Canada continues to compete in a global innovation race,” he said. “As technologies become more widely available to everyone, the only competitive edge for countries and businesses is the distinctive talent and creativity of their people. While skilled immigrants are now identifying Canada as a country of choice in which to apply their knowledge and ideas, we also need to prepare our homegrown talent for a rapidly changing job market.”

In addition to the two-week processing time for certain work permits, the government will also create a dedicated service for companies looking to make significant job-creating investments in Canada. Further, the government will allow skilled foreign nationals working in Canada short-term (for instance, 30 days or less in a 12-month period) to work without a work permit. This latter measure will also apply to brief academic stays.

Article published 13th March 2017