If you are thinking about hiring a foreign worker using the Global Talent Stream (GTS), you are not alone as thousands of other employers in Canada have chosen this fast-track route since the program’s inception in 2017. Moreover, with the current immigration ban on foreign workers seeking employment in the U.S, highly skilled foreign workers specializing in IT and STEM-related occupations who depend on work visas are turning to Canada in search of stability and new opportunities. If you would like to learn more about this program, I have answered some of the most frequently asked questions that typically come up on initial client calls:

Who is eligible for the Global Talent Stream?

There are two categories under the GTS, category A and B. You will be eligible for Category A if you have been referred by one of the program’s designated partners (business incubators) and if you are hiring an individual with unique and specialized talent. You will be eligible for Category B if you are seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions within the in-demand occupations found on the Global Talent Occupations List.

How do the processes for Category A and B differ?

Category A:

The foreign worker may only apply for a work permit under Category A if the employer is referred by a GTS designated partner. The partner will weigh factors such as:

Is the employer operational in Canada?
Is the employer focusing on innovation?
Is the worker being hired for a unique and specialized position?
A worker with ‘unique and specialized talent’ is one who:

Has advanced knowledge of an industry, and
Has an advanced educational qualification, and
Has five years of specialized experience in the field, and/or
Has been appointed for annual salary of CAD $80,000 or the prevailing wage for the occupation, whichever is higher.

Category B:

This category focuses on occupations that are “in-demand” in Canada and are lacking a sufficient domestic labor supply. A foreign worker will be eligible under this category if their occupation is listed in the Global Talent Occupation List and their main duties and responsibilities match the relevant NOC, then such worker can apply for the two-week processing work permit under Category B. There are 12 highly demanded occupations listed under this category, with a major focus on tech related occupations such as software engineers and developers, computer system managers, information system consultants, etc.

What is the standard processing time?

Under regular circumstances, foreign workers can expect the LMIA application to be processed within two weeks, and an additional two weeks for the work permit application. It may take longer to process an application if it is incomplete, missing any required documentation or does not include certified translations of documents that are not in English or French.

What are the government fees?

Employers must pay $1,000 for each position requested under GTS to cover the processing costs of the application. It is important to note that the processing fee cannot be paid by nor be recovered from the foreign worker. There will also be a $150 application fee for the work permit.

Can eligible foreign workers bring their family to Canada under GTS?

Yes, as long as the foreign worker along with their spouse, common-law partner or dependent children submit a complete application at the same time.

How has Covid-19 impacted the processing of GTS applications?

Even though the pandemic has posed a number of challenges to Canadian employers and foreign workers, the country’s approach has been to continue to permit foreign workers to enter Canada and as such, applications continue to be accepted and processed, although in some cases there are some processing delays due to the pandemic.

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