The Global Talent Stream (GTS) has contributed to more than 40,000 workers coming to Canada to work in numerous tech roles, such as software engineers, computer engineers, web designers, digital media, and design, since its establishment three years ago.
The GTS allows these foreign skilled workers to obtain a Canadian work permit within just two (2) weeks after obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) approval, which also takes about Ten (10) days.
Like with other work permits applications under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), employers are required to lodge an LMIA application.
However, employers are not mandated to advertise the requirements usually associated with an LMIA (usually, an employer is required to show the government they advertised for a vacancy and were not able to find a Canadian or permanent resident to do the job).
The Global Talent Stream may prove to become more appealing after the U.S. decided to block new work visas for the best part of 2020.
The U.S. work visa suspension includes the H1-B visa, a popular visa for talented individuals looking for employment in tech and other speciality occupations.
On the contrary, Canada’s reputation for being welcoming extends to talented individuals in speciality occupations. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel and immigration worldwide, the Global Talent Stream remains open.
How Global Talent Stream works?
There are two classes or categories under the GTS: Category A and Category B. Both categories help Canadian employers hire highly skilled talent abroad.
Under Category A, Canadian employers must be referred by designated referral partners (or a Quebec partner for employers in Quebec).
A designated referral partner must show that the employer operates in Canada, focusing on innovations, is willing to grow and has identified a qualified temporary foreign worker to hire.
In addition, the position must be specialized and unique. This means that the candidate must:
- be offered a minimum of $80,000 annual base salary
- Have adequate knowledge of the industry
- Possesses an advanced degree in an area that is of interest to the employer
- Have a minimum of five (5) years of experience in the field.
Under Category B, the employer must be recruiting to fill one of twelve occupations highlighted below, with their corresponding National Occupational Classifications (NOC) codes.
- Computer and information systems manager (NOC 0213)
- Computer engineers (NOC 2147)
- Mathematicians and statistician (Subset of NOC 2161)
- Information systems analyst and consultants (NOC 2171)
- Database analyst and data administrators (NOC 2172)
- Software engineer and designers (NOC 2173)
- Computer programmer and interactive media developers (NOC 2174)
- Web designers and developers (NOC 2175)
- Computer Network technicians (NOC 2281)
- Information system testing technicians (NOC 2283)
- Producers, technical, creative and artistic director and project managers – Visual effects and video games (Subset of NOC 5131)
- Digital Media and Designs (Subset of NOC 5241)
Furthermore, the salary of the position must be equivalent to the occupation’s prevailing wage or higher.
Does Canada Value Talent?
Canada indeed values talent. Canada seems to have an opportunity to become a leader in technology and innovation post-COVID-19.
The Global Talent Stream provides freedom for Canada to achieve this and roar louder.
Following the recent announcement by Trump’s administration as regards H-1B visa closure, many highly talented individuals, as well as employers, may consider Canada as a better option.
Another major benefit for such talent is Canada also offers them a defined route to permanent residence. In a given year, some sixty (60) per cent of the over 300,000 people who obtain Canadian immigration are economic class immigrants, many of whom are technology workers.
If they qualify for an Express Entry program, GTS workers can obtain Canadian permanent residence within six (6) months or less.