CANADA – Government Implements Global Skills Strategy
On 12 June 2017, the Canadian government implemented its Global Skills Strategy (GSS), and provided further details of the two-year pilot program.
Two-week work permit processing is available for certain highly skilled occupations under the Global Talent Stream (GTS) or the International Mobility Program (IMP).
The Global Skills Strategy also encompasses two new work permit exemptions for short-term work.
A foreign worker may qualify for the new two-week work-permit processing standard if:
they are Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt via the International Mobility Program (IMP); and are applying from outside Canada; and the job is employer-specific and either skill type 0 (managerial) or skill level A (professional) of the National Occupation Classification; and the employer has submitted an offer of employment using the Employer Portal and paid the employer compliance fee;
they have a positive LMIA for an employer-specific job which is eligible for two-week processing through the Global Talent Stream.
The worker must apply online, from outside Canada, including a medical exam and biometric fee, and must submit biometrics results within 14 calendar days of the date of application
The spouse/common-law partner and dependents of the worker are also eligible for two-week processing for open work permits. They must apply at the same time as the worker.
Global Talent Stream
A processing fee of CAD1000 must be paid for each position requested under the Global Talent Stream.
An employer may be eligible for Category A of the Global Talent Stream if:
they have been referred to the Global Talent Stream by one of Employment and Social Development Canada's designated partners; and they are hiring "unique and specialized talent".
Unique and specialized talent is indicated by:
Advanced knowledge of the industry; Advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer; AND/OR Minimum of five years of experience in the field of specialized experience; AND A highly-paid position with a salary of usually CAD80,000 or more.
An employer may be eligible for Category B if they are seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations founded on the Global Talent occupations list.
No Minimum Recruitment Requirement
While there is no minimum recruitment requirement for the Global Talent Stream, employers are encouraged to recruit Canadians and permanent residents before offering a job to a temporary foreign worker, and will be asked, as part of their application, to describe any recruitment efforts conducted.
To qualify under the Global Talent Stream, an employer must meet certain criteria related to wages. Foreign workers hired through the GTS must be paid at the prevailing wage or higher.
Labour Market Benefits Plan
Employers intending to hire highly-skilled foreign workers through the Global Talent Stream are required to work with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan that demonstrates their commitment to activities that will have lasting, positive impacts on the Canadian labour market
Commitments within the Labour Market Benefits Plan are divided into mandatory and complementary benefits.
Category A employers are required to commit to creating jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. This job creation may be direct or indirect.
Category B employers are required to commit to increasing investments in skills and training for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
In addition to these mandatory benefits, employers in both categories are required to commit to two complementary benefits, supported by defined activities. Employers will be monitored to ensure compliance with the Labour Market Business Plan, and to evaluate the successes of the GTS.
Work Permit Exemptions
In addition to the foregoing, foreign workers in occupations found in NOC classifications 0 (management positions) or A (typically requiring a university degree), will be permitted to work in Canada for 15 days in any six-month period or for thirty days in any twelve-month period, without the need for a work permit.
Researchers working on projects at publicly-funded degree-granting institutions or affiliated institutions will similarly not require work permits for work of up to 120 days in any 12-month period.
Employers in Canada looking at hiring highly-skilled foreign workers should consult an immigration specialist to check eligibility for expedited work permit processing or a short-term work permit exemption.