Canada – Global Skills Strategy Program Launched

What has changed
The Canadian government has officially launched the Global Skills Strategy program to assist employers in facilitating work permits for highly skilled workers. The two (2) year pilot is designed to help innovative companies recruit the highly specialized and skilled global talent required to expand their ventures in Canada. Please see What to expect for further details.

Who is affected?

  • All clients seeking to employ highly specialized foreign workers
  • Highly specialized foreign workers seeking employment in Canada

What to expect

The new Global Skills Strategy program will facilitate the employment of temporary foreign workers in highly specialized areas, thereby allowing a simpler process and broader categories for the qualification of foreign talent.

The strategy includes three (3) major initiatives. Pending a release of an operations policy and interpretation, the general parameters of the program are:

A.Work Permit Exemption for Certain Workers Travelling on a Short Term Basis

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced new work permit exemptions for workers whose occupation is skill type 0 (executive, managerial) or skill level A (professional) in the National Occupation Classification coming to Canada for a short-term work assignment of:

  • Fifteen (15) consecutive days (once every six (6) months) or
  • Thirty (30) consecutive days (once every twelve (12) months);

The exemption also applies to researchers coming to perform research at the invitation of a publicly-funded degree granting Canadian post-secondary institution or affiliated research institution. These individuals will be able to come to Canada to work on their designated project for one 120 day period. Any foreign workers required to travel more than the noted durations will still require a work permit.

B.Global Talent Stream

In partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), employers can make a Labor Market Benefit Plan (LMBP) application which will outline the employer’s measurable commitments to create lasting benefits for the Canadian labor market through activities such as job creation, investment-in-training and skills development, or the transfer of knowledge to Canadians through the employment of foreign talent. In order to qualify for the program, employers must full over under one of the two sub-categories:

I. Category A: Firms in Canada that are referred to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program’s Global Talent Stream by an Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Designated Partner. This particular category is for firms that have innovative, high-growth/potential, and have been referred to the Global Talent Stream by a Designated Partner, looking to hire unique and specialized talent who have advanced knowledge of the industry. The foreign talent should have an advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer; and/or minimum five (5) years of experience in the field of specialized experience. This should also be a highly paid position with a salary of $80,000 or more. These firms must also demonstrate a commitment to creating jobs, either directly or indirectly, for Canadians and permanent residents through the employment of foreign talent.

II. Category B:  Employers in Canada that need to hire foreign workers for highly skilled in-demand occupations found on ESDC’s Global Talent Occupations List where there is insufficient domestic labor supply. These firms must demonstrate a commitment to increasing skills and training investments for Canadians and permanent residents through the employment of foreign talent. The list of occupations includes:

National Occupations Classification (NOC) code Occupation Minimum wage requirement (annual salary) Minimum wage requirement (hourly rate)
0213 Computer and information systems managers not applicable not applicable
2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) not applicable not applicable
2171 Information systems analysts and consultants not applicable not applicable
2172 Database analysts and data administrators not applicable not applicable
2173 Software engineers and designers not applicable not applicable
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers not applicable not applicable
2175 Web designers and developers $81,000 $38.94
2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians $78,000 $37.50
2283 Information systems testing technicians $80,000 $38.46


Please note, although there is no minimum wage indicated on the above chart, temporary foreign workers are still required to receive a salary that meets prevailing wage requirements. In addition, under the Global Talent Stream, employers will not be required to demonstrate recruitment efforts in order to qualify for the program.

C. Dedicated Service Channel (DSC)

Employers who are making a significant job-creating investment in Canada, or universities and research institutions, will have access to a DSC account manager who will assess needs, answer questions, and provide guidance. To be eligible to access the DSC, employers must be identified and referred by identified referral partners.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.