2023 is on track to be a record year for immigration into Canada, according to the plans of the Canadian Government. The 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan accounts for increasing levels of immigration into Canada over the next three years. Further, the Canadian Government has recently been focusing on immigration growth as the world moves towards a new normal following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Recently, Canada has been introducing several new immigration programs and expanding its existing programs to help the country meet its immigration goals. In late December 2022, Canada’s Global Talent Stream was expanded as Employment and Social Development Canada made a policy change that will allow a more diverse group of immigrants, who possess experience in various fields, to come to Canada.

What is the Global Talent Stream?

Canada’s Global Talent Stream is a program designed to help employers hire highly skilled foreign workers quickly and efficiently. The program is part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which allows employers to temporarily hire foreign workers to fill shortages in the domestic labour market. The Global Talent Stream program is designed to streamline the process for employers to hire skilled workers in designated occupations, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematic sectors.

Under the Global Talent Stream program, eligible employers can apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment exemption, allowing them to hire foreign workers without needing to undergo a standard Labour Market Impact Assessment. Eligible employers can hire foreign workers more quickly and with less paperwork than they would otherwise have to.

Employee and Employer Eligibility for the Program

To be eligible for the Global Talent Stream program, employers must meet certain criteria, which include demonstrating that they have a genuine need for the foreign worker and that they have made efforts to recruit Canadians for the position before trying to hire foreign workers. In addition, foreign workers must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible to apply for the program. These requirements include having a job offer from a Canadian employer and possessing a post-secondary degree or equivalent work experience. 

A further benefit to both workers and employers of the Global Talent Stream is that foreign workers can be eligible for expedited processing of their work permit applications which can take as little as two weeks. 

Employers must pay $1,000 for each position they request as part of the Global Talent Stream. The funds are used to cover the cost of processing each application and cannot be paid by the temporary foreign workers who are part of the program. Employers who have not employed a temporary foreign worker in the past six years are subject to review prior to gaining access to the Global Talent Stream. 

Global Talent Stream Expansion

On December 22, 2022, the Global Talent Stream was expanded as five more occupations were added to the list of eligible occupations in the program, bringing the total number of eligible occupations under the Global Talent Stream to 17. The five new occupations include:

  • civil engineer;
  • electrical and electronics engineer;
  • mining engineer;
  • aerospace engineer; and 
  • computer engineer. 

There is a small caveat relating to computer engineers, as those who are software engineers and designers are not included as part of the eligibility under the Global Talent Stream. All of these occupations have their own code under the 2021 National Occupational Classification in order to differentiate between the different types of engineers that are being added to the Global Talent Stream. 

Expansion is Reaction to Canadian Labour Market Shortages

This expansion of the Global Talent Stream comes from Canada’s reaction to the labour market needs and shortages. The expansion of the Global Talent Stream at the end of 2022 seems to be a specific response to a shortage of engineers in Canada. 

Accompanying the program expansion is the new maximum employment length for which employees are eligible to work. The Global Talent Stream used to allow for a maximum duration of employment of two years, however, the employment duration has been amended to allow for a maximum of three years. 

Ongoing Review of Immigration Programs

The Global Talent Stream is a program that is reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of Canadian employers and the labour market. While Canada continues to grapple with the ongoing labour shortages, it is likely that additional policies will be promulgated in 2023 that allow foreign workers to come to Canada on expedited terms.

Contact Garson Immigration Law for Assistance with Coming to Canada, or Hiring Foreign Workers

Garson Immigration Law is a firm exclusively dedicated to the practice of immigration law. We work with clients to develop effective solutions for unique circumstances. Our immigration lawyers have a wealth of experience to draw upon when advising potential applicants on immigration to Canada, or helping Canadian employers mitigate risk and ensure compliance with national law when hiring foreign workers. If you have any questions about your immigration application or are an employer interested in hiring foreign workers, reach out to us online or call our office at 416-321-2860 to speak with a member of our team.

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