On June 12th, the Canadian government finally released its much anticipated plans for the Global Skills Strategy initiative, among them, the guidelines for the Global Talent Stream, which will significantly affect the way in which certain employers are able to access high skilled, foreign talent.

Two Week Processing Time for Certain Work Permit Applications

Work Permit applications under the International Mobility Program filed outside of Canada via an online process, will be eligible for two-week processing provided the role falls under NOC 0 or A.

In addition, those applications flagged under the Global Talent Stream will also be eligible for two-week processing at the visa office, in addition to a 10 day service standard for the actual Global Talent Stream application processed by Economic and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

There are two categories under the Global Talent Stream which employers may qualify for.

Category A: Referral by a Designated Partner

As of June 12th, the following Designated Partners have been identified as those that will be able to refer innovative firms with whom they have an existing relationship:

  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • BC Tech Association
  • Business Development Bank of Canada
  • Communitech Corporation
  • Council of Canadian Innovators
  • Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service
  • ICT Manitoba (ICTAM)
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Accelerated Growth Service
  • MaRS Discovery District
  • National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program
  • Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
  • Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth
  • VENN Innovation

This list will be updated periodically.

Category B: Global Talent Occupations List

To qualify under Category B, employers must identify high-skilled foreign talent in one of the following occupations:

Global Talent Occupations List
National Occupations Classification (NOC) code Occupation Minimum wage requirement (annual salary) Minimum wage requirement (hourly rate)
0213 Computer and information systems managers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2171 Information systems analysts and consultants Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2172 Database analysts and data administrators Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2173 Software engineers and designers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2175 Web designers and developers Prevailing wage Prevailing wage
2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians $81,000 or higher prevailing wage $38.94 or higher prevailing wage
2283 Information systems testing technicians $78,000 or higher prevailing wage $37.50 or higher prevailing wage
Sub-set of 5241* Digital media designers (the position must meet minimum skills and experience requirements) $80,000 or higher prevailing wage $38.46 or higher prevailing wage

Work Permit Exemptions


  • A work permit exemption for high-skilled workers, applicable to all NOC 0 and A workers. Eligible workers will be allowed a 15-day work permit-exempt stay in Canada in a six-month period, or a 30-day work permit-exempt stay in a 12 month period.
  • In addition, researchers coming to Canada will be permitted one 120-day work-permit exempt stay in a 12 month period, provided they are working on a research project at a publicly-funded degree-granting institution or affiliated research institution.


Contact us today to find out how you can take advantage of the new Global Skills Strategy program.

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