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Changes to Canada’s Global Talent Stream

Background ~ The Liberal government’s Global Skills Strategy was launched in June 2017. The program was designed to help Canadian employers access highly qualified global talent quickly and efficiently. The Global Talent Stream or “GTS’, provides that Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will forego recruitment requirements and expedite processing of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) if the position is a “Category B” Occupation. While GTS also allows for situations where a company has been referred by a designated referral partner because the position requires unique and specialized talent, Category B is my focus here.

Changes ~ This month, ESDC announced changes to the list of occupations included in “Category B” of the GTS:

ESDC added one new occupation to the list:

NOC 2281 – Computer Network Technicians

But, ESDC removed two occupations from the list:

NOC 0211 – Engineering Managers; and

NOC 0212 – Architecture and Science Managers

However, ESDC will allow GTS LMIA applications for Engineering Managers and Architecture and Science Managers to be submitted until August 4, 2019. For employers contemplating the GTS program for these two occupations, it is imperative that you submit the application prior to the August 4, 2019, deadline. After that date, employers must use the regular LMIA process, which requires extensive recruitment and takes considerably longer.

Note that mandatory wage requirements have also been updated for Category B occupations with wage floors.

Processing Timelines ~ Under GTS, LMIA applications are expected to be processed within two (2) weeks and, if the candidate needs to apply for a Work Permit outside of Canada, the Visa Office is also expected to finalize the Work Permit request in two (2) weeks. While recent unofficial reports are that ESDC is not presently meeting its processing target, and results from Visa Offices continue to be inconsistent, the expedited processing is still likely to result in very significant time saving as processing times for regular LMIA applications, have generally been increasing much more dramatically.

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This update has been compiled with the latest available information for the general information of Border Law clients and other interested parties. This Update is not comprehensive and should not be relied upon without appropriate legal advice.


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