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Global Talent Stream (GTS)

Updated: April 26th, 2024

In an increasingly interconnected global economy, the demand for specialized skills knows no borders. The Global Talent Stream offers a streamlined pathway for employers to access the expertise they need, accelerating the hiring process.

This program accelerates hiring and fosters diversity and innovation within Canadian industries. From technology to healthcare, the Global Talent Stream opens doors for skilled professionals to contribute their talents to Canada's thriving workforce.

Learn how the Global Talent Stream (GTS) program streamlines recruiting skilled foreign workers, enabling Canadian businesses to fill crucial talent gaps and remain competitive globally.

What is the Global Talent Stream

What is the Global Talent Stream?

The GTS offers timely, responsive, and predictable client-focused service to make it easier for highly skilled global talent to access and be hired by Canadian employers who want to expand their workforce in Canada and be competitive globally.

GTS is particularly beneficial if you're a highly skilled foreign worker who wants to get hired by innovative businesses in Canada. These innovative businesses must be referred to Service Canada by a designated referral partner. The innovative Canadian you apply to must fulfill a highly skilled, in-demand position on the Global Talent Occupations List.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the Global Talent Stream?

To be eligible to apply for the GTS, ensure your prospective employer meets the requirements outlined below.

Category A Applicants

To apply for the GTS via Category A, you must receive a job offer from an employer referred to the GTS by one of the stream's designated referral partners. The list of designated referral partners for Category A are outlined below.

Regions in Canada Designated Referral Partners
Pan-Canadian Business Development Bank of Canada
Council of Canadian Innovators
Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Accelerated Growth Service
Invest in Canada
National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)
Privy Council Office, Special Projects Team
Western Canada Ignite Fredericton
Venn Innovation
Government of New Brunswick – Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
Cape Breton Partnership
Government of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Business Inc.
Halifax Partnership
Government of Prince Edward Island, Island Investment Development Inc.
Central Canada Burlington Economic Development Corporation
Invest Brampton
Invest in Hamilton
City of Mississauga
Communitech Corporation
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
Government of Ontario, Labour, Training and Skills Development – Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
Government of Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade – Ontario Investment Office
Invest Ottawa
Kingston Economic Development Corporation
London Economic Development Corporation
MaRS Discovery District
Regional Municipality of Niagara
York Region
Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership
Toronto Business Development Centre
Toronto Global
Town of Oakville
Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation
Invest Windsor-Essex
Quebec’s MIFI (French only)
Canadian Economic Development for Quebec regions
Atlantic Canada Calgary Economic Development
Edmonton Metropolitan Region Economic Development Company (Edmonton Global)
Accelerate Okanagan
BC Tech Association
Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Municipal Affairs
Kootenay Association for Science & Technology
Launch Academy
Metro Vancouver Regional District/Invest Vancouver
Vancouver Economic Commission
Venture Kamloops
Economic Development Winnipeg
Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Education and Training
Tech Manitoba
Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment
Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Immigration and Career Training

Category B Applicants

If you're a skilled foreign professional whose occupation is on the global talent occupations list, your application will be processed under Category B. Your employer is not required to have a referral for Category B.

As a Category B GTS applicant, ensure that your prospective employer fulfills the conditions and rules about hiring a temporary foreign worker (TFW) in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

LMIA Processing Fee

Your prospective Canadian employer must have enough money to cover the 1,000 CAD for your position's required Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This LMIA processing fee can be made via

Note that the LMIA processing fee won't be refunded to your prospective employer should they choose to withdraw or cancel their application or if they receive a negative decision. Your employer will receive a refund only if they erroneously collected your fee. As a TFW, you won't be required to pay the LMIA application processing fee.

Applicant Recruitment Fees

Your prospective employer must be able to pay the various fees and costs of recruiting you as a TFW. These costs include but are not limited to

  • Cost of using a third-party representative,
  • Advertising fees,
  • Fees paid by a TFW for assistance with finding or securing employment,
  • Fees paid by an employer for assistance or advice in hiring TFWs.

Note that at the risk of receiving a negative LMIA decision, your employer potential Canadian ensures representatives and organizations recruiting on their behalf don't charge or receive recruitment fees, directly or indirectly, from you.


Recruiters or any representatives recruiting on your behalf must be able to perform the following tasks to be deemed eligible. This includes

  • Finding highly skilled foreign individuals for employment with the Canadian employer or,
  • Assisting other people or organizations to find an individual for employment with the employer, or
  • Refers a TFW to another person who finds or attempts to find highly skilled foreign individuals to fulfill in-demand GTS occupations for Canadian employers.

Note that your prospective Canadian employer is responsible for the actions of people or organizations recruiting on their behalf.

New Canadian Employers

Your prospective Canadian employer must show that they made reasonable efforts to have a work environment and workplace culture free of abuse. Your potential employer in Canada must also not be associated with another ineligible employer to hire TFWs via the Temporary Foreign Work Program (TFWP).

A Canadian workplace free from abuse is categorized as one that includes proactive efforts to prevent workplace abuse and measures taken to stop abuse.

Labor Market Benefits Plan

Your employer, working with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), must develop a Labor Market Benefits Plan (LMBP) that includes a commitment to activities that create lasting, positive impacts on the labor market in Canada.

An LMBP will help your employer identify and track your overall job experience, skills and training, and other activities that help make you suitable to benefit the Canadian economy. Your employer's LMBP commitments will be divided into mandatory and complementary benefits.


To be eligible for a TFW via the GTS, your prospective Canadian employer must offer wages similar to Canadian permanent resident employees hired for the same job, headquartered at the same work location, and have similar skills and years of experience.

For the GTS, the prevailing wage is defined as either:

  • The regional median hourly wage posted on Canada Job Bank,
  • The wage that is within the wage range your potential employer is currently offering their Canada PR employees,
  • Under Category A, for the first two unique and specialized positions under the TFWP per calendar year, the wage is at least 38.46 CAD per hour,
  • Under Category B, employers must offer the hourly wage rate at a minimum for occupations with wage floors.

To determine the wage rate being offered, we'll only consider guaranteed wages, which exclude:

  • Overtime hours,
  • Tips,
  • Benefits,
  • Profit sharing,
  • Bonuses,
  • Commissions, and
  • Other forms of compensation.

Working Conditions And Job Duties

Your potential Canadian employer can hire you through the TFWP only if you can perform duties corresponding to the GTS occupation you were hired for. As a TFW, you will be protected as all workers are in Canada.

Employers must:

  • Pay TFWs for all work (including overtime, where required by law)
  • Provide workplace safety insurance,
  • Offer TFWs the same benefits as other workers, and
  • Not take the TFWs identification.

Health Insurance

To be recruited via the GTS as a highly-skilled TFW, your potential employer must pay for your private health insurance covering your emergency medical care during the period you're not eligible to be covered by Canada's provincial and territorial health insurance system. Note that the ESDC/Service Canada inspector will be charged with reviewing your Canadian employer's policy coverage to ensure that it's not charged back to you.

Workplace Safety

You must ensure that your Canadian employer can cover you via the territorial workplace safety insurance provider as Canadian workplace law requires. Should your Canadian employer's province or territory have legislation that allows them the flexibility to opt for a private insurance plan, they must ensure that:

  • Any private workplace safety plan chosen provides an equal or better level of compensation as offered by a province or territory,
  • The same provider covers all employees on the worksite.

Contact the appropriate provincial or territorial workplace safety authority if you're enquiring about private insurance plan equivalency.

Employment Agreement

Your Canadian employer must commit to providing a completed and signed employment agreement to you on your first day of work should they want to recruit you via the GTS. The employment agreement must include:

  • Information for employment in the same occupation, such as similar wages and working conditions set out in the offer of employment,
  • Be drafted in either English or French as preferred by the TFW and,
  • Be signed by both the employer and the TFW.

Contact the appropriate provincial or territorial workplace safety authority if you're enquiring about private insurance plan equivalency.

Unionized Positions

If you're potential Canadian employer wants to hire you as a TFW under a collective agreement, they must:

  • Offer you the same wage rates as those set out in the collective agreement,
  • Offer the TFWs the same terms and conditions as Canadian and permanent resident workers, and
  • Submit a copy of the collective bargaining agreement section on the wage structure.

Applying for the Global Talent Stream

Your prospective Canadian employer's LMIA application can be submitted up to 6 months before you start your job. You can be recruited to work in Canada via the Global Talent Stream. Your employer can apply online through the LMIA Online Portal or email a PDF application form with an exemption only.

Applying Online

The fastest way to apply is via the LMIA Online Portal. The LMIA Online Portal offers a reliable and secure platform to complete and submit an online application to Service Canada.

To access the LMIA Online Portal, your employer must have a Canada Job Bank account. Below are the steps your employer must follow.

Step 1: Create a Job Bank for Employers Account

It takes about 10 minutes to register and five business days for Job Bank to process a new employer file.

Step 2: Access the LMIA Online Portal

Using their Canada Job Bank employers' credentials, your employer can access the LMIA Online Portal using their account details for authentication.

Step 3: Submit Your Application

Your employer must create and fill out an LMIA application. This includes uploading all required documents that support the legitimacy of their business. For GTS Category A only, your employer must upload the referral forms completed by their designated referral partner.

Applying by Sending a PDF Application Form by Email

If your employer cannot apply through the LMIA Online Portal, they can request an exemption from the LMIA Online Portal application process and a PDF LMIA application form by visiting the LMIA webpage.

If they're applying to fulfill multiple positions simultaneously, including yours, they must complete and submit the Global Talent Stream – Annex 1 Additional Occupation form (EMP5625) instead of completing a separate application for each position. For Category A, your prospective employer in Canada must get a referral form completed by their designated referral partner.

What Can I Expect After Applying For the Global Talent Stream?

After you've applied to be recruited by an eligible Canadian employer via the GTS, you can expect:

  • Your GTS application processed in a service standard of around ten business days starting on the business day after you submitted your application,
  • Service Canada will receive your application, a service standard you can expect to be met around 80% of the time.
  • Personalized, high-touch assistance throughout the assessment process
  • Your work permit application is to be processed in around two weeks by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This service standard is expected to be met 80% of the time.

Positive LMIA

The employer will receive a decision letter confirming the LMIA is positive. Beginning May 1st, 2024, a positive LMIA will be valid for up to 6 months from the day it was issued. Once your employer receives the positive LMIA letter, they must send you a copy of the confirmation letter and the employment contract. You must include your copy of the positive LMIA letter in your permit application, along with the employment contract signed by yourself and your employer.



Can a Foreign Worker Bring Their Family Members to Canada Through the Global Talent Stream?

Yes, foreign workers approved for a work permit through the Global Talent Stream may be eligible to bring their family members to Canada as dependents. However, they must apply for separate visas and meet all eligibility requirements.

What Are the Benefits of Participating in the Global Talent Stream?

Participating in the GTS offers several benefits, including expedited processing times for getting hired as a highly-skilled foreign worker, access to in-demand jobs in Canada, competitive wages, family support, and a pathway to permanent residence in Canada.

Can Foreign Workers Apply for Permanent Residence Through the Canada Global Talent Stream Program?

Yes, foreign workers employed through the Canada Global Talent Stream Program may be eligible to apply for permanent residence under certain immigration pathways, such as the Express Entry system or Provincial Nominee Programs. Meeting specific criteria related to work experience, language proficiency, and education level is essential for qualifying for permanent residency.

Are There Any Restrictions on the Duration of a Work Permit Issued Through the Global Talent Stream?

Yes, there are restrictions on the duration of a work permit issued through the GTS. Work permits granted under this program are typically issued for a maximum duration of up to two years, with the possibility of extension if the employment situation remains unchanged and the worker continues to meet program requirements.

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