Highly skilled workers are an integral part of a thriving economy. They contribute to job creation, skills development, and training. But they’re just not easy to come by. That’s why when Canadian employers can’t find the skills they need locally, they consult the Global Talent Stream (GTS) to recruit highly skilled foreign workers in specialized occupations such as engineering and tech-related fields. To top it off, these workers can obtain Canadian work permits in as little as two weeks through the GTS!
What is the Global Talent Stream (GTS)?
The GTS is a Global Skills Strategy introduced in 2017. The stream allows Canadian employers to expedite the hiring of foreign workers to fill specialized occupations when Canadians or permanent residents aren’t available for specific roles. According to data released in June 2019, within the first two years, nearly 40,000 foreign workers came to Canada through the GTS. And more than 1,100 Canadian employers have used the stream to recruit talented workers from abroad.
How Do You Apply For the GTS?
Step 1: Assess your Skills and Check if you Qualify
It’s important to understand that you can’t directly apply to the GTS, only Canadian employers can. They apply to the GTS to become designated and to obtain labour market impact assessments so that they may hire eligible foreign workers. The first step is to check if you qualify as a highly skilled worker according to the criteria listed in Category A and Category B below.
Step 2: Secure a Job offer and Land a Job
You must obtain a job offer from an employer in Canada who qualifies for the GTS under Category A or Category B.
Step 3: Make the Application: Canadian Work Permit
You need to prepare a work permit application that includes your job offer letter and a copy of the LMIA given to you by your employer. You will also need a police clearance certificate and a medical exam.
When submitted, your work permit application will be processed in as little as 10 business days and soon you’ll be working in Canada! Your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children can also qualify for expedited visa processing when they apply for a work permit, study permit, or visitor visa.
Innovative employers, on the other hand, must qualify to hire foreign workers through one of two GTS Categories that meets their hiring needs. The employer must fill in an application with information regarding their company, the foreign worker they wish to hire, as well as the job offer, including details about compensation and benefits.
Labour Market Benefits Plan
The Global Talent Stream is part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program which means that all employers applying to the GTS for the first time must also submit a Labour Market Benefits Plan demonstrating how they will benefit the Canadian labour market by hiring a highly skilled foreign worker. The application processing fee is $1,000 per foreign national.
How Does the GTS Work?
The GTS is divided into two categories. The categories describe the type of foreign workers employers can hire, the expected wages to be paid, and depending on the category chosen, employers may need to get a referral from a GTS designated partner.
Category A - Designated Partner Referral
For this category, Canadian employers must be referred by one of the GTS designated partner organizations,, and be hiring unique and specialized talent. What is considered unique and specialized talent? Foreign workers hired must demonstrate advanced knowledge of the industry through either a postgraduate degree in a specialized area or at least five years of experience in a specialized position plus they must be paid a minimum of CAD $80,000 per year (or higher if the annual prevailing salary for the occupation is above this level).
|Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency|
|BC Tech Association|
|Burlington Economic Development Corporation|
|Business Development Bank of Canada|
|Canadian Economic Development for Quebec Regions|
|Cape Breton Partnership|
|City of Brampton|
|City of Hamilton's Economic Development Office|
|City of Mississauga|
|Council of Canadian Innovators|
|Economic Development Winnipeg|
|Edmonton Economic Development|
|Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario|
|Global Affairs Canada's Trade Commissioner Service|
|Government of Alberta, Alberta Labour|
|Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology|
|Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Education and Training|
|Government of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Business Inc.|
|Government of Ontario, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration – Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program|
|Government of Ontario, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration – Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program|
|Government of Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade – Ontario Investment Office|
|Government of Prince Edward Island, Island Investment Development Inc.|
|Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of the Economy|
|Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada - Accelerated Growth Service|
|Invest in Canada|
|Kingston Economic Development Corporation|
|London Economic Development Corporation|
|MaRS Discovery District|
|National Research Council - Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)|
|Regional Municipality of Niagara|
|Regional Municipality of York|
|Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership|
|Town of Oakville|
|Vancouver Economic Commission|
|Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation|
|WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation|
|As of July 2020|
Once an employer finds an eligible candidate whom they wish to hire they must then find a designated referral partner to vouch for them by consulting the list above and contact those most relevant to their industry. The designated referral partner will check to see if the employer has a focus on innovation and is capable of growing and expanding.
Category B - In Demand Occupations
For this category, Canadian employers can hire a highly skilled foreign in an occupation that features on the Global Talent Occupation List. The worker must earn a salary equal to or above the prevailing wage rate for the job position.
|Occupation||Minimum wage requirement (annual salary)||Minimum wage requirement (hourly rate)|
|Computer and information systems managers||Prevailing wage||Prevailing wage|
|Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)||Prevailing wage||Prevailing wage|
Mathematicians and statisticians
* Positions for actuaries or related occupations are excluded from this subset.
|Prevailing wage||Prevailing wage|
|Information systems analysts and consultants||Prevailing wage||Prevailing wage|
|Database analysts and data administrators||Prevailing wage||Prevailing wage|
|Software engineers and designers||Prevailing wage||Prevailing wage|
|Computer programmers and interactive media developers||Prevailing wage||Prevailing wage|
|Web designers and developers||Prevailing wage||Prevailing wage|
|Computer network technicians||$82,000 or higher prevailing wage||$39.42 or higher prevailing wage|
|Information systems testing technicians||$80,000 or higher prevailing wage||$38.46 or higher prevailing wage|
|Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager –
Visual effects and video game
**The position must require a minimum of 3 years of experience in the visual effects, video game or animation industries in 1 or a combination of the following roles: producer, technical director, creative director, artistic director or project manager, senior coordinator, department manager, with 3 years of job experience in at least 1 or more of the following skills relevant to the visual effects, video game or animation industries: surfacing and look development; character or simulation rigging; matte painting; managing budgets or teams; or technical pipeline development and application for visual effects, video games, or animation production.
|$78,000 or higher prevailing wage||$37.50 or higher prevailing wage|
Digital media designers
***The position must require a minimum of 3 years of job experience in at least 1 of the following digital media design skills: 3D modeling, compositing, paint and roto, layout and match move, digital environment and Matte painting, texture, lighting shading, character effects, effects and simulations, design and scenario, rigging, user interface or user experience, responsive design (for gaming), virtual reality, augmented reality, digital media animation, levels editing for digital media design, software editing for digital media design, pipeline software development or applications relevant for digital media design.
|$80,000 or higher prevailing wage||$38.46 or higher prevailing wage|
Benefits of Working in Canada as a Skilled Worker
Canada makes it much easier, and faster for skilled foreign workers to obtain work permits and permanently settle in the country through visa programs like the GTS and Express Entry because Canada understands the value of bringing talented workers to the country. Working in Canada through the GTS also means your family gets to benefit from easy access to work and study permits.
It’s also in your best interest as a skilled worker to be recruited through the GTS program so that you can earn the highest prevailing wage rate for your job position. And we have to mention that Canada is the dream destination for tech professionals and outdoor enthusiasts alike. With the beautiful natural surroundings and plenty of incredible activities to choose from, you’ll have the perfect work-life balance.
What’s the next step?
Both foreign workers and Canadian employers benefit from the Global Talent Stream (GTS). Workers get to make the most of the incredible economic opportunities in Canada and pave the way to a permanent future in the country. At the same time, employers gain the advanced skills their businesses need to remain globally competitive.
Get professional help and guidance with your Global Talent Stream (GTS) work permit application, or if you’re a Canadian employer, let us guide you through the LMIA application process so that you can easily hire a skilled worker in no time.
What is the GTS process in Canada?
Especially when Canadians aren't available for these particular tasks, the Global Talent Stream is an immigration program that makes it simpler for Canadian firms to engage foreign employees for specialized vocations. Canada's response to an economy in desperate need of highly trained personnel was GTS.
Is an LMIA required for a GTS?
For employers recruiting foreign workers through the GTS, they are required to work with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan. Candidates for the GTS must have a favorable Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA application and associated costs must be covered by the employer.
How do I get a GTS work permit?
Follow the step-by-step process in the application form, which you can find online:
- Section 1: Global Talent eligibility
- Section 2: Employer business information
- Section 3: Employer contact information
- Section 4: Third-party information
- Section 5: Job offer details
- Section 6: Compensation and benefits
- Section 7: Work location
- Section 8: Labour Market Benefits
- Section 9: Mandatory Labour Market Benefit
- Section 10: Complementary labour market benefits
- Section 11: Signatures and declarations
Make sure to fill in your Processing fee payment form and Temporary Foreign Worker information template