Canada Work Permit: Global Talent Stream

Under the Global Talent Stream, skilled workers can expect their Canada work permits and Canada visa applications processed within two weeks. The program was launched on June 12, 2017, with Quebec unveiling its version of the program on September 11, 2017. GTS forms part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The federal government wants to help high-growth companies bring in the talent they need quickly by cutting processing times for a Canada visa application from six months to just 10 business days.

A key element of the Global Talent Stream is that registered employers will need to commit to creating jobs for Canadians and transferring knowledge to Canadian workers, under a Labour Market Benefits Plan.

The Global Talent Stream is part of a broader Global Skills Strategy to directly help Canadian businesses including start-ups, thrive.

What Are The Key Elements Of The Global Talent Stream?

  • Two-week standard for processing Canada work permit applications (and Canada visa applications when applicable) for highly skilled talent.
  • Dedicated service for companies looking to make significant job-creating investments in Canada.
  • Dropping of the work permit requirement for short-term highly skilled work (30 days or less in a 12-month period), and brief academic stays.
  • Companies applying for workers through the Global Talent Stream will have access to the new streamlined application process that will provide:
    • Client-focused service to help guide eligible employers through the application process and the development of the Labour Market Benefits Plan, with a service standard of 10 business days.
    • Eligibility for workers to have their work permit applications processed in 10 business days.

What Are The Global Talent Stream Requirements?

Category A: List of ESDC Designated Partners as of August 13, 2018

  • Under Global Talent Category A, employers must be referred by one of the following (subject to change)
  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • BC Tech Association
  • Business Development Bank of Canada
  • Canadian Economic Development for Quebec Regions
  • City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Office
  • Communitech Corporation
  • Council of Canadian Innovators
  • Economic Development Winnipeg
  • 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 Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade – 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 Immigration and Career Training – Employer Services Branch
  • Halifax Partnership
  • ICT Association of Manitoba (ICTAM)
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Accelerated Growth Service
  • Invest Ottawa
  • London Economic Development Corporation
  • MaRS Discovery District
  • National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)
  • Privy Council Office, Special Projects Team
  • Vancouver Economic Commission
  • Venn Innovation
  • Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation

Quebec Designated Partners

  • Investissement Quebec
  • Montréal International
  • Québec International
  • L’Association québécoise des technologies

Under Category A, foreign workers must possess a unique and specialized talent to qualify for a Canada work permit, defined as:

  • Advanced knowledge of the industry.
  • Highly paid position with a salary of usually $80,000 or more.


  • Advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer


  • Minimum of five years of experience in the field of specialized experience.

Category B

What Jobs Are Covered By The Global Talent Stream?

For Category B of the Global Talent Stream, employers must hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations found on the following list:

NOC code 2016 NOC code 2021 Occupation Minimum wage requirement (annual salary) Minimum wage requirement (hourly rate)
0213 20012 Computer and information systems managers prevailing wage prevailing wage
2147 21311 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) prevailing wage prevailing wage
Sub-set of 2161* Sub-set of 21210* Mathematicians and statisticians

* Positions for actuaries or related occupations are excluded from this subset.

prevailing wage prevailing wage
2171 21211 – Data scientists

21220 – Cybersecurity specialists

21221 – Business system specialists

21222 – Information systems specialists

21233 – Web designers

Information systems analysts and consultants prevailing wage prevailing wage
2172 21211 – Data scientists

21223 – Database analysts and data administrators

Database analysts and data administrators prevailing wage prevailing wage
2173 21231 – Software engineers and designers

21211 – Data scientists

Software engineers and designers prevailing wage prevailing wage
2174 21230 – Computer systems developers and programmers

21232 – Software developers and programmers

21234 – Web developers and programmers

Computer programmers and interactive media developers prevailing wage prevailing wage
2175 21233 – Web designers

21234 – Web developers and programmers

Web designers and developers prevailing wage prevailing wage
2281 22220 Computer network technician $82,000 or higher prevailing wage $39.42 or higher prevailing wage
2283 22222 Information systems testing technicians $80,000 or higher prevailing wage $38.46 or higher prevailing wage
Sub-set of 5131* Sub-set of 51120* Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game

Position requires a minimum of five years of experience in the visual effects, video game or animation industries in one or a combination of the following roles: producer, technical director, creative director, artistic director or project manager, with experience in at least one 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; 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
Sub-set of 5241* Sub-set of 52120* Digital Media and Design

Position requires a minimum of five years of experience in at least one of the following digital media design skills: 3D modeling, 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

* Quebec sets its own minimum wage floors for applications from within Quebec. Consult the Quebec immigration website for more information

Processing Fee

Non-refundable $1,000 to be paid by the employer.

What is the Labour Market Benefits Plan?

A key requirement for GTS is the Labour Market Benefits Plan (LMBP).

Developed with ESDC, it must show how hiring a foreign worker will help a company either create jobs for or transfer skills to Canadians. It also allows the ESDC to track a company’s progress.

The LMBP features mandatory and complementary benefits.

Under Category A, the mandatory benefit is creating jobs, whether directly or indirectly, for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Under Category B, the mandatory benefit is to increasing skills and training investments for Canadians and permanent residents.

The LMBP must also provide two complementary benefits, which cannot be the same as the mandatory benefit. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Job creation,
  • Investment in skills and training,
  • Transferring knowledge,
  • Enhanced company performance and
  • Implementing best practices or policies as an employer for your workforce.

Global Talent Stream: General Requirements

Business Legitimacy

Employers must provide evidence they are actively engaged in the business needing the temporary worker. The business must provide a good or service related to the job offer.

Employers new to TFWP must submit one document as proof. Returning employers are not required to re-submit documents, but may be asked for additional proof.

Allowable documents include a Canadian business licence, legal incorporation forms, tax documents and attested documents. For a full list, click here.


Employers are encouraged to actively seek to hire Canadians and permanent residents before looking abroad for workers. A description of how this has been done will be requested.


Wages must match the prevailing amount paid to Canadians and permanent residents for the same position.

Job Duties and Working Conditions

Workers hired under TFWP must only do the job they were hired for. Foreign workers are covered by the same laws that protect Canadians and permanent residents. Exploitation of a foreign worker violates Canadian law.

Provincial and territorial laws cover standards such as:

  • Hours of work (including overtime)
  • Compensation
  • Working conditions
  • Termination of employment

Workplace Safety

Foreign workers must be covered by provincial or territorial workplace safety insurance where required by law. Any private plan must match or better the terms of the provincial or territorial plan.

Language Restriction

A job can only require English or French when advertised. If other languages are essential, justification is required at the application stage.

Unionized Positions

For positions covered by a union, the foreign worker must be treated the same as Canadians and permanent residents also covered by that union, in terms of wages and terms and conditions.

Employer Compliance

Employers must comply with all general requirements of the TFWP.

Employers in Quebec

As of September 11, 2017, Quebec employers are able to take full advantage of the Global Talent Stream. The key difference is that Quebec employers must submit their application simultaneously to ESDC and the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion.