Everything You Need to Know About Canada's Global Talent Stream

May 2, 2023


  • Wesley Allan

Canada has always been known for its openness to immigration and continues attracting top talent worldwide. One of the ways it does this is through the Global Talent Stream (GTS), a program designed to help Canadian employers access highly skilled global talent to fill critical skill gaps and enhance their workforce.

This article will discuss "what is GTS," its objectives, eligibility criteria, occupation list, processing time, and application process. By the end of this article, you will better understand how to unlock the potential of international expertise through GTS Canada.

Understanding GTS Canada: What is GTS?

Understanding GTS Canada: What is GTS?

The GTS Canada is a part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary labor and skill shortages through work permits. Here is our full breakdown of the Canadian Work permit system to help you better understand. Launched in 2017, GTS aims to provide a faster and more efficient process for companies to bring in highly skilled talent worldwide. This program offers several benefits to both employers and foreign workers, including expedited processing times, work permit exemptions, and access to a dedicated service channel.

The GTS is divided into two categories: Category A, which targets high-growth companies that can demonstrate a need for unique and specialized foreign talent, and Category B, which focuses on employers seeking to fill in-demand occupations listed on the Global Talent Occupations List. By providing a streamlined process for hiring international expertise, GTS Canada helps Canadian businesses remain competitive in the global market, foster innovation, and create more jobs for Canadians.

What is the Primary Objective of GTS Canada?

The primary objective of the Global Talent Stream is to support Canadian businesses in accessing highly skilled international talent that may not be readily available within the country. By facilitating the recruitment of global expertise, GTS Canada aims to help companies grow, innovate, and create more jobs for Canadians.

The program offers employers and foreign workers several benefits to achieve these objectives. For employers, GTS Canada provides a streamlined application process and faster processing times, enabling them to quickly bring foreign talent on board. They also receive access to a dedicated service channel, which offers personalized assistance throughout the hiring process. For foreign workers, the program offers work permit exemptions for short-term work and the possibility of obtaining an open work permit for accompanying spouses or common-law partners, allowing them to work for any employer in Canada.

In addition to these benefits, GTS Canada also requires employers to develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan (LMBP) in partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This plan outlines the employer's commitment to activities that will positively impact the Canadian labor market, such as job creation, skills and training investments, and knowledge transfer to Canadian workers. Through this requirement, GTS Canada ensures that the program addresses immediate skill gaps and contributes to the long-term growth and development of the Canadian workforce.

Eligibility Criteria for the Global Talent Stream

Eligibility Criteria for the Global Talent Stream

To be eligible for the Global Talent Stream, employers must meet specific criteria depending on the category in which they apply.

For Category A, employers must be referred by one of GTS Canada's designated partners, which include organizations such as the Business Development Bank of Canada, the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, and the Council of Canadian Innovators. Furthermore, they must demonstrate that their company operates in a high-growth sector, focuses on innovation, and faces a unique and specialized talent need.

For Category B, employers must seek to fill an in-demand occupation listed on the Global Talent Occupations List, which is regularly updated to reflect labor market needs. They must also demonstrate that hiring a foreign worker will significantly benefit the Canadian labor market or that the position requires unique and specialized skills that are not readily available in Canada. In both categories, employers must pay the foreign worker at least the prevailing wage for the occupation, as determined by ESDC.

On the other hand, foreign workers must meet the requirements for the occupation they are being hired for, which may include education, work experience, and language proficiency. They must also obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from ESDC, which confirms that there is a need for foreign workers and that no Canadian worker is available to fill the position.

The Global Talent Jobs List is a key component of Category B of GTS Canada. It features a list of high-demand occupations that face a labor shortage in the Canadian market. The list is regularly updated based on the performance of labor market information, stakeholder consultations, and the program.

The list of Global Talent Stream Jobs is as follows:

National Occupations Classification (NOC) code 2021 Occupation
20012 Computer and information systems managers
21300 Civil engineers
21310 Electrical and electronics engineers
21330 Mining engineers
21390 Aerospace engineers
21311 Computer engineers
21210 Mathematicians and statisticians
21211/ 21220/ 21221/ 21222/ 21233 Information systems analysts and consultants
21211/ 21223 Database analysts and data administrators
21231/ 21211 Software engineers and designers
21230/ 21232/ 21234 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
21233/ 21234 Web designers and developers
22310 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
22220 Computer network and web technicians
22222 Information systems testing technicians
51120 Producer, technical, creative, and artistic director, and project manager – Visual effects and video game
52120 Digital media designers

If you are unsure if you or your employer are eligible for GTS Canada, one of the best ways to ensure your eligibility is to get a complete evaluation by a certified immigration professional like a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). An RCIC can help you determine your eligibility, prepare your application, and ensure it is complete and accurate. They can also keep you up to date with the latest policy changes and provide ongoing support throughout the application process.

Global Talent Stream Processing Time and Application Process

Global Talent Stream Processing Time and Application Process

One of the main advantages of GTS Canada is the expedited processing times. The program aims to process applications within ten business days, significantly faster than the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. GTS Canada uses a streamlined application process to maintain these Global Talent Stream processing times, including submitting an LMIA application and the required supporting documentation.

To apply for GTS Canada, employers must follow these steps:

Step 1: Determine Eligibility

Employers should first ensure they are eligible under either Category A  or B.

Step 2: Consult a designated referral partner (Category A only)

Employers under Category A must obtain a referral from one designated referral partner to access the Global Talent Stream.

Step 3: Prepare a Labour Market Benefits Plan (LMBP)

Employers in both categories must develop an LMBP outlining their commitment to activities benefiting the Canadian labor market.

Step 4: Review Prevailing Wage Requirements

Employers must ensure they offer the prevailing occupation wage, as determined by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Step 5: Gather Required Documents

Employers should gather all necessary documents, including a completed application form, proof of business legitimacy, and evidence of recruitment efforts (Category B only).

Complete the GTS application form: Employers must fill out the application form specific to their category, either IMM 5810 (Category A) or IMM 5800 (Category B).

Step 6: Pay the Application Fee

The processing fee for the Global Talent Stream is CAD 1,000 per position.

Step 7: Apply

Employers should submit the completed application form, supporting documents, and LMBP to Service Canada.

Step 8: Wait for the Processing

The Global Talent Stream Processing time is typically two weeks, making it one of the fastest immigration pathways for eligible workers. Learn more about the Canadian government's processing times here.

Step 9: Obtain a positive LMIA

If the application is approved, employers will receive a positive LMIA, which allows them to extend a job offer to the foreign worker. The foreign worker can then apply for a work permit using the LMIA.


Can a Foreign Worker Apply Directly for the Global Talent Stream?

No, the Global Talent Stream is an employer-driven program, meaning it is the employer's responsibility to apply on behalf of the foreign worker. The foreign worker can only apply for a work permit once the employer has obtained a positive LMIA through the program.

How Long Is the Work Permit Valid Under the Global Talent Stream?

The work permit issued under GTS Canada is generally valid for up to two years. However, the actual duration of the work permit may vary depending on factors such as the employer's needs, the foreign worker's circumstances, and the validity of their passport. Once the work permit expires, the foreign worker may be eligible to apply for an extension or a new work permit, depending on their situation.

Fast-Track Your Career with GTS Canada

Fast-Track Your Career with GTS Canada

The Global Talent Stream is a valuable tool for Canadian employers seeking to access highly skilled international expertise. By offering a streamlined application process, expedited processing times, and a focus on in-demand occupations, GTS Canada helps businesses remain competitive, foster innovation, and create more jobs for Canadians. If you are a Canadian employer or a foreign worker interested in leveraging the potential of the Global Talent Stream, it is essential to understand the program's requirements and benefits.

Find out if you can get on the Global talent stream today by contacting a qualified professional like an RCIC who can assess your eligibility, guide you through the application process, and help you navigate the complexities of international hiring. With the right guidance and support, you can unlock the full potential of GTS Canada and elevate your business to new heights of success.