Canada is quickly gaining a reputation of becoming a hub for attracting global talent. This year, the country was actually named as the number one destination for global talent — great news for Canadian firms amidst a worldwide talent shortage. Why? Because Canada’s exceptional immigration programs and business-friendly laws allow businesses to attract, retain and relocate some of the best international talent possible.

That’s where the Global Talent Stream comes in. It’s Canada’s response to the drastic need for highly-skilled workers — a gap businesses like yours are likely feeling. The Global Talent Stream has attracted tens of thousands of highly skilled workers in occupations ranging from software engineering and computer programming to system analysis.

If you’re a business struggling to recruit and hire skilled Canadian workers, continue reading to learn more about the Global Talent Stream, the nuances associated with this program and how you can successfully relocate talent to Canada.

What is the Global Talent Stream?

The Global Talent Stream is an immigration strategy that allows Canadian organizations like yours to expedite the hiring of international workers. This allows you to fill specialized job roles if Canadian citizens aren’t available.

The most impressive part? Working with the right partner ensures Global Talent Stream work permit applications can be processed in as little as two weeks. The speed makes it arguably the single fastest way for you to fill skill gaps and hire workers who want a new life in Canada.

To dive into the specifics, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) processes Global Talent Stream applications. It’s a collection of work permits to help bring these newcomers to Canada on temporary work permits to fill skill gaps. The focus is on specialized occupations, so those in the tech-related field tend to receive priority.

Canada needs this program. Immigration is critical to the economy so Canadian businesses can fill countless open vacancies and remain competitive in the global market. So, if you’re a Canadian business that quickly needs to fill expert, specialized tech-based positions with highly-skilled experience, the Global Talent Stream is for you.

How does the Global Talent Stream work?

Every TFWP stream uses something called a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This document determines if you can hire foreign workers or not and assess whether a Canadian citizen can fill the vacant role first, rather than hiring from abroad.

If you receive a negative LMIA, it suggests a Canadian is skilled and experienced enough to take up the position you’re advertising. If you receive a positive LMIA, it highlights that there’s no available Canadian talent to take up that role — essentially giving you the green light to go ahead and hire a skilled foreign worker.

Typically, the LMIA application process takes months end-to-end when you consider the preparation, submission and review process. However, the Global talent Stream streamlines this and removes multiple steps, which is why it can take a couple of weeks for it to process. This speed benefits companies like yours massively, as it means you can fill skill gaps quicker by reducing the time to hire and remain competitive in the global market.

Who is eligible and what type of talent can you bring over?

As expected, there are some hurdles to overcome. For your business to be eligible for the Global Talent Stream program, you need to fit into one of two categories.

Category A — Designated Partner Referral

For your business to be eligible in this criteria, a Global Talent Stream partner needs to refer you. You also need to be hiring for specialized, unique talent. You’ll need to contact a referral partner depending on the one most relevant to your industry or hire someone who has advanced knowledge.

Some examples of designated partners who can help include:

  • BC Tech Association
  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • Business Development Bank of Canada

The list can go on. The easiest way to break this down is your region will have a designated partner. If you’re struggling, you can get in touch with up to help you figure it out. When you find one that’s a good fit, ask them to refer you to the program so you can open that particular pipeline to global tech talent.

When you speak to one of these designated referral partners or someone with advanced knowledge, they’ll determine whether you meet the required eligibility criteria. The criteria includes:

  • Your business must operate in Canada
  • Your business must have a big focus on innovation
  • Your business must be willing and capable of growing and scaling up
  • Your business must be seeking to fill specialized, unique positions
  • Your business must have identified a suitable, qualified foreign worker to possibly hire in that specialized, unique position

Suppose you’re looking for a category A tech worker, such as relocating developers to Canada. In that case, you’re looking for someone with an advanced degree or industry knowledge in the required specialism, they have a minimum of five years experience in the field and you’ll offer a salary of $80,000+.

The reason companies like yours search for foreign workers is because, in Canada, there are literally only a handful of people who know how to do the niche skill you’re lacking. They’re likely to be happy in their role and won’t move. 

That’s why the Global Talent Stream is available, so you can avoid wasting time trying to recruit workers who aren’t interested and tap into more relevant global markets.

If this applies to you, we can help. Click here for more information on completing the paperwork correctly. We also have a video you can watch below.

Category B — In-Demand Occupation

The second eligibility category determines whether your business is hiring to fill a position listed on the Global Talent Occupations List. This list is full of highly-skilled, in-demand positions. Not only that, but the position you’re trying to fill also need to offer a salary above or equal to the prevailing wage for the job role.

Software developers, computer engineers and teams of tech roles — this is where category B is most relevant. According to the Canadian government, to be eligible in this category, you need to look for highly-skilled international workers to fill vacancies in the occupations listed below.

National Occupations Classification (NOC) code Occupation
0213 Computer and information systems managers
2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
2172 Database analysts and data administrators
2173 Software engineers and designers
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175 Web designers and developers
2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
2283 Information systems testing technicians
Sub-set of 5241 Digital Media and Design


Once your eligibility is confirmed for one of the two categories, you can proceed with your Global Talent Stream application. You can fill this application out online, by mail or by fax. You also need to submit your business details, the job offer, compensation employee information, benefits and more.

If it’s your first Global Talent Stream application, you’ll need to submit a Labour Market Benefits Plan. This will demonstrate how your business will benefit by hiring a highly-skilled foreign worker and you need to highlight at least one mandatory benefit.

If it’s a category A eligibility, you need to include how you’ll increase job opportunities for Canadians. If it’s a category B eligibility, you’ll need to show you’ll improve training investment and skills for Canadian citizens.

What else?

As expected, there are some associated costs with the Global Talent Stream and relocating workers to Canada. For every foreign national you want to hire, you’ll need to pay a CAD $1,000 processing fee.

It takes roughly 10 business days to process a Global Talent Stream application. Once successful, you’ll receive the LMIA, enabling the international worker to apply for a work permit.

Getting started

If you’re ready to apply to the Global Talent Stream, here are the steps you need to follow.

  • Step 1: Pick your candidate or apply without a candidate in mind
  • Step 2: Fill out the relevant forms to apply for your candidate and pay the $1,000 processing fee
  • Step 3: Submit the paperwork
  • Step 4: Work with Services Canada to finish the application
  • Step 5: The candidate can apply for a work permit once the LMIA is approved

For an in-depth breakdown of what’s involved in each of these steps, you can read our Global Talent Stream application blog here. It covers everything from medical examinations to interviews and more.

Final thoughts

On the surface, it sounds like a lot of red tape to overcome. As someone in HR, you don’t need to tackle this alone. If you’re confused about what to do, VanHack can simplify the process. Global Talent Stream forms part of our service package, where our in-house immigration consultants will help you throughout the process.

We also make it effortless to find the best, vetted candidates from all over the world to help you fill your vacant tech positions — within hours. This includes setting up interviews so that you can hire faster.

Think of us as an extension of your HR team. We have an innovative platform, the expertise, vetted candidates and know the going rates for tech professionals in regions all over Canada, so get in touch today to find out more.