Global Talent Stream: Hire high-skilled international workers

Looking for talent today is becoming an international job. The Coronavirus pandemic accelerated an already growing trend of companies building international teams.

Aware of this trend, in 2017, the Canadian government implemented the Global Talent Stream (GTS) as a fast-track option within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

Global Talent Stream

According to the Canadian government, the Global Talent Stream provides a quick, responsive, and predictable service to assist you in gaining access to highly skilled global talent, increase your workforce in Canada, and remain competitive globally.

There are two categories within the GTS, catering to different high-skilled foreign workers. There are fundamental differences between some eligibility requirements of the two categories. However, many general requirements apply to both. Let’s see the similarities and differences.

General GTS Requirements

As the GTS works under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, prospective employers must comply with its requirements to be eligible for processing. The employer must adhere to certain general requirements concerning job duties and working conditions, workplace safety standards, language requirements, and employer compliance with applicable Canadian laws.

1. Processing Fee

There is a processing fee of $1,000 for each position requested under the GTS, which is not refundable. The employer needs to pay the fee and cannot recover it from the temporary foreign worker.

2. Business Legitimacy Assessment

All employers who apply under the TFWP need to go through a business legitimacy examination. The purpose of this assessment is to determine if the job offer exists and if the employer is compliant with it.

Returning employers don’t need to re-submit any documentation if they have had a positive assessment within the past two years. The recommendation is that companies go through the business legitimacy assessment as soon as they know of a potential international recruit if they have not already.

3. Fair wage

When hiring a temporary foreign worker, the employer must offer a wagesimilar to the wages paid to Canadian workers hired for the same job and work locations, possessing similar skills and experience.

4. Labour Market Benefits Plan

The employer is required to develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan, in partnership with the ESDC, which will help the Canadian Government track the benefits made to the Canadian economy through the employment of high-skilled global talent. There are mandatory benefits, complimentary benefits, and activities for each benefit.

The mandatory benefit for Category A is that the employer must commit to creating jobs for Canadians, either directly or indirectly. Under Category B, the mandatory benefit is that the employer must commit to increasing skills and training investments for Canadians.

5. Complementary benefits

There is a requirement for complementary benefits for both categories that cannot be the same as the mandatory benefit. That could include job creation, investment in skills and training, transferring knowledge to Canadians, and enhanced company performance.

On the Plan, there must be an activity laid out for each of the mandatory and complementary benefits. For example, increasing the number of Canadians employed full- or part-time by the employer; providing co-op or internship opportunities for Canadians at the firm; providing direct training to Canadians; and increasing revenue, employment, or investment at the firm.

Category A

To be eligible for Category A, the employer must have been referred to the GTS by one of the stream’s designated partners and hire unique and specialized talent.

Designated referral partners refer to the GTS eligible Canadian companies with whom they have existing relationships. The Canadian company must be legally established in Canada, focus on innovation, have a willingness to grow, and demonstrate a need to hire a unique and specialized foreign worker. You can check the List of Designated Partners for referral to Category A of the GTS at the government website.

Four factors indicate a unique and specialized talent for the GTS:

  1. Advanced knowledge of the industry;
  2. Advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer;
  3. Minimum of five years of experience in the field of specialized experience;
  4. A highly paid position with a salary of usually $80,000 or more.

Since the basis of the program is that there are very few of these unique and specialized individuals globally, innovative firms that seek to hire through Category A of the GTS should be looking at hiring a very limited number of individuals to meet their talent needs.

This means that if a company is seeking a second referral under Category A, ESDC will require confirmation that the employer meets all eligibility criteria and may request further information on the unique and specialized nature of the additional positions solicited by the employer.

Category B

To be eligible for Category B of the GTS, the employer must seek to hire high-skilled foreign workers for occupations outlined by the ESDC in their Global Talent Occupations List.

This list is compiled by the ESDC using occupations currently deemed in-demand by the Canadian government, with insufficient domestic labour supply. The occupations and wage requirements are subject to change.

It is important to note that some foreign individuals are restricted from travelling to Canada because of Covid-19. You can check all the special measures regarding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program on the official government website.

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