Canada: The Global Talent Stream: 5 Practical Learnings About The Latest Immigration Star

Last Updated: May 29 2018
Article by David Nurse

The Global Talent Stream is the central pillar of the Government of Canada's recently launched Global Skills Strategy: an immigration program designed to help high-growth, innovative businesses bring unique and specialized global talent to Canada in a timely manner. And while it's only nine months old, the Global Talent Stream appears to have legs as an effective program that will help many Canadian companies attract and retain global talent. Here's a preview of the Global Talent Stream program and five practical learnings (so far) about how the federal government is implementing it.

The Global Talent Stream Program

The Global Talent Stream offers Canadian employers yet another immigration path to recruit foreign nationals, joining the growing cast of immigration programs that includes (among others) Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker and Trades Programs, the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFWP) and International Mobility Programs and treaty-related routes (like NAFTA). Canadian companies can take advantage of the Global Talent Stream by submitting an application via one of the program's two categories. Applications will receive a prioritized standard of service from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and benefit from an expedited 10-business day processing time.

Category A. Category A applicants must be referred to ESDC by a "designated referral partner" and must demonstrate to ESDC that unique and specialized foreign talent is required for their business to scale-up and grow.

  • Designated Referral Partners. As of March 21, 2018, the federal government has designated 26 organizations across Canada as referral partners:

    • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA, based in Moncton, New Brunswick).
    • BC Tech Association.
    • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).
    • Canadian Economic Development for Quebec Regions.
    • City of Hamilton's Economic Development Office.
    • Communitech Corporation (based in Ontario).
    • Council of Canadian Innovators.
    • 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 Prince Edward Island, Island Investment Development Inc. (IIDI).
    • Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of the Economy.
    • Halifax Regional Business and Community Economic Development Association.
    • 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).
    • Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
    • Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth.
    • Privy Council Office, Special Projects Team.
    • Vancouver Economic Commission.
    • Venn Innovation (based in Moncton, New Brunswick).
  • Unique & specialized talent. ESDC will consider a foreign national to have unique and specialized talent if they have all of:

    • Advanced knowledge of the industry in which the employer seeks to hire the foreign national.
    • An advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer and / or a minimum of five years of experience in the field of specialized experience.
    • A highly paid position with a salary usually of $80,000.00 or more.

Category B. Category B of the Global Talent Stream is intended to assist Canadian companies fill in-demand, highly skilled positions on ESDC's Global Talent Occupations List, which have been determined to be in-demand and for which there is insufficient domestic labour. As of March 28, 2018 the list contains the following occupations (by National Occupation Classification or "NOC"):

  • 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 electronic engineering technologists and technicians
  • 2283 Information systems testing technicians
  • Sub-set of 5131 Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – visual effects and video game
  • Sub-set of 5241 Digital media designers

Labour Market Benefits Plan. Applicants under both Category A and Category B must work with ESDC to develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan. These plans must contain firm commitments by companies to take measures that will benefit the Canadian labour market. Companies must make both mandatory and complementary commitments.

  • Firm Commitments. Category A applicants must commit to creating jobs, either directly or indirectly, for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Category B applicants, on the other hand, must commit to increasing skills and training investments for Canadians and permanent residents.
  • Complementary Commitments. Applicants under both Categories must also make two complementary commitments that could include (but aren't limited to) job creation, investment in skills and training, transferring knowledge to Canadians and permanent residents, enhanced company performance and implementing best practices or policies as an employer.

Compliance Reviews. After ESDC has approved the Labour Market Benefit Plan, it can conduct compliance reviews every six months to ensure the applicant is meeting its Labour Market Benefits Plan commitments.

Wages. In addition to commitments they make in the plans, companies must pay wages to the foreign workers that are similar to wages paid to Canadians and permanent residents who share the same job, skills, work location and experience.

5 Key Learnings

Here are five practical key learnings about how the federal government is implementing the Global Talent Stream based on our experience working with the program.

1. The designated referral partners have discretion over what applicants they refer to Category A.

By requiring Category A applicants be referred by a designated referral partner, the federal government is effectively relying on them – and giving them the discretion – to pick the right type of companies to participate in the Global Talent Stream program. However, ESDC has given each designated referral partner written guidance on the type of companies to refer to the program, and instructed them to consider such criteria as the company's income, growth over the past several years, and whether they are in high-growth sectors or doing innovative work.

2.You need an established relationship with a designated referral partner to play in Category A.

The practical result of the referral requirement, combined with ESDC's expectation that the designated referral partners have direct knowledge of the referred companies and their businesses, is that an applicant must have an established relationship with a designated referral partner before seeking referral to the program. This is fantastic for companies already interacting with the designated referral partners: they are already insiders. But it also means that Category A is effectively a closed program, open only to companies with an already-existing relationship with a designated referral partner. The moral: get to know your local designated referral partner before – not after – you apply for the program.

3.The Category A assessment process has two phases – and is time-consuming.

For a standard Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) outside of the Global Talent Stream, one ESDC officer is normally assigned to the file. But inside the Global Talent Stream, and specifically Category A applications, it appears there are two officers assigned and two distinct assessment phases. The first officer's role seems to be to confirm the completeness of the application, while the second officer undertakes a comprehensive review of the application to determine if it meets program requirements and engages directly with the applicant on the Labour Market Benefits Plan. The applicant's lead should be well-briefed on the LMIA application and the proposed Labour Market Benefits Plan and prepared to spend several hours working with ESDC to finalize the plan. Our experience is the ESDC officer assessing the application will take an hour or more to review the Labour Market Benefits Plan with the applicant, and many of the questions are very in-depth and involve specific human resources practices and the commitments the company will be making to support the plan.

4. Canadian recruitment requirements are (likely) reduced, but some effort is still (likely) required.

The Global Talent Stream documentation doesn't expressly specify the recruitment requirements that applicants must have made before eligibility as either Category A or B applicants. But despite this we think ESDC still expects applicants to have made reasonable efforts to locate a suitable Canadian before applying and to have documented these efforts – and might refuse an application if it hasn't. The program guidelines state, "While there is no minimum recruitment requirement for the Global Talent Stream, you are encouraged to recruit Canadians and permanent residents before offering a job to a temporary foreign worker. You will be asked, as part of your application to describe any recruitment efforts conducted."

5. Category A companies are entering into a long-term relationship with ESDC.

The successful applicant's human resources manager or program lead should closely track progress on the Labour Market Benefits Plan and be prepared to provide regular updates. The Global Talent Stream contemplates that Category A companies will have regular six-month follow-up calls with ESDC to review and track progress on the Labour Market Benefits Plan. This means not only that employers must pay close attention to their Labour Market Benefits Plan and document efforts to achieve it, but also that they are truly entering into a long term partnership with ESDC. Unlike a typical LMIA application where for many applicants contact with ESDC ends with approval (unless they are selected for review/audit), participants in the Global Talent Stream Category A will have regular contact with ESDC for several years.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions