The Global Skills Strategy: What Is It All About?

31 August 2017

The Global Skills Visa is a new work stream established by IRCC which allows certain highly-skilled foreign nationals to obtain priority processing with a target of two-weeks to obtain their work permits. This is a new strategy aimed at helping employers get the high-skilled workers they require. The stream delivers three benefits:

  • 80% of work permit applications will be processed within two weeks of submission
  • work permit exemptions will be granted to highly-skilled workers on short-term work assignments - these exemptions will also cover researchers involved in short-term research projects in Canada
  • Provision of a dedicated service channel for companies intent on large job-creating investments in Canada

Eligibility

To be eligible for the two-week processing arrangement, workers must come through one of two ways:

A. They must be exempted from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) by way of the following:

  • workers must apply for the position from outside Canada
  • the position must be employer-specific and must fit one of two skill types, either skill type 0 (managerial) or skill level A (professional) of the National Occupation Classification (NOC); and
  • Also, an offer of employment must be submitted using the Employer Portal and the employer compliance fee must be paid.

B. The second route is for the employee to have a positive LMIA for an employer-specific job which previously indicated eligibility through the Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Spouses and dependents of the worker are also covered as they can apply for the two-weeks processing at the same time the worker is applying.

How It Works

To benefit from the processing arrangement:

  • The employer must submit a letter of offer of employment for the worker through the Employer Portal
  • The worker must apply online from outside of Canada
  • The worker must submit a complete application
  • The worker must identify himself/herself as part of the Global Talent Stream through the Come To Canada tool, if applicable. The information is part of the LMIA
  • The worker must submit at the time of application, if required, medical exam and biometric fee
  • The result of the biometrics must be submitted within 14 calendar days from the date of application.

The Global Skills strategy also allows work permit exemptions for certain categories of workers that meet the specified requirements. This include:

  • workers with occupational skill type 0(executive, managerial) or skill level A (professional) in the NOC
  • workers coming to Canada for a short-term work assignment of 15 days (once every six months) or 30 days (once every twelve months); and
  • researchers coming to perform research at the invitation of a publicly-funded degree granting Canadian post-secondary institution or affiliated research institution can come to Canada for one 120-period, once a year.

A foreign national subject to this exemption is required to obtain a work permit for work or research of a longer duration.

The Dedicated Service Channel (DSC) is another way to benefit from the foreign skill strategy and applies to:

  • employers who are making a significant investment in Canada
  • universities that support publicly-funded research chair holders coming to Canada

To be eligible to access the DSC, a company must be identified and referred by one of the recognized referral partners. For more information on the Global Skills Strategy, click on http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/employers/gss.asp


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