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All About the Global Talent Stream

The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is an immigration program that was introduced in June 2017 as a two-year pilot program that later became permanent in 2019. The program is jointly managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as well as Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

It was implemented to allow Canadian employers who are facing labour shortages the ability to hire highly skilled and specialized workers from different countries in order to fill specific occupation roles when there are no Canadians available to fill them. It is an expedited process, which means employers can bring over foreign workers in a faster, time-efficient process. How fast, you ask? Generally, applications can get processed within 2 weeks of filing your application.

The Role of the Global Talent Stream on the Canadian Job Market

This program gives Canadian businesses access to top talent all around the world. It connects employers with highly educated and talented individuals looking to settle in Canada. Employers can fill empty roles in a particular industry and at the same time, contribute to workplace diversity in the nation.

There are many reasons why hiring skilled workers from out of Canada is beneficial but most importantly, it allows Canadian businesses to grow, innovate and expand at a much quicker rate. By processing work permits within 2 weeks to hire skilled workers for Canadian businesses, the country is able to remain competitive against others in the global market, such as the US which remains a highly sought-after destination for Tech Talent.

Quick Processing Times

There is no doubt that Canada is facing a shortage in labor and is in dire need of highly skilled workers to help their local businesses grow and expand. Speeding up the process to bring over temporary foreign workers to deal with this shortage is essential for the Canadian economy to keep up with the global market, as well as the growing technology industry. Even more so, the industry is expected to continue expanding at an even faster rate.

To keep up with the demand for growth, development, and innovation in the country and around the world, Canada needs access to workers that are able to contribute with their talent and skills. Speeding up the application process to average about 10 business days allows employers to keep growing at a rapid pace and remain competitive against others in the global market.


Before you start the process of applying, make sure the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is accepting applications for the particular occupational role you are looking to hire a temporary foreign worker. Also, make sure the individual is eligible and meets the necessary requirements for the TFW Program.

If you are a Canadian employer and looking to hire a foreign national through the GTS program, to be eligible you must fit one of two categories:

1. Category A: Designated Partner Referral

  • You may be eligible if you have been referred to the Global Talent Stream by one of Global Talent Stream’s designated partners and you are looking to fill a position that requires unique and specialized talent. The designated partner must be satisfied and validate that you are seeking to fill a unique and specialized position that will help your company grow and expand. To find a referral, check out the list of designated partners to find a partner in your particular industry. 

What is a unique and specialized position?
A designated partner will determine if the position you are looking to fill with a foreign national is a unique and specialized position by considering whether:

  • Wages for the position is CAD $80,000 annual base salary or higher if the occupation’s annual prevailing wage is above this amount, and
  • The position requires the employee to have advanced knowledge of the particular industry, and
  • The position requires an advanced degree in a specialized area and/or a minimum of 5 years experience working in a specialized position.

 2. Category B: In-Demand Occupation

  • You may be eligible if you are looking to fill a position that is on the Global Talent Occupations List. Note: The salary for the position must be equal to or above the prevailing wage for the position in the industry.

To apply for Category B, employers must be looking to fill a position found on the Global Talent Occupations List. Some examples of occupations include software engineers, web designers, and developers, computer network technicians, database analysts, mathematicians, statisticians, etc.

Similar Requirements between Category A and Category B

  1. First-time appliers are required to develop a Labour Market Plan to show a commitment to growing their business and contribute positively to the Canadian labour market
  2. All employers are required to pay a processing fee of CAD $1000 per foreign worker when applying for the program
  3. All employers are required to submit documentation proving the legitimacy of their business

Legitimacy of Business

When applying to the GTS Program, you will be asked to submit documents, including your Labour Market Impact Assessment application and other supporting documents to confirm that your business has had no issues in the past with compliance, is able to fulfill all the terms of the job offer, is providing goods or services in Canada, and is offering employment that is consistent with the needs of your business.

Note: You may not be required to prove the legitimacy of your business if you have received a positive LMIA decision in the past two years and your most recent LMIA decision was positive.

What is an LMIA?

Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) are issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to determine whether any Canadian workers are able to fill available job roles before hiring a temporary foreign worker to fill the role. To be successful in your assessment, there must be a need for a temporary foreign worker.

Where can I get a Labour Market Impact Assessment?
The process depends on the type of program you are hiring through. Assessments are conducted through Employment and Social Development Canada, which is otherwise known as Service Canada.

Labour Market Benefits Plan
If you are an employer applying to GTS for the first time, you must submit a plan outlining how the Canadian labour market would benefit by hiring highly skilled and specialized workers as part of your local business.

In your plan, the commitments you make are separated into mandatory and complimentary benefits. For mandatory benefits, you must demonstrate the benefits of hiring a skilled worker for your company. More specifically, if you are applying to Category A, you must show how you are committed to creating jobs for Canadians and permanent residents. If you are applying to Category B, you must show how you are committed to increasing skills and training investments for Canadians and permanent residents.

Whether you are applying to Category A or Category B, when creating your plan, you must also show a commitment to achieving a minimum of 2 complimentary benefits with at least 1 activity for each benefit. These benefits cannot be the same as the mandatory benefit explained above. Some examples of complimentary benefits include job creation, investment in skills and training, using best practices in your workplace, etc.

Note: You only have to submit a Labour Market Benefits Plan if you are applying to Global Talent Stream Program for the first time. Once your plan has been approved, you will not have to submit a new Labour Market Benefits Plan each time you apply to hire through the GTS program. However, you may be asked for an update on your commitments made in the Labour Market Benefits Plan.


There is a processing fee of CAD $1,000 for each foreign national you wish to hire.

How do I apply?
To apply, fill out and complete the application form available on the Global Talent Stream website. You will need to provide the employer’s and foreign worker’s information as well as details about the job offer, such as wages and benefits. If this is your first time applying for the program, you are required to submit a Labour Market Benefits Plan. 

1. Complete the Global Talent Stream application form.

  • Section 1: Make sure that the specific occupation for which you choose to hire a foreign worker is accepting applications and figure out if they meet the requirements to be able to participate in the program.

Note: To successfully complete this step, the specific occupation must be listed on the Global Talent Occupations List (Category B) or you must have been referred to the Global Talent Stream by a Global Talent Stream designated partner and are looking to hire an individual with unique and specialized talent (Category A).

  • Section 2: Employer’s business information
  • Section 3: Employer’s contact information
  • Section 4: Third-party information (if applicable)
  • Section 5: Job offer details
  • Section 6: Compensation and benefits
  • Section 7: Work location
  • Section 8: Labour Market Benefits
  • Section 9: Mandatory Labour Market Benefit
  • Section 10: Complementary labour market benefits
  • Section 11: Signatures and declarations

2. Put together your complete Global Talent Stream application package that includes:

  • Global Talent Stream application form (EMP5624)
  • Annex 1 Additional Occupation (EMP5625) (if applicable)
  • Proof of business legitimacy

3. Pay the processing fee and submit the application package via the Data Gateway web portal

I am currently a temporary worker, can I apply for this program?

If you are a temporary worker, you should apply for a work permit, if you haven’t already. Unfortunately, you won't be able to apply for the GTS program directly. What you can do is to apply for a job with a Canadian employer who is part of the program or eligible to join the program.

It is the employer’s responsibility to apply for the program once you have been offered employment and meet all necessary requirements. As part of the application, the employer is required to do a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Once the employer successfully applies and receives a positive LMIA result, you will be able to apply for a work permit through the program.

Global Talent Stream -> Permanent Residency

Yes, a positive LMIA awards 50 points to those applying for permanent residency through the Express Entry system if they are in one of the jobs under this program as they are all considered skilled work. It is considered a valid offer of employment. If you are a temporary worker and want to permanently settle in Canada, this could improve your score in the points system to be considered for permanent residency.

A Final Word

The Global Talent Stream is an exceptional program and a great example of how the government can meet the needs of the private sector while responding promptly to the realities of in-demand industries. The tech industry, in particular, is very competitive and real talent is in demand which is why the Canadian government has responded with this program.

Should you have any questions about this or anything Immigration-related, please reach out to the Second Passport team, as we would love to make sure that you get the proper information related to your situation.

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