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Work In canada



Securing employment in Canada is one of the fastest ways to enter Canada and obtain permanent residents. The Government of Canada has created special programs, such as the Global Talent Stream, to expedite tech workers’ entry and allow youth to apply to enter Canada for temporary work in Canada through the International Experience Class.  However, in most cases, a Canadian employer will first have to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment in order for the foreign worker to be able to apply for a Canadian work permit. Other provinces have skilled worker programs where foreign workers working in Canada or who have received a job offer can apply to the province to be nominated for Canadian permanent residency. 




In most circumstances, a Canadian employer that wishes to hire and pay a temporary foreign worker (TFW) in Canada must first apply and be approved for what is known as a “positive” Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA is a document submitted to Employment and Social Development Canada that evaluates the Canadian labor market and rationalizes the need to hire a foreign worker while simultaneously ensuring a “neutral” or positive” impact on the current Canadian labor market. The challenge with the LMIA is the mandatory requirement for employers to go through an exhaustive effort – through job postings and advertisements – to prove to the government that a local Canadian cannot fill the role based on the job requirements and salary range


In order to address Canada’s continued labor shortage in various sectors of the economy, specifically in IT, in June 2017, the Federal Government introduced the Global Skills Strategy as part of Canada’s Innovation Agenda. Attracting top global talent in the IT field is considered an integral part of Canada’s long-term plan to promote economic growth and create more middle-class jobs. The hallmark of the government’s programs is the Global Talent Stream, which allows new applicants to obtain a work permit within two (2) weeks or 10 business days if the employer has a positive LMIA and the applicant is applying for an employer-specific permit; or if the applicant is LMIA-exempt in a NOC 0/A profession.


Two-week processing times for highly skilled workers


The Global Skills Strategy aims at helping workers come to Canada faster. Currently, some work permit processing times at visa offices can take up to four (4) to six (6) months.


The new program reduces these processing times to two weeks for foreign workers who comply with the following requirements: 

1) they are applying from outside to work in Canada; 

2) they are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment process via the International Mobility Program; 

3) their job is listed NOC 0 or A; AND 

4) the work permit will be employer-specific, and the employer has submitted an offer of employment using the Employer Portal and paid the employer compliance fee ($230 CAD).

Although these processing times are a welcomed improvement for Canadian employers, employers must remember they must still factor in the time the foreign worker will need to gather all the necessary documents for their application, which might include obtaining police clearances and medical examinations.



Employer dedicated service channel


A dedicated service channel has been created to help Canadian employers navigate the immigration application process to meet their specific needs. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada will select employers who bring significant investment to Canada and assist them through this service channel.

As part of the Strategy, the new Global Talent Stream will assist Canadian employers by providing them with expedited access to in-demand global talent. There are two distinct categories under the worldwide talent stream:

Category A applies to employers who were referred to the Global Talent Stream by one of Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) designated partners AND who are hiring unique and specialized talent to scale-up or grow.

Category B applies to employers seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations found on the global talent occupations list.

To participate in the Global Talent Stream, employers must pay a $1,000 CAD fee per applicant and work with ESDC to develop a labor market benefits plan, which is meant to demonstrate their commitment to activities that will have lasting, positive impacts on the Canadian labor market.

As the Global Talent Stream does not require a minimum recruitment obligation or the need to provide a transition plan, Canadian employers can expect to obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment within 10 days from ESDC and a work permit within another 10 days from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Global Talent Occupations List for Category B of the Global Talent Stream (as of June 12, 2020)


* *Note that this list may be updated on EDSC’s website from time to time

NOC     Occupation

0211 – Engineering managers

0212 – Architecture and science managers

0213 – Computer and information systems managers

2147 – Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)

2161 – Mathematicians and statisticians

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

2283 – Information systems testing technicians

5131 – Producer, technical, creative, and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game

5241 – Digital media designers


The International Experience Class, commonly referred to as a Working Holiday permit, is a reciprocal visa program that the Government of Canada runs with over 35 countries worldwide. It allows foreign nationals between 18 and 35 to legally live and work in Canada for either 12 to 24 months. This program allows youth to travel and work in Canada to gain work experience. 

How does the program work? 

Every year the government allocates how many Canadian work permits each country will be granted. Applicants enter a pool for their specific country, and if they are chosen – through a lottery process- they will be invited to apply for the work permit in Canada. 

Who can apply? 


In order to be eligible for working in Canada through this program, an applicant must:

  • Be a citizen and passport holder of one of the 35 countries that is part of Canada’s “bilateral youth mobility agreement:”
  • Have a valid passport for the entire duration of work or stay in Canada; 
  • Be between the ages of 18 to 35 (note, some countries have other age restrictions);”
  • Have proof funds of at least CAD $2,500 in their bank account to support their travel to Canada. 

What Countries are involved? 





Costa Rica


Czech Republic






Hong Kong SAR




Korea, Republic

Latvia Republic





New Zealand




San Marino








United Kingdom

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