Global Talent Stream (GTS) is the best option for Canadian employers seeking to hire foreign skilled workers: FAST!

By Warren L. Creates
septembre 21, 2023

The GTS is intended to address labour shortages of skilled workers to fill in-demand positions as identified on the Global Talent Occupations List (including computer technicians, engineers, web and digital media designers, etc.). The initiative has become the fastest and most efficient way for Canadian employers to hire foreign talent in specialized occupations.

The GTS Process

The program is part of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program which is managed jointly by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). ESDC reviews applications within 10 business days. This is fast! The Department collaborates with employers in navigating the GTS process and developing a Labour Market Benefits Plan to demonstrate the employer’s commitment to making a lasting and positive impact on the Canadian labour market. This is fabulous!

Whereas in a regular Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application, which requires the Canadian employer to conduct extensive public advertisement and recruitment efforts within Canada to find Canadians and/or Permanent Residents to fill a position before hiring a foreign worker, there is no public recruitment requirement for employers in the GTS process. One big step is thereby eliminated!

Once the Canadian employer has received their GTS approval, the foreign employee will be able to apply for a work permit online from outside Canada. IRCC is expected to reach a decision in no more than two weeks. Lightning fast!

The Employer Requirements

There are two categories under the GTS. Category A – the Designated Partner Referral applies to employers who have been referred to the GTS by a designated partner and who are seeking to hire unique and specialized talent. By comparison, Category B – the In-Demand Occupations list applies to employers who are looking to hire an individual to fill a position listed on the Global Talent Occupations List, which is regularly updated to reflect labour market needs.

Employers who wish to hire through the GTS must apply for a Simplified Labour Market Impact Assessment via ESDC and demonstrate that their business and the offer of employment are both legitimate. Foreign workers hired through the GTS must be paid at the prevailing wage or higher. The prevailing wage is the highest of the following values:

  • the regional median hourly wage as posted on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank;
  • the same wage range paid to current employees for the same job, work location, skills and years of experience; and
  • no less than the minimum hourly wage floor as defined in the Global Talent Occupations List (if applicable).

Collaboration and Permanent Resident Status 

The GTS promotes benefits for both Canadian employers looking to fill labour and skills shortages, and foreign nationals seeking to gain Canadian work experience. Canadian employers may apply for an LMIA for an employment contract of up to three years allowing a foreign national to obtain a work permit for the same duration. Employers can therefore fulfill their need for highly skilled workers while supporting a foreign national who will then have a clear pathway to permanent residence in Canada.


For customized professional assistance on any case or situation, please consult qualified legal representation, which we are authorized and specialized to provide.

Contact Warren Creates, head of immigration at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP/s.r.l. at (613)238-2022 and/or [email protected].


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