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Immigration

Permanent Global Talent Stream great news for Canadian businesses

The federal government’s announcement that it will make the Global Talent Stream (GTS) a permanent feature of Canada’s immigration system is welcome news, says Toronto immigration lawyer Robin Seligman.

As part of Budget 2019, the government plans to build on the success of the GTS pilot program.

“A permanent GTS will give Canadian businesses expedited, predictable access to top global talent when Canadian workers are unavailable. To establish this new permanent program, Budget 2019 proposes to invest $35.2 million over five years, beginning in 2019–20, with $7.4 million per year ongoing,” the budget states.

Seligman, principal of immigration law boutique Seligman Law, says the two-year pilot project is nearing the end of its original term and it has already had enough time to satisfy her of its value.

“It’s working very well, and I am encouraged the government intends to make it a permanent program,” she tells AdvocateDaily.com.

Seligman says there are two distinct pathways under GTS:

  • First, employers referred to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) by one of its designated referral partners can hire foreign workers with “unique and specialized talent” to help the business grow.
  • Alternatively, companies can hire without a referral as long as the foreign national is highly skilled in one of the fields on the Global Talent Occupations List kept and continually updated by ESDC, which includes computer and software engineers, database analysts and web designers.

Rather than participating in the standard Labour Market Impact Assessment process, she says the stream requires employers to draw up a Labour Market Benefits Plan that makes a case for the lasting positive effects of the hires on the labour market and includes commitments to employ and train Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

According to Seligman, one of the most attractive features of the program is its 10-business-day processing time.

“It allows employers to get people with the skills they need right away,” she says. 

The budget notes that since the launch of the pilot in 2017, employers have made commitments to:

  • create more than 40,000 new jobs for Canadians and permanent residents
  • develop more than 10,000 co-op placements
  • invest more than $90 million in skills development and training for their workers

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