The Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is a two-year pilot program that provides innovative firms in Canada with a faster way to hire highly skilled foreign talent when Canadians or permanent residents are not available.

The Global Talent Stream is available to two categories of employers:

Category A: Employers that are hiring unique and specialized talent have been referred by one of ESDC’s designated partners as follows:

  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency;
  • BC Tech Association;
  • Business Development Bank of Canada;
  • Communitech Corporation;
  • Council of Canadian Innovators;
  • Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario;
  • Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service;
  • ICT Manitoba (ICTAM);
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Accelerated Growth Service;
  • MaRS Discovery District;
  • National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program;
  • Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration;
  • Ontario Ministry of Economic Growth and Development; or
  • VENN Innovation.


Category B: Employers seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in the following occupations:

  • NOC 0213 – Computer and information systems managers;
  • NOC 2147 – Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers);
  • NOC 2171 – Information systems analysts and consultants;
  • NOC 2172 – Database analysts and data administrators;
  • NOC 2173 – Software engineers and designers;
  • NOC 2174 – Computer programmers and interactive media developers;
  • NOC 2175 – Web designers and developers;
  • NOC 2241 – Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians; or
  • NOC 5241 – Digital media and design (with qualifications).


As part of the Strategy, which includes four pillars, high-skilled workers coming to Canada on a temporary basis are now able to benefit from two-week processing of applications for work permits and, when necessary, temporary resident visas. Open work permits for spouses and study permits for dependents will also be processed in two weeks when applicable.

As part of their application, employers using the Global Talent Stream are required to develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan. This plan outlines the employer’s measurable commitments to create lasting benefits for the Canadian labour market through activities such as job creation, investment in training and skills development, or the transfer of knowledge to Canadians.  ESDC will work with employers to complete the Labour Market Benefits Plan during the application process.

Employers can now benefit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s new dedicated service channel and the new Global Talent Stream. This will help them access temporary, high-skilled, global talent, scale up or expand their knowledge of specialized skills so that they can be more innovative and build their expertise.

Two new work permit exemptions have also taken effect today. Highly-skilled workers who need to come to Canada for a very short-term assignment and researchers taking part in short-duration research projects being conducted in Canada will not require a work permit.

We will continue to update you as we learn more about the Global Talent Stream.