On June 12, 2017, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program will be launching a new pilot program called the Global Talent Stream (the “GTS”) which will establish easier and faster processing of visa and work permit applications for certain foreign nationals with unique global talent and/or who are highly skilled. The GTS goal is to provide high-growth Canadian companies with quick and easy access to unique global talent and/or highly skilled foreign nationals for certain in demand occupations which will assist Canadian companies in succeeding in the global marketplace.

Note that Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) will be posting a national global talent list identifying in demand occupations which will be considered under the GTS. At this time, IRCC has yet to release the global talent list. It is expected, however, that occupations in the technology sector will be included.

IRCC hopes that the GTS will create new jobs and assist in transferring specialized knowledge to Canadians and permanent residents.

IRCC has set an ambitious goal of expeditiously processing visa and work permit applications for low-risk, high-skill foreign nationals under the GTS within 2 weeks. However, other Temporary Foreign Worker Program initiatives that include expedited processing times have not met processing time expectations. For example, Service Canada is to process Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) applications for highest-demand, highest paid (top 10%) or shortest duration (120 days or less) occupations within 10 days; however, the reality is, LMIA applications that fall within highest-demand, highest paid or shortest duration occupations are instead processed within 2 months.

We will provide an update when further information in regard to the Global Talent Stream and the national global talent list is released.