The Global Skill Strategy (GSS)

The Global Skill Strategy (GSS)


Employers want to attract top talent to work for their company, and they want a fast and predictable process to do this. To help employers find these highly skilled workers faster, the Canadian Government introduced the Global Skills Strategy (GSS). The strategy features faster application processing times, work permit exemptions and enhanced customer service.

In terms of international mobility, the Global Skills Strategy includes four important changes:

Two-week work permit processing times for eligible high-skilled workers under the existing International Mobility Program;
Two new work permit exemptions for short-term work in Canada;
A dedicated service channel for employers bringing significant investment to Canada; and
The creation of a Global Talent Stream for skilled occupations in shortage and for employers with unique talent needs.

Who are eligible?

To be eligible for the two-week processing arrangement, workers must come through one of two ways:

(1) They must be exempted from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) by way of the following:

Note: International Experience Canada applicants are not eligible for a 2-week processing.

(2) The second route is for the employee to have a positive LMIA for an employer-specific job which previously indicated eligibility through the Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Spouses and dependents of the worker are also covered as they can apply for the two-weeks processing at the same time the worker is applying. This applies to applications for the following:


How to get 2-week processing?

The worker must:

Note: The result of the biometrics must be submitted within 14 calendar days from the date of application.


Work Permit Exemptions

Under the Global Talent Stream, two new categories of workers are now exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit.

Highly-skilled workers in skill type 0 or skill level A occupations of the NOC may enter Canada without obtaining work permit to work for


Researchers taking part in short-duration research projects conducted in Canada are now allowed 120-day stay every 12 months without requiring a work permit when working on a research project at a publicly funded degree-granting institution or affiliated research institution.


Employer Dedicated Service Channel (DSC)

A dedicated service channel has been created to help employers navigate the immigration application process to help meet their specific needs. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will select

  • employers who bring significant investment to Canada and offer them assistance through this service channel; and
  • universities that support publicly-funded research chair holders coming to Canada

To be eligible to access the DSC, a company must be identified and referred by one of the recognized referral partners.


List of Designated Partners for referral to Category A of the Global Talent Stream (as of June 2019)

This list is updated regularly as new partners are added.


Referral partners for the province of Quebec

The Government of Quebec’s Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) designates referral partners for the province of Quebec. Employers can find a list of partners (available in French only) on the MIDI website. Quebec-based companies can use federal partners or MIDI-designated referral partners.

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