Global Talent Stream


Congratulations on your decision to work in Canada. In order to work in Canada, a work permit is required. It is important to know that a work permit allows the applicant to work in Canada and is not a visa for arrival. To enter Canada, a visa is also required. There are two types of work permits: Open work permit , and Employer-specific work permit. While an open work permit does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), an employer-specific work permit does. This is due to the fact that an open work permit is not restricted to a specific job like the employer-specific work permit. In other words, the Canada open work permit is not job-specific and allows the individual to work in other fields as well. In contrast, the employer-specific work permit is limited to the individual’s field and requires an LMIA in most cases along with a job offer. In many cases, the employers need an LMIA to be allowed to hire foreign temporary workers. The LMIA is required on top of the work permit. This means that although not all work permits require an LMIA, an LMIA alone is not enough to be able to work in Canada.


But what is the point of an LMIA? The assessment informs that there is a need for a temporary foreign worker at a job when no Canadians or permanent residents are available. When this is confirmed, a positive LMIA confirmation letter is issued, showing that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. This needs to be obtained before applying for a work permit. The estimated processing fee for most LMIA applications is 10 days but it could take longer. However, more updated and accurate estimates can be obtained from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). In order to change employers, a new work permit must be obtained. The application fee is $1000. Not every applicant is the same and with that in mind, LMIA applications are processed through different pathways. One of the paths/streams is the Global Talent Stream LMIA. This is done under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) when the job in demand cannot be filled by a citizen or permanent resident of Canada. The Global Talent Stream LMIA is divided into categories A and B. Category A is for applicants who are unique individuals with a specialized talent who are referred by the one of the stream’s designated partners. Category B is for highly-skilled foreign workers filling in-demand jobs on the Global Talent Occupations list. Under this stream, the employers


The LMIA application is completed by the employer/business owner. Therefore, the requirements rely on the business owner looking to hire temporary foreign workers. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) assesses businesses approved for LMIA to make sure that local workforce is indeed not available to carry out this occupation. Employers applying to the TFWP must also present documents to demonstrate the legitimacy of the business and job offer as well as a Labour Market Benefits Plan to demonstrate efforts for a positive impact on the Canadian labour market. To qualify for Category A, a referral from the stream’s designated partners is needed to deem the company work as unique and specialized. The list of these designated partners are as follows:

  • Business Development Bank of Canada
  • Council of Canadian Innovators
  • Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada - Accelerated Growth Service
  • Invest in Canada
  • National Research Council - Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)
  • Privy Council Office, Special Projects Team
The Atlantic Region
  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
New Brunswick
  • Ignite Fredericton
  • Venn Innovation
  • Government of New Brunswick – Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Genesis
Nova Scotia
  • Cape Breton Partnership
  • Government of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Business Inc.
  • Halifax Partnership
Prince Edward Island
  • Government of Prince Edward Island, Island Investment Development Inc.
  • Burlington Economic Development Corporation
  • Invest Brampton
  • Invest in Hamilton
  • City of Mississauga
  • Communities Corporation
  • Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Government of Ontario, Labour, Training and Skills Development – Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
  • Government of Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade – Ontario Investment Office
  • Invest Ottawa
  • Kingston Economic Development Corporation
  • London Economic Development Corporation
  • MaRS Discovery District
  • Regional Municipality of Niagara
  • York Region
  • Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership
  • Toronto Global
  • Town of Oakville
  • Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation
  • Invest Windsor Essex
  • Canadian Economic Development for Quebec Regions
  • Calgary Economic Development
  • Government of Alberta, Alberta Labour and Immigration
British Columbia
  • Accelerate Okanagan
  • BC Tech Association
  • Government of British Columbia, Ministry Municipal Affairs
  • Kootenay Association for Science & Technology
  • Launch Academy
  • Vancouver Economic Commission
  • Economic Development Winnipeg
  • Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Education and Training
  • Tech Manitoba
  • Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Immigration and Career Training

The company must be working in Canada, has a focus on innovation, willing to scale up, and is seeking to fill a unique and specialized position. This position is indicated by an hourly wage of at least $38.46 or a prevailing wage and a minimum of 5 years of experience. To qualify for Category B, highly skilled foreign workers are hired by Canadian firms from the Global Talent Occupations List:

NOC Occupation
213 Computer and information systems managers
2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
Sub-set of 2161 Mathematicians and statisticians
2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
2172 Database analysts and data administrators
2173 Software engineers and designers
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175 Web designers and developers
2281 Computer network technicians
2283 Information systems testing technicians
Sub-set of 5131 Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game
Sub-set of 5241 Digital media designers

Processing time

The estimated processing fee for most LMIA applications is 21 days but it could take longer. However, more updated and accurate estimates can be obtained from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Fees and Expenses

The LMIA application costs $1000. In order to change employers, a new work permit must be obtained and the application fee is $1000.


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