Canadian employers in the tech industry can quickly fill the gaps in their workforce by using one of the following programs for temporary foreign workers:

Option One (1): International Mobility Program (IMP)

The IMP allows an employer to hire a temporary foreign worker without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). A LMIA is a document that serves as proof that there will be a positive or neutral impact to the Canadian labour market if the employer hires the foreign national. The IMP includes all streams of work permit applications that are exempt from this requirement, including Intra Company Transfers, individuals who are able to obtain open work permits, and work permits based on international agreements, such as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) (previously NAFTA).

Option Two (2): Global Skills Strategy (GSS)

The GSS was launched in 2017 to promote global investment in Canada and facilitate faster entry into Canada for top international talent, and has four (4) main pillars:

Work Permit Exemptions:

Two (2) new work permit exemptions were implemented with the launch of the Global Skills Strategy:

  1. The first is for highly skilled workers who enter Canada for very short-term assignments. Eligible workers are now permitted one 15 consecutive day work permit-exempt stay in Canada every six months; OR one 30 consecutive day work permit-exempt stay every 12 months; and
  2. The second exemption applies to researchers taking part in short-duration research projects conducted in Canada. These researchers are now allowed one 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.

Faster Processing for Work Permits:

The Global Skills Strategy aims processing work permits within two (2) weeks, provided the foreign national meets the following requirements:

  • They must be applying from outside Canada;
  • They are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment process via the IMP;
  • Their position is classified as highly skilled; and
  • The work permit will be employer specific and the employer has submitted an offer of employment using the Employer Portal and paid the employer compliance fee.

Dedicated Service Channel:

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.

The Global Talent Stream (GTS):

As part of the Strategy, the new Global Talent Stream will assist Canadian employers by providing them with expedited access to in-demand global talent. There are two distinct categories under the global talent stream:

Category A applies to employers who were referred to the Global Talent Stream by one of Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) designated partners AND who are hiring unique and specialized talent to scale-up or grow.

Category B applies to employers seeking to hire highly skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations found on the global talent occupations list, and allows for a fast track LMIA process, based on a pre-approved labour market shortage.

If you are a Canadian employer who wants to quickly scale up by bringing in talent from abroad, contact Marani Law LLP today at and/or (647) 351-7795.

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