Global Skills Strategy update: Expansion of the GTS Occupations List

June 25, 2018

By LEXOLOGY |

Overview of the GSS

The GSS facilitates the entry of high skilled foreign workers into Canada through a GSS stream under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), expedited processing of employer specific LMIA-exempt work permit applications, and several work permit exemptions.

The Global Talent Stream (GTS) under the TFWP, managed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), prioritizes Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications. ESDC targets GTS LMIAs to be processed within ten (10) business days. Most such applications are issued pursuant to an Occupations List which sets out eligible occupations/NOCs (see this link: GTS Occupations List).

The GSS has had the largest impact on the processing of work permit applications from outside of Canada. The GSS established 2 week processing of work permits, provided that the application is complete, has been filed online, and falls within one of the following categories:

  • The foreign worker is applying for an employer-specific LMIA-exempt work permit under Canada’s International Mobility Program, for a NOC skill level 0 or A occupation; or
  • The foreign worker is submitting a GTS LMIA-based work permit application pursuant to an LMIA approved under the Global Talent Stream.
    The two-week processing is much faster than the regular processing times of many visa offices.

The GSS regime also allows some high skilled foreign workers to enter Canada for a time-limited, non-renewable duration to conduct work under a special work permit exemption, provided they are able to demonstrate that they qualify under one of the following situations:

  • Eligible high-skilled workers employed in NOC skill level 0 or A occupations are able to enter Canada once for a maximum period of fifteen (15) consecutive calendar days within a six (6) month period, OR once for a maximum period of thirty (30) consecutive calendar days within a twelve (12) month period; or
  • Researchers coming to Canada to perform project-based research at a publicly funded degree-granting institution or affiliated research institution are able to enter Canada once for a maximum period of 120 days every twelve (12) months.

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