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Explained: the Global Talent Stream (GTS) for Canadian Immigration

May 31, 2022 by Katie Enman, Immigration Consultant
Explained: the Global Talent Stream (GTS) for Canadian Immigration

The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) that provides expedited access to unique, specialized, and highly skilled temporary foreign workers in the technology sector. This stream is intended for innovative firms in Canada that need to hire unique and specialized workers in order to scale-up, grow, and remain competitive.

Similar to other streams under the TFWP, employers are required to complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment: an application made to Service Canada through its online portal.

There are two categories under the Global Talent Stream: Category A and Category B.

Category A

Employers may be eligible for Category A if they have been referred to the Global Talent Stream by one of the Stream’s designated referral partners.

A designated referral partner must validate that the company meets the eligibility criteria at the time of each referral to ESDC. The company:

  • is operating in Canada
  • has a focus on innovation
  • has a willingness, and is capable of growing or scaling up
  • is seeking to fill a unique and specialized position in the company, and
  • has identified a qualified foreign worker for potential hire into that unique and specialized position

According to ESDC, a unique and specialized position is indicated by:

  • at least $38.46 per hour ($80,000 annual base salary), or equivalent to the prevailing wage for the occupation if it is higher. Note that employers must offer the equivalent of both the hourly wage rate and annual base salary at minimum, and
  • advanced knowledge of the industry, and
  • advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer, and/or
  • minimum of 5 years of experience in the field of specialized experience

Category B

Employers may also be eligible for Category B if they are seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in in-demand occupations found on the Global Talent Occupations List.

Some examples of occupations include:

  • Information systems analysts and consultants (NOC 21211 and NOC 21220)
  • Software Engineers and Designers (NOC 21231)
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers (NOC 21230)
  • Web Designers and developers (NOC 21233)


Unlike other Labour Market Impact Assessments, the Global Talent Stream is exempted from mandatory recruitment. However, the Employer needs to work with ESDC on developing a Labour Market Benefit Plan to go along with their application.

Labour Market Benefit Plan

The Labour Market Benefits Plan (LMBP) is a requirement for the Global Talent Stream.

Employers applying under this stream are required to work with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to develop a plan that demonstrates their commitment to activities that will have lasting, positive impacts on the Canadian labour market.

The commitments in a Labour Market Benefits Plan are divided into mandatory and complementary benefits.

If hiring for a Category A position, employers must commit to creating jobs for Canadians and permanent residents as its mandatory benefit. They also need at least two complementary benefits.

If hiring for a Category B position, employers must commit to increasing skills and training investments for Canadians and permanent residents as its mandatory benefit.

The Employer should be prepared to have a thorough discussion and negotiation with ESDC on the details on this plan during their interview with an officer and also be prepared for a quarterly audit on how the benefits of the plan are being achieved.

Employer Compliance

An employer applying through the Global Talent Stream must comply with the Program requirements and uphold the conditions and rules set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act when it comes to hiring a temporary foreign worker.

In addition to meeting eligibility requirements, employers must also pay a processing fee of $1,000 for each position requested under the Global Talent Stream. The processing fee will not be refunded if the application is withdrawn at your request, cancelled, or if your application receives a negative assessment. This fee also does not include the work permit application the foreign worker will need to submit prior to commencing work.


The Canadian Global Talent Stream provides a valuable opportunity for employers in Canada to access highly skilled global talent. By meeting eligibility requirements and complying with program rules and regulations, employers can expand their workforce and remain competitive on a global scale.

For more information about the Global Talent Stream and how it may apply to you, please reach out to book a consultation.

The article above is intended to provide general and non-case specific information on immigration related matters. It should not be used or relied on as formal legal advice.