Global Skills Strategy

Canada has a deep pool of talent and a skilled workforce. Still, there will be times when you will need highly-skilled people from abroad to help you grow. That’s where Canada’s Global Skills Strategy comes in.

How it works

There are three pathways to get quick entry for skilled workers under the Global Skills Strategy:

  1. Short-duration work permit exemptions
  2. Two-week processing for high-skilled talent*
  3. Global Talent Stream


*Because of COVID-19, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has indicated that there are delays in the processing of applications. IRCC is still processing GSS eligible work permits, but they may take longer than 2 weeks.

Work permit applications received under the program

94% approval rate

From June 2017 to June 2021

Short-duration work permit exemptions 

Workers can enter Canada to perform work for 15 consecutive days or less if at least six months have passed since the last use of this exemption or for 16-30 consecutive days if at least 12 months have passed since the last use of this exemption.

The worker must have a job offer for a position with skill type 0 (senior management) or skill level A (professionals) of the National Occupation Classification.

Researchers are able to qualify for a 120-day work permit exemption.

Renewals and consecutive uses of the exemption are not permitted.

The implementation of the Global Skills Strategy has positively impacted Ubisoft Toronto in many ways. We are now able to quickly bring top talents to our studio which allows our studio to remain a key player in our industry.

Ubisoft Toronto

Two-week processing for high-skilled talent

There are three categories of people that may be eligible for two-week processing:

1. Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt workers

  • If they’re applying from outside Canada and are exempt from the LMIA requirement through, for example, one of Canada’s international trade agreements or as an intra-company transferee.

  • If their job is either skill type 0 (senior management) or skill level A (professionals) of the National Occupational Classification.

  • If the employer has submitted an offer of employment using the Employer Portal and paid the employer compliance fee.

2. LMIA-required workers

  • If they’re applying from outside Canada.

  • If the employer has a positive LMIA through the Global Talent Stream.

3. Spouses and dependants

  • If your worker’s spouse/common-law partner and dependent children are coming to Canada with the worker, they are also eligible for two-week processing on applications.

  • This applies to applications for a visitor visa, work permit or study permit.

Top 5 occupations of Global Skills Strategy applicants from June 2017 to June 2021

Computer programmers and interactive media developers

Information systems analysts and consultants 10,160
Software engineers and designers 10,029
University professors and lecturers 5,986
Computer and information systems managers 4,069

Global Talent Stream 

You may be eligible for Category A of the Global Talent Stream if you are hiring specialized and unique workers and have been referred by one of the Global Talent Stream’s designated partners.

Companies may be eligible for Category B if they are planning to hire highly-skilled workers in occupations that are on the Global Talent Stream National Occupations List.

When we started, we had someone from the government call us every day to walk us through the process. I never would have expected that kind of attention.

Eran Henig, co-founder and CEO of Platterz

Next Steps

After you contact Invest in Canada and determine your expansion location, we will refer you to the appropriate organization who will walk you through the process and help you with your visa applications.