Canada launches new “Global Skills Strategy”

On June 12, 2017, Canada announced a new “global skills strategy” that will make it easier and faster to get work permits for certain foreign workers. The strategy has four components (referred to as “pillars” in the government announcements). They are as follows:

  • Workers coming to Canada for brief periods will be authorized to work without an LMIA or work permit. This provision applies to management and skilled employees classified as NOC 0 or NOC A. The employment will be permitted for one 30 day period every 12 months, or one 15 day period every six months. Certain university researchers will be permitted a 120 day stay every 12 months.
  • Two week processing of certain work permits will be available, including NOC 0 and NOC A occupations applying in LMIA-exempt (“International Mobility”) categories.
  • LMIA-exempt work permits for certain listed skilled workers will be available, including many IT professionals, as well as “unique and specialized talent” in other occupations. Employers will need to pay an extra $1,000 application fee and develop a “Labour Market Benefits Plan” to increase hiring and training of Canadian workers.
  • A dedicated service channel will be offered for qualifying employers.