The processing time of many Canadian work permits is set to be dramatically cut by Immigration Citizenship and Immigration Canada (IRCC) with the introduction of its ‘Global Talent Stream’. Launching on June 12, 2017, this fast-track application stream will see IRCC process many temporary work permits within two weeks, down from the current processing period of up to 6 months.
This new Global Talent Stream forms part of the Canadian Government’s Global Skills Strategy announced last year to assist Canadian companies acquire the unique skills sets needed to help grow existing businesses and start-ups. A Global Talent List of eligible occupations for fast-tracked processing is currently being developed by IRCC in consultation with labour market experts and key stakeholders. As part of the Government’s broader Global Skills Strategy, skilled foreign nationals will also be able to work in Canada on a short-term basis (such as 30 days or less in a year) without first applying for a work permit, with the same concession being extended to brief stays for visiting academics.
The Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, in announcing the upcoming fast-track application stream, declared “[w]e want to be open to ideas, open to people, open to trade, open to investment.” This openness will ultimately see Canadian companies being able to employ the skilled temporary workers they need much faster than previously has been the case. Also in attendance at the announcement, the Canadian Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Patty Hajdu, confirmed this adding, “[o]ur government’s Global Skills Strategy will give employers a faster and more predictable process for bringing in top talent and new skills to Canada.”
Many of these temporary workers may though not be temporary for long, as explained by Faith St-John from CIC. “As workers with in-demand skills and Canadian work experience, they will be well-positioned to successfully apply for permanent status through Express Entry if they choose to do so.” For ultimately as she notes, “with an aging population and a relatively low birth rate, Canada’s economy relies on a robust immigration system to help keep our workforce strong.”