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The Government has announced additional details on the Global Skills Strategy. The stated purpose of the program is to enable Canadian companies quicker access to highly skilled foreign workers which will allow the businesses to grow and create more Canadian jobs. The Government believes that these highly-skilled and talented foreign workers will allow Canadian firms to become more competitive in the global marketplace. Although the Government has yet to develop a firm structure for the Global Skills Strategy, they have determined several key aspects which will form part of the program. The three main components of the Global Skills Strategy include:

  • A two-week processing time for visas and work permits for low-risk, high-skill talent for Canadian companies;
  • A dedicated service channel for companies who plan to make large and job-creating investments in Canada; and
  • Creating a work permit exemption for short-duration work terms of fewer than 30 days in a year.

The program is currently in the development stage to ensure that it best fits the needs of the Canadian companies it intends to benefit. The program is set to take effect in mid to late 2017 and more details on its structure are likely to be released in the coming months.

This is exciting news for growing Canadian companies who require specialized and highly skilled workers to fill their employment needs. Under the current system, obtaining work permits for these workers can take several applications and several months to complete and also lead to delays in the company’s plans. The Global Skills Strategy appears to recognize that companies with a genuine need for these foreign workers cannot wait several months for these workers as it limits the company’s competitiveness within the marketplace and also may result in the skilled foreign worker finding other opportunities outside of the offer from the Canadian employer. We look forward to providing more information on this program and its implementation as it becomes available.