Canada’s Global Talent Stream

By Casey May 20, 2020 5 min. read
Global Talent Stream

Introduced in June 2017, the Global Talent Stream has allowed Canada to welcome nearly 40,000 newcomers to live there. This stream is a two-year pilot program that assists certain Canadian employers to hire highly-skilled talent from around the world. This allows Canadian employers to advance the hiring of foreign workers to fill specialized occupations when Canadians aren’t available for specific roles.

There Are Two Categories Under the Global Talent Stream:

Category A

High-growth companies that can demonstrate a need to recruit unique specialized talent from abroad fall under Category A. Employers in this category must be referred to the Global Talent Stream by a designated referral partner.


For Category A of the Global Talent Stream, an innovative company must be referred by one of the Stream’s designated referral partners on the basis that the position being requested requires unique and specialized talent to help the firm scale-up and grow.

In order to be eligible for Category A, a designated referral partner must validate that a company meets the following eligibility criteria at the time of each referral to ESDC:

For a person to qualify as unique and specialized talent for Category A, the talent is indicated by advanced knowledge of the industry, along with advanced education and at least 5 years of specialized experience in the field. Unique and specialized talent are usually paid a minimum annual salary of at least $80,000 CAD as well.

The list of designated referral partners for the Global Talent Stream includes the following organizations (as of December 2019):

Category B

In order to apply for Category B of the Global Talent Stream, employers must be seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign talent to fill positions in jobs found on the Global Talent Occupations List.

The Global Talent Occupations List includes:

National Occupations
Classification (NOC) code
0213Computer and information systems managers
2147Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
Sub-set of 2161*Mathematicians and statisticians* Positions for actuaries or related occupations are excluded from this subset.
2171Information systems analysts and consultants
2172Database analysts and data administrators
2173Software engineers and designers
2174Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175Web designers and developers
2281Computer network technicians
2283Information systems testing technicians
Sub-set of 5131**Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game
**The position must require a minimum of 3 years of experience in the visual effects, video game or animation industries in 1 or a combination of the following roles: producer, technical director, creative director, artistic director or project manager, senior coordinator, department manager, with 3 years of job experience in at least 1 or more of the following skills relevant to the visual effects, video game or animation industries: surfacing and look development; character or simulation rigging; matte painting; managing budgets or teams; or technical pipeline development and application for visual effects, video games, or animation production.
Sub-set of 5241***

Digital media designers
***The position must require a minimum of 3 years of job experience in at least 1 of the following digital media design skills: 3D modeling, compositing, paint and roto, layout and match move, digital environment and Matte painting, texture, lighting shading, character effects, effects and simulations, design and scenario, rigging, user interface or user experience, responsive design (for gaming), virtual reality, augmented reality, digital media animation, levels editing for digital media design, software editing for digital media design, pipeline software development or applications relevant for digital media design

For occupations with wage floors, employers must offer the hourly wage rate at minimum. Annual wage floors are provided for illustrative purposes only.

Labour Market Benefits Plan

Employers seeking to hire skilled workers through the Global Talent Stream must work with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan. This plan summarizes the positive benefits that foreign talent will bring to the Canadian labour market, and activities that the employer will undergo to encourage job creation, skills and training investments.

Category A employers are required to commit to creating jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. This job creation may be direct or indirect.

Category B employers are required to commit to increasing investments in skills and training for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Are You Interested In Canada’s Global Talent Stream?

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