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3 Things We Know about the Global Skills Initiative

Last week, during the Canadian government’s Fall Economic update, Finance Minister Bill Moreau announced plans for a new immigration strategy. Under the proposed Global Skills Strategy, visa and work permit applications for high skilled workers in high-demand sectors would be fast-tracked, allowing Canadian companies to more easily pursue global talent.  The announcement came on the heels of Immigration Minister John McCallum’s announcement that Canada will boost its base immigration targets to 300,000 immigrants and refugees in 2017.

Details for the new strategy are still being released. Here is what we know so far:


  1. The proposed processing time is 10 to 14 days.

According to the Canadian Government website, visa and work permit applications made through the Global Skills Strategy initiative would set an ambitious two-week standard processing time for those deemed “low-risk, high skilled talent for companies doing business in Canada.”


     2. The Initiative targets Canadian companies—not applicants.

Like the already existing LMIA process, the Global Skills Strategy program works with Canadian companies in high growth sectors that “need to access global talent to facilitate and accelerate investments that create jobs and growth” or “global companies that are making large investments” in the Canadian job market. A dedicated team will work with companies to complete applications. From there, companies will be assigned a set number of work permits, which they will have two weeks to issue.

The process will apply to all jobs in sectors deemed “high-growth”—most likely targeting business and technical areas—and will not have set education requirements or limitations.


    3. The Strategy also includes a Short Duration Work permit exemption.

Under the new initiative, work terms or brief academic stays that last fewer than 30 days in a year will no longer require issued work permits.

We will provide updates as more information becomes available. In the meantime, if you have questions, visit the Government of Canada website  or email us at

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