Global Talent Stream Canada: a Complete Guide

Global Talent Stream Canada: a Complete Guide

The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a Canadian federal program designed to attract the most highly sought-after foreign talent. This guide is for employers that are interested in hiring workers through GTS or foreign employees looking to learn more about the program.

In this guide, we will provide an overview of the program, designated Canadian partners, category A and B workers, the Labour Market Benefits Plan, processing time, wages, and progress reviews.

What is the Global Talent Stream?

GTS is ideal for Canadian companies that want to quickly access global talent and highly skilled foreign workers. Through this program, companies can benefit from a 10-day LMIA processing timeline and a dedicated IRCC immigration service channel, and bring new foreign workers to Canada in one month.

The program is also highly beneficial for suitable foreign workers as their spouses and children would be able to join them and also benefit from the same processing time.

A detailed chart that outlines the process of Canada's Global Talent Stream Program

Employing Category A Workers

Below is an overview of the intricacies of hiring Category A workers.

Eligibility to Hire Category A workers

Your company can hire Category A workers if you are developing innovative projects and need unique and specialized temporary foreign workers in order to execute them. In general, your company must:

  • Operate in Canada;
  • Focus on innovation;
  • Have the ability to scale up its operations;
  • Look to employ a specialized professional; and
  • Has identified a suitable foreign professional as a potential employee.

Your target foreign worker must have:

  • extensive expertise suitable for the industry, and
  • advanced academic degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer, and/or
  • at least 5 years of experience in the specialized field.

Designated Canadian Partners of the Global Talent Stream

If you are planning on hiring a Category A worker you must be referred by one of the program’s designated partners. These partner-companies essentially guarantee the legitimacy of a worker’s eligibility for the category by vouching for their skills and experience. Your local partner-companies are distributed geographically covering every province of Canada.

Number of Workers, Wages, and Fees

You are allowed to hire 1 or 2 foreign employees per year per company.

Your first 2 Category A workers must have a base salary of at least $80,000 per year. Any additional employees that you hire will have to have a base salary of at least $150,000 per year.

The Global Talent Stream application fee for a Category A worker is $1,000 per position.

Labour Market Benefits Plan

You will have to provide the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) with an outline of the economic benefits of hiring your chosen employee. For Category A, the expected mandatory benefit will be to create new employment opportunities for Canadians and Permanent Residents.

Employing Category B Workers

Below is an overview of hiring Category B workers.

Eligibility to Hire Category B workers

A company can employ Category B workers if the foreign worker’s occupations fall under the ESDC Global Talent Occupations List.

No Referral Necessary

If you are planning on employing a Category B worker you will not need a referral from a designated referral partner.

Number of Workers, Wages, and Fees

You can hire as many employees as you need and can afford. There is no limit on how many Category B workers you can employ at one company.

At a minimum, you must provide the foreign worker with the highest prevailing wage in that location for that position.

GTS application fee for a Category B worker is $1,000 per position.

Labour Market Benefits Plan

You will also have to provide the ESDC with an outline of the economic benefits of hiring that employee. Specifically, you must demonstrate that these employees will lead to significant skills and training investments for Canadians.

A graph that compares Global Talent Stream wage requirements for category a and category b workers

What is Labour Market Benefits Plan (LMBP)

LMBP is essentially a detailed business plan that an employer must submit when making an application under GTS. In your application, you must outline the mandatory and complimentary benefits of hiring a foreign worker.

Mandatory Benefits

You must identify at least 1 activity that will support the mandatory benefit requirement. The required benefits largely depend on the type of worker you are hiring.

  • Category A – must be “increasing job creation for Canadians and Permanent Residents” through, for example, employing Canadian or Permanent Residents to assist the foreign worker.
  • Category B – must be “increasing skills and training investments for Canadians and Permanent Residents” through, for example, paid internships for Canadians and Permanent Residents.

Complimentary Benefits

You must also show at least 2 complimentary benefits of hiring from abroad. Each benefit must be supported by at least one activity. The same requirements apply to complementary benefits as to mandatory benefits. Types of complimentary benefits:

  • establishing or enhancing educational partnerships with local or regional post-secondary institutes;
  • highly skilled foreign workers directly supervise and mentor Canadian workers;
  • increasing growth of revenue, employment or investment at the company;
  • best company practices related to attraction/retention of Canadian workforce; and
  • partnerships with organizations that assist with the identification of top domestic capital


Global Talent Stream employers must submit a Canadian Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application prior to commencing the GTS application process. The LMIA is used by the Canadian government to analyze whether employing a foreign national will have a negative impact on the Canadian employment market. Learn more about LMIAs in our detailed review.

Global Talent Stream Processing Time

The processing time of GTS applications is usually under one month. In general, it takes:

  • 10 business days to process the LMIA application by ESDC
  • 2 weeks to process the Work Permit application by IRCC

The worker’s family (spouse and children) will benefit from the same processing time as the GTS applicant.

Progress Reviews

After you receive approval to employ a foreign worker under the GTS temporary foreign worker program, you must comply with the progress review requirement. The LMBP will be assessed by ESDC at the end of the first year and at the end of the second year of the LMIA.

You must collect and keep all relevant documents supporting your LMBP commitments. The types of evidentiary documents that you must keep will depend on the mandatory and complimentary benefits that you have outlined in your LMBP.

If you fall short of meeting your LMBP goals in the first year, you must convince ESDC as to how you can improve in the second year. You must show reasonable and genuine efforts that you have tried to meet your goals and are capable of achieving them in the second year.

What Companies Can Benefit from GTS?

At the moment the GTS program is well suited for three types of Canadian companies

  • Companies that employ IT or tech professionals – the GTS program is a great option for companies that are employing any kind of IT or tech personnel. This doesn’t necessarily mean only tech companies can use this program, on the contrary, it means that any company that needs IT or tech professionals is well suited to utilize GTS.
  • Companies that are expanding to Canada – Intra-Company Transfers can benefit from the GST program as well. As you establish your management team and systems in Canada, the GTS program allows you to recruit from the international talent pool and select the best of the best candidates! You can also consider the Intra Company Transfer program.
  • Companies that are in Canada for the long term – GTS is also a promising option for companies that are looking to grow faster in Canada, and that are willing to commit to their business development in the country.

Benefits For Foreign Workers Under the GTS

Foreign workers under the program receive a Global Talent Stream work permit and are eligible to work for their employer in Canada. Additionally, the main applicant is eligible to bring their family with them to Canada. In some cases, the spouse of the applicant can obtain an open work permit, and children can receive study permits. If qualified, foreign workers can receive permanent residency.

Learn More About How We Can Assist You to Hire Under the GTS