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Authorization to work in Canada in two weeks

Authorization to work in Canada can be obtained within two weeks by those individuals who meet the requirements of a new two-year pilot under the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program. It was introduced on June 12, 2017, the pilot is designed specifically for Canadian employers who are referred to Employment and Social Development Canada by a designated referral partner and who are seeking unique and specialized foreign nationals. It is also intended for Canadian businesses that need to fill an in-demand highly-skilled position from the Global Talent Occupations List.

The pilot program has two streams:

  1. Category A is for those Canadian employers who have been referred to the Global Talent Stream by one of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)’s designated partners and the employer is hiring unique and specialized talent;


  1. Category B is for those Canadian employers who are seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations found on the Global Talent occupations list.

Designated referral partners

List of designated referral partners for the Global Talent Stream includes the following organizations:

  1. Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  2. BC Tech Association
  3. Business Development Bank of Canada
  4. Communitech Corporation
  5. Council of Canadian Innovators
  6. Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  7. Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service
  8. ICT Manitoba (ICTAM)
  9. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Accelerated Growth Service
  10. MaRS Discovery District
  11. National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program
  12. Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
  13. Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth
  14. VENN Innovation

Unique and Specialized Talent

For Category A of the Global Talent Stream, innovative firms must be referred by one of ESDC’s designated referral partners and be looking to hire unique and specialized talent. Unique and specialized talent is chracterized by:

  • Advanced knowledge of the industry;
  • Advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer; AND/OR
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in the field of specialized experience; AND
  • A highly paid position with a salary of usually $80,000 or more.

Please note that Category A is aimed at Innovative Canadian companies that need highly specialized and global talent in order to scale-up and grow, and have already identified candidates for a limited number of very unique roles (one or two) that are not already listed under Category B. Examples are specialized leadership and business development expertise.

Global Talent Occupations List

For Category B of the Global Talent Stream, employers must hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations found on the following list:

National Occupations Classification (NOC) CodeOccupation
0213Computer and information system managers
2147Computer Engineers (except software engineers and designers)
2171Information systems analysts & consultants
2172Database analysts and data administrators
2173Software engineers and designers
2174Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175Web designers and developers
2241Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians

*must have an annual salary of at least $81,000 or the prevailing wage (if the prevailing wage is higher)

2283Information systems testing technicians

*must have an annual salary of at least $78,000 or the prevailing wage (if the prevailing wage is higher)

Subset of 5241Digital Media and Designers

*in addition to the position having an annual salary of at least $80,000 ($38.46 per hour) or the prevailing wage (if the prevailing wage is higher), the position must require a minimum of five years of industry experience and require at least one of the following skills or experiences: 3D modeling; virtual and augmented reality; animation, level editing, editor and pipeline software and tools in applicable industry; and, other specialized knowledge of software framework in applicable industry (for example, Unreal 3.0).

For further information or questions regarding work permits and LMIA requirements, please feel free to contact our office. If you would like to know whether you could be eligible to immigrate to Canada, we invite you to complete our online assessment questionnaire: On-line Assessment Questionnaire.