The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada have jointly announced the creation of a new Global Skills Strategy designed to benefit fast growing industry sector companies within Canada.
Currently, key personnel entering Canada to assist with the high growth or start-up activities of companies in Canada must do so pursuant to a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or under an LMIA exempt work permit category. In response to key stakeholder demand and a recognition that the current immigration rules do not respond quickly enough to allow Canadian companies to capitalize on emerging opportunities, the Global Skills Strategy announced on November 30, 2016 will give companies in Canada quicker access to highly qualified global talent, allowing them to better respond to business opportunities emerging in highly dynamic industry sectors.
To be implemented later in 2017, the Global Skills Strategy will:
– Establish a two-week processing time for visas and work permits for low-risk, highly skilled talent seeking to work for companies in Canada
– Create a dedicated service channel for companies seeking to make large investments in the Canadian economy, which will result in job creation for Canadian citizens/permanent residents
– Allow foreign nationals entering Canada on very short-term assignments (30 days or less) in low risk fields or in academia to work in Canada without requiring a work permit
Upon implementation of this program, companies in Canada seeking to scale up or start operations in Canada will be able to respond more quickly to the changing economic landscape by having as close to real-time access to key talent as possible. The Global Skills Strategy recognizes that in the innovation sector, companies often require highly skilled talent within days, and this new initiative will allow companies within Canada to respond to opportunities more rapidly than is possible under the current rules and regulations. The specific industries which will benefit most from this new strategy remain to be determined, however companies in highly innovative sectors in Canada, such as the pharmaceutical or information technology sectors, can expect to benefit from this new initiative.
For more information on access to key global talent and Canada’s current Temporary Foreign Worker Program and International Mobility Program, please contact PwC Law LLP.