Founder of Jain Immigration Law, Ravi Jain recently co-authored a piece on the Canadian Immigration Lawyers Association website, with fellow immigration lawyer Betsy Kane, where they discussed the Canadian government’s “Global Skills Strategy” to help employers attract highly skilled top talent to the country.
Touted as a “fast and predictable process to do this”, the strategy was supposed to feature faster application processing times, work permit exemptions and enhanced customer service.
The Global Talent Stream, which features Categories A and B, is a key part of the Global Skills Strategy for attracting foreign talent to Canada. Category A requires a referral from a designated partner and is for individuals with unique and specialized talent, while Category B does not require a referral but the job must be on the Global Talent Occupations List.
However, the authors discuss, towards the end of 2022 practitioners and referral partners have experienced difficulty getting employers and positions referred into Category A, which has caused confusion and forced employers to pivot their immigration strategies. The more stringent criteria for Category A referrals is especially confusing for innovative employers who have previously been successfully referred.
The authors argue that the more stringent criteria for accessing the Category A Global Talent Stream in Canada is causing confusion and frustration for employers and designated referral partners, who are now finding it difficult to access the expedited LMIA approval process. The government’s new vetting process is slowing down the referral process, and Program officers are now effectively performing the role of referral partners in screening, frustrating the role of designated entities. Employers with commitments to ongoing Labour Market Benefit Plans negotiated in good faith are being shut out of the stream on the basis that they no longer meet the criteria. This change occurred without prior notice, and the referral process can now take well over a month, extinguishing the speedy processing that was supposed to be a major feature of the Global Talent Stream.
Mr. Jain and Ms. Kane suggest that the Global Talent Stream has been a successful program for employers, but the government’s more stringent criteria may be inadvertently shutting out genuine high-growth Canadian companies and specialized talent. To prevent this, the government should reduce the number of designated partners with the required expertise and provide more transparent criteria. The government should also improve access to other streams within the TFWP and implement a trusted employer program to provide support to employers investing in skills, training, and development and hiring as fast as they can find qualified candidates. This will prevent roadblocks to doing business in Canada and globally.
You can read the whole article on the Canadian Immigration Lawyers Association website here.