Canada has an international reputation for enabling global talent recruitment.
In fact, in early 2021, the prestigious management firm Boston Consulting Group named Canada the #1 destination for global talent. This reputation is built on exceptional business immigration programs that can help your company attract, retain and relocate the world’s best international talent to Canada.
It isn’t always easy to know which program works best for your company’s growth needs. To help, we’ve put together a simplified business immigration decision tree that outlines some of the most important programs available to businesses located in Canada. It isn’t comprehensive, but it’ll give you an idea of what to expect.
Here’s our business immigration decision tree:
Global Skills Strategy
The overarching program that includes the Global Talent Stream. The Global Skill Strategy promises a high standard of service to applicants, short-term work permit exemptions for skilled workers and top research talent and dedicated staff for employers making significant investments. If a company is eligible for referral, they will be assigned a dedicated account manager who will help support their business immigration needs.
Global Talent Stream
The flagship business immigration program in Canada. The Global Talent Stream promises a streamlined approach for bringing high-skill and/or leadership-level employees into Canada. In some cases, applicants need a referral partner like Waterloo EDC.
Category A and Category B
Workers entering Canada under the Global Talent Stream fall under two categories. Category A includes unique and specialized positions, including senior management or researchers in niche fields, and requires a referral from an organization like Waterloo EDC. Category B includes 12 types of occupations in tech and science – software engineer, computer programmer, etc. – and does not require a referral.
Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
A LMIA is a document you may need before bringing a foreign worker to Canada. The purpose of this document is to show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and that no Canadian worker or permanent resident could do it. Once a company gets the LMIA their worker can apply for a work permit, but not every foreign worker requires an LMIA.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW)
The overarching term for all business-related immigration, including agriculture workers, caregivers, academics, express entry and the Global Talent Stream.
Start-up Visa Program
A program for entrepreneurs who want to start their business in Canada. The Start-up Visa Program offers permanent residence to qualified immigrant entrepreneurs and links them with private sector investors who will help establish their startup business. In this case, private sector investors include angel investors, venture capital funds and business incubators like The Accelerator Centre in Waterloo.
Intra-Company Transfer Program
This program allows employers with operations within Canada to bring international employees to Canada as transferees. These workers must fall into one of three categories: executives, senior managers and workers with specialized knowledge. In certain circumstances, these transferees are exempt from the LMIA requirement, which simplifies the process especially when bringing a large number of employees into the country.