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2017 Canada Federal Budget Update: Immigration and Mobility

Immigration and Mobility: Global Skills Strategy

As announced in November 2016, the Federal Government is moving forward with plans to implement a new  Global Skills Strategy (GSS) to facilitate faster access to top global talent for companies doing business in Canada that are committing to bring new skills to Canada and create more Canadian jobs.

The Global Skills Strategy will set a two-week standard for processing visas and work permits for global talent. The Strategy will support:

  • High-growth Canadian companies that need to access global talent in order to facilitate and accelerate investments that create jobs and growth.
  • Global companies that are making large investments, relocating to Canada, establishing new production or expanding production, and creating new Canadian jobs.

The budget also included funding to implement a new Global Talent Stream (GTS) under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, as part of the Global Skills Strategy, and managed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The GTS includes two key provisions:

  • Expedited processing and exemption from labour market impact assessments for applications from high growth firms seeking unique global talent. Eligible firms would be referred to ESDC by  designated partners, such as Export Development Canada
  • Expedited processing for eligible firms that can demonstrate that they need global talent to fill occupations from a new “skills shortage list”.

Employers will be required to file a Labour Market Benefit Plan to demonstrate job creation, knowledge transfer and skills and training benefits for Canadians.

Also under the Global Skills Strategy, the Government will introduce a new work permit exemption for short-duration work terms. The short-duration work permit exemption will apply for work terms of fewer than 30 days in a year—or for brief academic stays—and will be used for short-term, inter-company work exchanges, study exchanges or the entrance of temporary expertise.

The government has announced these programs will take effect on June 12, 2017

Express Entry

The government is also proposing to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to ensure that the Express Entry system is responsive to the needs of the Canadian labour market, and that the candidates most likely to succeed in Canada are selected. The budget also proposes to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow the Government to set relevant fees in a timely manner.

Recognizing Foreign Credentials

The budget includes a proposal to support a Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers.

The Strategy will have three components:

Improved pre-arrival support, so that newcomers can begin the foreign credential recognition process before arriving in Canada.

  • A loan program that will assist newcomers with the cost of having their foreign credentials recognized.
  • Targeted measures to test innovative approaches to help skilled newcomers gain Canadian work experience in their profession.