Global talent is pivoting north to Canada

The Global Talent Stream has helped welcome tens of thousands of workers to Canada since it launched in 2017

“Canada is awesome.”

Those were the words of Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke in a tweet addressing skilled talent that are currently prevented from working in the U.S.

Lutke himself is a German immigrant to Canada who helped build Shopify into a multi-billion dollar global corporation, headquartered out of Canada’s capital city, Ottawa.

Since its inception three years ago, the Global Talent Stream (GTS) has contributed to over 40,000 people coming to Canada to work in numerous tech roles, such as software engineers, web designers, computer engineers, digital media, and design.

The GTS allows these skilled workers to obtain a Canadian work permit within just two weeks after getting a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) approval, which also takes about two weeks.

Like with other work permits under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), employers are required submit an LMIA application. However, employers are exempt from the advertising requirements usually associated with an LMIA (normally, an employer needs to show the federal government they advertised for a vacancy and were unable to find a Canadian to do the job).

The GTS may prove to become more appealing after the U.S. decided to freeze new work visas for the remainder of the year.

The U.S. work visa suspension includes the H1-B visa, a popular visa for talented individuals seeking employment in technology and other specialty occupations.

In contrast, Canada’s reputation for being welcoming extends to talented individuals in specialty occupations. Even with the coronavirus pandemic affecting travel and immigration worldwide, the GTS remains open.

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