Starting in 2017, companies in Canada will be able to bring in highly-skilled international workers quickly and efficiently, with the government to set a two-week processing standard for visas and work permits in certain hiring situations.
Two federal government ministers — Immigration Minister John McCallum and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains — were present at the announcement, made on November 30 in Mississauga, Ontario.
The initiative forms part of the government's Global Skills Strategy.
“We know that when talented researchers, innovators and leaders are able to provide their expertise, even temporarily, their work can have a multiplier effect on job creation. In the global competition for highly-skilled people, it is crucial that these types of workers can get here quickly," said Immigration Minister John McCallum.
To be implemented in 2017, the Global Skills Strategy will:
- Establish an ambitious two-week standard for processing visas and work permits for low-risk, high-skill talent for companies in Canada;
- Create a dedicated service channel for companies looking to make large, job-creating investments in Canada; and
- Drop the work permit requirement for very short-term work (for instance, 30 days or less) in low-risk fields. Brief academic stays would also be eligible for this work permit exemption.
For his part, Minister Navdeep Bains added: “Business leaders have told me that attracting top global talent actually increases economic activity. One key hire can attract many others. This critical mass of talent enables the start-up of new companies. I’m proud that the Government has listened to the concerns of business leaders. Tapping into a large pool of highly trained people – both in Canada, and abroad – will set this country up for success as a global innovation leader. And it will enable high-growth Canadian companies to develop more quickly into globally competitive successes. That’s how we will create well-paying jobs for all Canadians.”
The government's rationale for the Global Skills Strategy is that the global demand for highly skilled talent in the knowledge economy is outpacing the supply, leaving companies in Canada without the talent needed to fill vacancies and grow their businesses. Among other benefits, the new strategy should allow businesses to provide employment for Canadians.