Canada: Faster work permit and visa processing and new short-term work permit program proposed

To attract foreign investment and talent, the Canadian government plans to launch a Global Skills Strategy that will reduce visa and work permit processing times to two weeks.

Additionally, the government plans to introduce a short-term work permit exemption for intracompany transferees, international exchange students and experts. Specific information regarding the implementation of the programs is not yet available.

Background

This announcement comes after the Canadian Minister of Finance stated in a report that long processing times for work permits make it difficult for Canadian businesses to attract foreign talent, that foreign workers can help to train Canadian workers and bring new experiences to Canadian companies, and that foreign workers can drive innovation, which creates jobs and a stronger economy.

Global Skills Strategy Details

The Global Skills Strategy seeks to support the following types of employers in Canada:

  • High-growth employers that can demonstrate labor market benefits of foreign workers to facilitate and accelerate investments that create jobs and growth; and
  • Global employers making large investments, relocating to Canada, establishing or expanding production and creating new Canadian jobs.

Short-Term Work Permit Exemption Details

The government also plans to introduce a work permit exemption for intracompany transferees, international exchange students and experts entering to work for up to 30 days per year.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Faster processing times and a new short-term work permit exemption would benefit employers and foreign nationals as it would reduce administrative hurdles for foreign workers in Canada.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK