Global Skills Strategy and Short-Term Work Permit Exemptions

Faster Work Permit Processing

In June 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) guaranteed faster processing for certain work permit applications. To be eligible, applicants must either:

  • hold a positive LMIA under the Global Talent Stream; or
  • be eligible for an LMIA-exempt, employer-specific work permit in either a Managerial (NOC 0/00) or Professional (NOC A) role.
    • Note that International Experience Canada applicants are not eligible; and
    • Applicants must be applying from outside Canada.

IRCC has guaranteed that in most cases, applicants to the programs above will be eligible for 2-3 week work permit processing.

Short-Term Work Permit Exemptions

Another outstanding change by IRCC was the addition of some (narrowly worded) short-term work permit exemptions. These exemptions have been added based on public policy considerations. Short-term work permit exemptions are now available for foreign nationals who will work in Canada in roles falling under NOC 0/00 or A, for either:

  • 15 consecutive days in a 6 month period; or
  • 30 consecutive days in a 12 month period.

This exemption has already proven itself to be extremely helpful to Canadian employers requiring only short-term, highly-skilled expertise in Canada.

At the same time, IRCC introduced a short-term work permit exemption for researchers. This 120 day work permit exemption allows eligible researchers to work in Canada for a short 120 day period without the need for a work permit. The foreign national must have an offer from a publicly funded, degree-granting institution at the College or University level, or its affiliated research institution, and the foreign national must have a significant role to play, or value to add to the research project.

These changes have been happily welcomed by employers in Canada: they are excellent additions to the options available when hiring foreign talent.

By Katie Van Nostrand, an immigration lawyer with Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP. The information provided in this article is necessarily of a general nature and must not be regarded as legal advice. For more information about Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP, please visit