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Work Permits: Canada Adds Five New Engineering Occupations In the Global Talent Stream

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A piece of good news for those looking for work in Canada is that the country has identified five new engineering occupations as it is as experiencing labour shortages. On December 22nd, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) expanded the list of eligible occupations in the Global Talent Stream (GTS).

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ESDC is a government department that works to support Canada’s labour force, and so has oversight over many immigration matters—including issuance of Labour Market Internal Assessments (LMIAs) and oversight of the GTS; a work permit program with expedited processing created to help Canadian employers hire foreign skilled workers in the technology sector.

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Under the GTS, employers looking to hire a foreign skilled worker for one of 17 in-demand professions (included due to insufficient labour supply in Canada) can apply and receive a work permit. The GTS looks to establish a service standard of two weeks for work permits.
What are the new occupations added to the GTS?

Previously at 12 positions, the list of eligible occupations has now expanded to 17 with the addition of five engineering roles.

These are:

Civil Engineers (NOC code 21300);
Electrical and electronics engineer (NOC code 21310);
Mining engineers (NOC code 21330);
Aerospace engineers (NOC code 21390); and
Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers, NOC code 21311).

Why have more occupations become eligible?

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The list of eligible occupations for the GTS changes according to Canada’s labour market needs; the inclusion of these five new positions is likely telling of an internal need for engineering labour in Canada.

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This year has also seen a growing trend of targeting specific professions for immigration, to more directly address Canada’s labor market needs.

Among these measures include:

The introduction of the New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot (NBCWP)—which works with six employers to directly address New Brunswick’s labour needs;
The removal of barriers to permanent residence for physicians (amid historic labour shortages of healthcare workers) applying through Express Entry; and
The approval of Bill C-19; which grants the immigration minister the power to create groups in the Express Entry pool (based on policy needs like in-demand positions) and issue invitations to apply (ITAs) to these groups. Consequently, Express Entry will likely target occupations more in 2023.

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As Canada continues to face high labour shortages and a growing class of retirees, in a post-COVID world, it seems likely the country will continue to address its economic requirements in a much more targeted way; as Canada has already identified immigration as the means by which to fulfill in-demand labour needs.

Employers hiring foreign talent through the GTS will need to ensure they properly prepare applications; including developing a Labour Markets Benefit Plan (LMBP) to demonstrate their commitment to activities that have a lasting, positive impact on the Canadian labour market. An immigration lawyer can greatly complement application preparation here, to ensure completeness and compliance with program standards.

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