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Canada to fast-track work permits for skilled foreign workers

Canada to fast-track work permits for skilled foreign workers

OTTAWA (Philippines News Agency/Xinhua) — Canada is making it easier for companies to hire highly skilled foreign talent by fast-tracking work-permit applications through a new initiative, the federal government has announced.

Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the “Global Talent Stream” will identify qualified high-demand occupations, help Canadian companies complete the application process to hire top foreign talent and prepare a labor market benefits analysis within 10 business days.

The program aims to ensure that when companies apply to hire skilled workers from abroad, they will demonstrate “how they’re building knowledge in Canada”, Canadian Labor Minister Patty Hajdu told Xinhua in an interview on Friday.

Once an employer’s plan is approved, the work-permit application will be processed in 10 days, and the hired foreign worker could be in Canada within four weeks from the start of the process.

Currently, it can take a Canadian employer up to a year to hire a skilled foreign worker, which can stall a company’s growth.

Hajdu told Xinhua the story of Peraso Technologies Inc., which is among the companies expected to benefit from the new program.

The wireless semiconductors designer once tried to import a technician who can help make the company’s chips run faster. But the work permit application got caught up in Ottawa’s red tape, and after seven months’ of waiting, the prospective employee accepted another offer.

“We’re trying to prevent situations like that,” said the minister.

Hajdu anticipated that the “Global Talent Stream” initiative, which will be launched on June 12, will mainly receive demands from the technology industry.

By 2019, the information and communications sector will expect a need of 182,000 workers in Canada.

Meanwhile, the country’s agriculture, forestry, mining and environmental engineering sectors also rely on emerging technology and will have to look overseas for talent, said Hajdu.

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