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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published updated instructions relating to its Innovation Stream Pilot that will allow certain employers to hire highly-skilled foreign talent and bring them to Canada without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This new program is designed to support Canada’s innovative Global Hypergrowth Project.

This program is designed to help select high-growth companies attract highly-skilled foreign workers to bring those skills to Canada. The Pilot will run for almost two years, but workers may receive an employer-specific work permit valid for up to five years. Their accompanying family members may also receive an open work permit.

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What is Canada’s Global Hypergrowth Project?

Canada’s Global Hypergrowth Project provides support to innovative, high-growth Canadian companies that meet a range of other selection criteria too, including ESG metrics. These companies will be given additional support to help them scale and flourish. 

A part of this is providing access to the top talent these companies need. The Innovation Stream Pilot will help these selected companies attract talented, high-skill workers from around the world. 

Which Companies Were Selected For The Global Hypergrowth Project?

The following companies have been selected for the Global Hypergrowth Project: 

  • Ada
  • AlayaCare
  • CellCarta
  • Clarius
  • Clio
  • DPG (Duchesnay Pharmaceutical Group)
  • Lightspeed
  • Vive.

Employers from this group will be permitted to hire high-skilled workers globally and bring them to Canada through to the end of the pilot. At the moment, the Innovation Stream is slated to be in place until March 22, 2026, unless otherwise extended. 

What Workers Need To Know: Eligibility and Application

Since this pilot program relates to specific employers, the process for receiving a work permit via this program may look like this: 

  1. Get a valid job offer for an eligible position from an Innovation Stream Pilot eligible employer. 
  2. Apply for an LMIA-exempt employer-specific work permit through the IRCC Secure Account. 
  3. Wait for your work permit to be decided, and then, if successful, move to Canada.

How Long Will It Take For The Innovation Stream Permit To Be Processed?

It’s worth noting that those applying for TEER 0 or 1 positions from outside Canada may be eligible for 2-week work permit processing under this stream. Yes, you could go from job offer to application to living in Canada within one month under this pilot program. 

Those applying for TEER 2 or 3 positions via this program are not eligible for the 2-week permit processing and should expect it to take longer. The processing times for this stream have not otherwise been published. 

Eligibility For The Innovation Stream Pilot

To be eligible for the Innovation Stream Pilot, you must show: 

  • Your job offer is from one of the employers selected to participate in the Global Hypergrowth Project. 
  • Your offer for employment is for a TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3 occupation. 
  • The employee will receive competitive wages. 
  • The offer includes a wage review on the first day of work and then annually by January 1 to ensure worker wages continue to align with the prevailing rate. 
  • If you’re already in Canada, you must be here as a valid temporary resident or eligible for restoration of status. 

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The Wage Requirement

The wage requirement is a little convoluted, but it is designed to ensure the temporary worker will receive competitive compensation for performing the work. The specific requirements outline: 

The wage offered for the position is at or above the median hourly wage for the province or territory: AND 

Meets the requirements of the applicable collective bargaining agreement; 

OR if there is not collective bargaining agreement)

Is either: 

  • At the higher of either the median wage for the occupation posted on the Job Bank’s Wage Report; OR 
  • Within the range paid to current employees hired for the same job and work location with similar skills and experience.

What if the wage offered does not meet this requirement? 

If the wage/salary offered does not meet the wage requirement, the employer will need to apply for an LMIA. It will not be able to take advantage of the LMIA-exempt work permits. 

Current Positions Available

These are some of the current positions available at the NOC TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3 level: 

  • Director of Marketing (TEER 0)
  • Business intelligence analyst (TEER 1)
  • Data modeller (TEER 1)
  • Data scientist (TEER 1)
  • In-house counsel (TEER 1)
  • Computer systems and software developers (TEER 1) 
  • Cybersecurity specialist (TEER 1)
  • Software engineers and designers (TEER1)
  • Workplace experience coordinator (TEER 3). 

You can search for open positions at the Hypergrowth Project companies using the following links: 

Ready to get started? 

A free Moving2Canada account can help you plan for your move to Canada. Your account comes with everything from an Immigration Quiz to planning checklists to special offers from our partners. It can help you answer questions like will I need health insurance to move to Canada under the Innovation Stream Pilot? (Yes, you will want to consider health insurance to cover you during your first few months in Canada.)

About the author

Stephanie Ford profile picture

Stephanie Ford

She/Her
Finance, Law and Immigration Writer
Stephanie is a content marketer who has written for law firms (with a focus on immigration and privacy), legal tech companies, and finance professionals for more than 9 years. She earned a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning in Australia. Stephanie is now a permanent resident of Canada and a full-time writer at Moving2Canada.
Read more about Stephanie Ford
Citation "Introducing Canada’s Innovation Stream Pilot: LMIA-Exempt Work Permits for High-Growth Companies." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation

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