Canada’s swift visa for Ukrainians is open. TalentLift is here to support you.

Canada is welcoming Ukrainians displaced by war through a new and swift visa. Under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), applicants who are Ukrainian nationals may apply for a visitor visa and open work permit, and then relocate to Canada. 

How it works

This visa pathway is open to any Ukrainian national. Applicants apply online for a visitor visa and have the option to apply for an open work permit which will allow them to work for any employer in Canada. CUAET applicants have the following fees waived: Visa application fee, biometric collection fee, and work permit application fee, among others. The visa allows you to travel in and out of Canada and will be processed on a priority basis. Canada will aim to process complete applications in 14 days. 

How TalentLift can support you

TalentLift is ready to assist anyone wishing to rebuild their career and livelihood in Canada. 

We invite Ukrainians interested in pursuing work and relocation to Canada to register with us. If you are eligible, and are displaced by the war, our team will work with you and your family at no cost to seek employment in Canada, to apply for this visa, and to relocate. We will prepare a transition plan to permanent residence to ensure you have a secure future in Canada.

We will support you and your family each step of the way to relocate and begin to rebuild.

Employers wishing to hire can express their interest here: https://www.talentlift.ca/ukraine/

ARCHIVED: Recruitment Lead

Join our team! TalentLift is a mission-driven, collaborative, and high-impact start-up expanding the job and skilled visa opportunities available to talented candidates living in refugee circumstances globally. We are hiring a full-time Recruitment Lead who will have the opportunity to make a clear impact on individual and systemic levels and to create the scaleable and human-centred processes that power our work. 

The team

TalentLift is a non-profit talent agency. We support Canadian employers to recruit and relocate talent from within refugee populations to fill skills shortages, enabling candidates along with their families to lift to their potential as they advance their careers, secure their futures, and leave displacement behind.

There are more than 26 million people living as refugees worldwide with few options to achieve livelihoods and security. Many thousands have the skills and potential to qualify for jobs and skilled visas in Canada, just like talented people anywhere, but they’ve been historically excluded from recruitment and visa systems. This is changing as TalentLift and our partners drive more equitable access to these transformative opportunities.   

TalentLift is the first organization of our kind to offer employers and the displaced candidates they hire in-house services encompassing talent search, visa application, and settlement coordination. We believe that access to opportunities should depend on potential and not the privilege of living without fear. 

The role

Our Recruitment Lead will report to the Managing Director and be responsible for:

  • Outreach and engagement with employers across Canada to recruit from within the refugee talent pool supported by TalentLift
  • Management of a seamless and supportive recruitment experience for employers partnering with TalentLift
  • Championing our talent pool and raising awareness about the skills and potential within displaced populations worldwide
  • Supporting business development and organizational growth 

Must have: 

  • Minimum 3 years of previous experience in a sales or client-facing role
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills, with the ability to manage multiple priorities while maintaining high attention to detail
  • Excellent relationship-building skills 
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Reliability
  • Adaptability and willingness to continuously learn

Nice to have

  • Post-secondary training in marketing, sales, human resources, business administration, or other related discipline is an asset
  • Experience and knowledge of business-to-business (B2B) sales
  • Experience with international recruitment or human resources processes
  • Experience supporting people living in refugee and displaced situations
  • Experience with project management and database software

What we offer

  • Salary of $70,000
  • Dental and extended healthcare benefits
  • 4 weeks vacation
  • Flexible hours and work from home in Canada
  • Equipment provided
  • A supportive team – ask us more!

TalentLift is committed to equitable hiring. All candidates are welcome to apply and we warmly invite those who have lived experience in refugee or displacement circumstances, Indigenous backgrounds, and different abilities. 

The deadline to apply for this role is March 20, 2022. To apply, please send your CV and a cover email to: careers@talentlift.ca 

Canada aims high in welcoming more talented candidates and their families from refugee circumstances in latest immigration plan

A family arrives in Canada supported by the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP). 

Canada released its first immigration plan since the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic today. It highlights the country’s priorities for the coming three years, including welcoming more newcomers into in-demand work from refugee circumstances under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP).

The EMPP was first trialled as a smallscale pilot in 2018 to support people living as refugees to access job and skilled visa opportunities on a more level field with other international applicants, as a critical new mobility option that is additional and complementary to resettlement. The pilot entered a growth phase at the end of 2021 following the federal election and a pledge to see 2,000 people supported by it.

Employers working with TalentLift are eager to recruit from this talent pool – and this plan for growth is a nod to the skills needed across Canada’s economy, and to the aspirations of talented candidates in refugee circumstances globally. 

Here’s a breakdown of the number of permanent residents to be welcomed in 2022: 

  • EMPP pledge during the election: 2,000
  • Target for four pilots, including the EMPP: 10,250
  • Target for all skilled immigration (economic) stream admissions: 241,850
  • Target for all permanent resident admissions: 431,645

TalentLift is glad to see a significant target, and to know that targets are flexible and can be surpassed. There are more than 26 million people living as refugees around the world, many with the skills and talents needed in our communities. If this talent pool accounted for just 1% of newcomers under Canada’s economic stream, that would be 2,418 people moving from displacement to a secure future. 

This vision is within reach. Canada is continuing its leadership to build a more equitable skilled immigration system that works for displaced talent and the teams welcoming them. 


Read more about building an inclusive skilled immigration system and meet a remarkable newcomer, a software engineer, who recently joined the ApplyBoard team and left refugee circumstances behind.

Webinar: Diversify to Include Top Tech Talent from Refugee Sources

Innovative Canadian tech companies are recruiting from the immense tech talent in refugee populations worldwide. Learn about this growing opportunity from the executives of leading companies, and the transformative impacts for candidates and the teams welcoming them to Canada.

Canadian tech companies have an enormous opportunity to lead the world in recruiting from an underleveraged talent pool of tech candidates living as refugees globally. This win-win recruitment initiative helps companies find and retain essential tech skills outside of stretched local markets, while enabling new employees and their families to relocate to Canada and leave refugee circumstances behind.

Join this webinar to hear Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser discuss Canada’s vision to scale this critical solution. Learn firsthand from executives of companies pioneering this transformative hiring initiative – Martin Basiri, CEO of ApplyBoard and Tia Fomenoff, Senior Director of People and Culture with Thinkific – and the gains they see for their teams and culture. We’ll also hear from Anas Jamous on his experience recently relocating to Canada from displacement for a job as a Software Engineer with ApplyBoard.

This webinar is for business leaders with interest in exploring the potential of this impactful model in their companies. The session is hosted by the Tech Talent Welcome Council, a grassroots and growing community of tech teams recruiting displaced talent, alongside TalentLift and CEO-P2P. This movement is just beginning – the Canadian Government aims to support at least 2,000 people to relocate from displacement for jobs in Canada.

We look forward to having you join us to learn more!

Time: Feb 15, 2022 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Immigration Legal Assistant

Join our team! TalentLift is a mission-driven, collaborative, and high-impact start-up expanding the job and skilled visa opportunities available to talented candidates living in refugee circumstances globally. We are hiring a full-time Immigration Legal Assistant who will have the opportunity to make a clear impact on individual and systemic levels and to create the scaleable and human-centred processes that power our work. 

The team

TalentLift is a non-profit talent agency. We support Canadian employers to recruit and relocate talent from within refugee and displaced populations to fill skills shortages, enabling candidates along with their families to lift to their potential as they advance their careers, secure their futures, and leave displacement behind.

There are more than 26 million people living as refugees worldwide with few options to achieve livelihoods and security. Many thousands have the skills and potential to qualify for jobs and skilled visas in Canada, just like talented people anywhere, but they’ve been historically excluded from recruitment and visa systems. This is changing as TalentLift and our partners drive more equitable access to these transformative opportunities.   

TalentLift is the first organization of our kind to offer employers and the displaced candidates they hire in-house services encompassing talent search, visa application, and settlement coordination. We believe that access to opportunities should depend on potential and not the privilege of living without fear. 

The role

Our Immigration Legal Assistant will be responsible for:

  • Providing administrative support to TalentLift’s legal team on both temporary and permanent residence immigration applications.
  • Managing various legal services duties including:
    • Maintaining case management databases and software
    • Requesting and reviewing information and documentation from candidates
    • Completing forms required for immigration applications and following up with candidates to obtain outstanding information
    • Drafting submission letters, working from precedents when appropriate
    • Preparing application packages for review by the Legal Director
  • Ensuring that deadlines are recorded, scheduled and met
  • Performing research and other general administrative duties as required

Must have: 

  • Minimum 3 years of previous experience in economic immigration processing
  • Strong knowledge of Canadian immigration practices and procedures
  • Excellent organizational skills, with the ability to work well under pressure
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities while maintaining high attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills in a cross-cultural environment
  • Empathy
  • Reliability
  • Adaptability and willingness to continuously learn

Nice to have

  • Work experience or volunteerism in cross-cultural contexts is preferred
  • Experience supporting people living in refugee and displaced situations is preferred
  • Experience with project management and database software is preferred
  • Ability to communicate fluently in multiple languages

TalentLift is committed to equitable hiring. All candidates are welcome to apply and we warmly invite those who have lived experience in refugee or displacement circumstances, Indigenous backgrounds, and different abilities. 

The salary for this position is $65,000.

The deadline to apply for this role has been extended to Monday, December 20, 2021. To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter/email to: careers@talentlift.ca 

Hack the hiring process to recruit tech talent in refugee circumstances

A new ‘Guide on Redesigning the Tech Hiring Process to Include Displaced Talent’ is a collaboration by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Refugee Action Hub, Na’amal, TalentLift, the Tent Partnership for Refugees, and World Education Services, with sponsorship by World Education Services.

Download the guide. 

The tech sector needs talent, and people living and working in tech within refugee populations need livelihood opportunities. This guide of practical ideas aims to help teams design their hiring process to more successfully recruit displaced talent. 

The talent gap across the tech industry and other industries recruiting for tech is significant. As a Forbes writer quipped, “the pandemic transformed nearly every organization into a tech company.” Canadian companies face a shortage of 200,000 software developers. Nearly 80% of CEOs in the United States are concerned about filling tech roles, and it’s projected to get worse. 

Meanwhile, there are immensely talented people working or trying to work in tech, who are living in refugee and displaced populations around the world, searching for international jobs. They keenly want a place in the talent pipeline. 

Work conditions can be extremely difficult in the countries where they live. Many work for lower pay and longer hours than their non-refugee peers, without job security, and without work rights and other legal protection to rely on. Life at home can be highly stressful because of low incomes and fearing for the safety, health or future prospects of loved ones. Despite all this, people find ways to grow their skills, continue learning, undertake passion projects, and look for new opportunities. Their accomplishments in these circumstances show remarkable perseverance, ingenuity, creativity, and drive. 

Pioneering companies are sourcing displaced tech talent as part of their talent acquisition strategies, in recognition of the human potential and the transformative impact of extending a job opportunity in Canada or beyond to someone who’s living displaced. The Tech Talent Welcome Council network of companies across Canada is one example of this growing community. 

As more teams explore this underleveraged talent pool, they may find a design opportunity: Recruitment processes can be adjusted to recognize and overcome some of the challenges facing qualified candidates that are unique to their displaced circumstances. For example, candidates may be unfamiliar with interview formats, and can face cultural differences in representing their experience or their interest in the company. Employers can be unfamiliar with how domestic interviewing norms differ from international ones, lack the flexibility to accommodate scheduling and connectivity challenges, and screen for particular skills that are uncommon in other markets such as software testing automation. 

This guide presents some of the challenges experienced by teams and candidates during the hiring process, and ideas to overcome them. The ideas range from smaller tweaks to larger redesigns towards a more inclusive hiring process. 

The insights and ideas are drawn from a co-design workshop series in September 2021. The workshop convened six tech hiring teams across Canada, candidates who are currently living displaced, and supporting non-profit or training organizations with a goal to explore practical ways to better bridge job and relocation opportunities and the unique circumstances of displaced job seekers.

Why hire displaced tech talent? 

  • Access an underleveraged candidate pool with in-demand tech skills and high potential 
  • Gain knowledge and experience of different cultures, regions, and socio-economic circumstances that will expand diversity of thought on the team
  • Gain creative, agile problem-solvers who have remarkable perseverance and determination
  • Engage your team in a transformative change for peers in refugee or displaced circumstances, and in enriching community-building when new hires can relocate alongside their families from displacement

Excerpts from the ‘Guide on Redesigning the Tech Hiring Process to Include Displaced Talent.’

ScotiaRISE invests $400,000 in TalentLift to help job seekers in refugee circumstances find work and settle in Canada

Mulham can build almost any wooden furniture and home decor. A baby crib with flowers carved into the headboard, a staircase, high-backed chairs, and a low coffee table with patterned sides are pictured in his portfolio.

His skills are prized in Canada where tradespeople are in critical shortage and are needed to drive growth in sectors like construction and manufacturing.

Mulham has a job offer with a furniture designer and manufacturer in Ontario. With TalentLift’s support, he applied for the job from outside Canada and is waiting for a skilled visa before he and his family immigrate to their new home.

The family will move from Libya where they now live as refugees. Mulham, his partner and their three children are from Syria and can’t return there safely or plan ahead in Libya with any certainty. Bribes and threats are everyday encounters with periodic arrests targeting the displaced community. Thousands have left these conditions to make dangerous sea journeys to Europe.

Mulham, a remarkable craftsperson, used his skills to unlock a better future.

Moving for work on skilled visas is an emerging opportunity for the 26 million people living as refugees worldwide who have historically had few options to achieve livelihoods and security, despite their skills and potential. Skilled visas attract newcomers with jobs or in-demand skills and are complementary and additional to humanitarian programs. Through an innovative pilot, Canada is expanding access to skilled immigration pathways working with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and non-profit partners like TalentLift. 

TalentLift is a non-profit talent agency assisting Canadian employers in recruiting and relocating talent from within refugee populations as a solution to skills shortages in Canada and displacement worldwide. It’s the first organization of its kind to offer employers and the candidates they hire in-house services encompassing talent search, visa application, and settlement coordination. With funding from ScotiaRISE, TalentLift is building a talent platform for displaced job seekers to self-register, develop job-readiness, and connect to transformative job and relocation opportunities.

By raising awareness of this out-of-country talent pool and providing a seamless experience for hiring teams, TalentLift is ensuring more people like Mulham can use their skills to compete for life-changing jobs and skilled visas.

“The global talent pool includes people in displaced and refugee circumstances, who when given the right opportunities, can make enormous contributions in new workplaces and communities,” said Sandra Odendahl, Vice President of Social Impact and Sustainability at Scotiabank. “Full inclusion begins before arrival in Canada, with the opportunities that make the journey possible. Through ScotiaRISE we are proud to partner with organizations like TalentLift to provide newcomers with the tools and resources needed to find jobs and build homes in Canada.”

Through TalentLift, assistance recipients and their families achieve a secure status with a pathway to Canadian permanent residence and citizenship. Once TalentLift candidates relocate to Canada, they enter jobs commensurate with their skills and career potential in communities where they can thrive. 

For Mulham, this is a chance “to start a new life, to ensure that my children receive a good education and the right to live in a country that values equality among all people, away from conflicts, insecurity and fear of the future.” He hopes others living in displacement find the same opportunity. “They deserve to get better job opportunities in a place that appreciates their talent, ambition and humanity.” 

Candidates living in refugee circumstances and seeking a job in Canada can join TalentLiftEmployers seeking global talent while engaging their team in something transformative can start hiring.

TalentLift’s Rui Chen appointed advisor to new Law Society of Ontario Access to Innovation project

We are excited to share that Rui Chen, TalentLift’s founding Chief Technology Officer, will serve as an advisor to the Law Society of Ontario’s five-year project to explore innovative approaches to legal services delivery.

The Access to Innovation (“A2I”) project will allow the LSO to assess the potential benefits of novel legaltech services. It is likely to catalyze the creation of new forms of legal services delivery by creating a space for dialogue between service providers and the LSO. Enabled by technology and an adaptive regulatory body, these service providers can enhance access to justice by serving unmet legal needs. Legaltech has the potential to reduce costs, service non-traditional clients, and address new legal needs in a rapidly evolving tech landscape.

As part of this pilot, the A2I advisory committee will work alongside participants and the LSO to create risk-based operation and reporting requirements, while discussing the future regulatory landscape of the legaltech industry. Rui will serve alongside leading experts in the legal, technology and legaltech space to steer the A2I project towards its goals. In addition, the advisory committee will review applications from potential participants, monitor outcomes, and make approval recommendations of service providers who apply to participate.

“The A2I pilot represents a huge step forward. I anticipate it will broaden the legaltech space tremendously, and create quality legal services delivery experiences that will improve access to justice,” said Rui. 

Rui is TalentLift’s Chief Technology Officer, an immigration lawyer, and the founder of an immigration SaaS form-filling platform, Sprintforms. He is also the technical advisor to the Junior Refugee & Immigration Lawyers Network, a peer mentorship association for immigration and refugee law professionals in Canada. 

See the news release on the project for a full list of advisory committee members.

TalentLift, the first organization of our kind registered as a Civil Society Organization with the LSO, is part of Canada’s growing legaltech ecosystem. We advance access to job and skilled immigration opportunities for talented candidates living in refugee circumstances globally. We’re eager to see the ecosystem grow and do our part to embed equity of access in tech-based legal services.

To read more about the A2I pilot project:

To get involved with TalentLift:

ARCHIVED: Candidate Success Officer

Join our team! TalentLift is a mission-driven, collaborative, and high-impact start-up expanding the job and skilled visa opportunities available to talented candidates living in refugee circumstances globally. We are hiring a full-time Candidate Success Officer who will have the opportunity to make a clear impact on individual and systemic levels and to create the scaleable and human-centred processes that power our work. 

The team

TalentLift is a non-profit talent agency. We support Canadian employers to recruit and relocate talent from within refugee and displaced populations to fill skills shortages, enabling refugees along with their families to lift to their potential as they advance their careers, secure their futures, and leave displacement behind.

There are more than 26 million people living as refugees worldwide with few options to achieve livelihoods and security. Many thousands have the skills and potential to qualify for jobs and skilled visas in Canada, just like talented people anywhere, but they’ve been historically excluded from recruitment and visa systems. This is changing as TalentLift and our partners drive more equitable access to these transformative opportunities.   

TalentLift is the first organization of our kind to offer employers and the displaced candidates they hire in-house services encompassing talent search, visa application, and settlement coordination. We believe that access to opportunities should depend on potential and not the privilege of living without fear. 

The role

Our Candidate Success Officer will report to the Managing Director and be responsible for: 

  • Managing a supportive, seamless international recruitment and relocation experience for TalentLift candidates, who are living in refugee circumstances globally and who represent diverse professions, English language abilities, and cultural backgrounds
  • Coordinating candidate experiences such as upskilling opportunities through our Talent Platform database
  • Building relationships with partner NGOs and service providers
  • Developing workflow, monitoring, and evaluation processes

Must have: 

  • Post-secondary training in public policy, law, immigration, international affairs, human resources, or other social sciences is an asset
  • 2 years of work experience or volunteerism
  • Excellent communication skills in a cross-cultural environment
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills
  • Empathy
  • Reliability
  • Adaptability and willingness to continuously learn

Nice to have:

  • Work experience or volunteerism in cross-cultural contexts
  • Experience supporting people living in refugee and displaced situations
  • Experience with project management and database software

TalentLift is committed to equitable hiring. All candidates are welcome to apply and we warmly invite those who have lived experience in refugee or displacement circumstances, Indigenous backgrounds, and different abilities. Please inquire about benefits and leave policy. We’re happy to share details about our work environment. 

The salary range available is $65,000-$75,000 commensurate with experience.

The deadline to apply for this role is October 11, 2021. To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter/email to: careers@talentlift.ca 

Ways for Canadians to support Afghans

A number of friends and colleagues have reached out asking us for ways to support Afghans. Below are some ideas on how Canadians can support those in need during a rapidly changing situation. 

If you have the ability to donate: 

FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance

Our partners at FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance work with Afghans both inside and outside the country who have been displaced by conflict and other disasters. FOCUS undertakes resettlement programmes for displaced families and extended relief and recovery support for communities living in vulnerable environments.

Donate here

Islamic Relief Canada

Islamic Relief Canada works with communities to strengthen their resilience and to provide emergency aid. They are on the ground in Afghanistan distributing food packs to those most in need with offices that remain open in Kabul, Balkh, Jalalabad and Bamyan. 

Donate here

Veterans Transition Network

The Veterans Transition Network (VTN) is a nationwide veteran-to-veteran support network for those transitioning to civilian life. VTN is accepting donations to provide shelter and support to interpreters in Afghanistan awaiting evacuation to Canada.

Donate here

If you’re part of a hiring team: 

If you’re considering displaced talent to fill skills shortages, thank you for exploring this talent pool and please alert us about your hiring needs here. We work with talented candidates who are living in refugee circumstances worldwide and who represent a range of professional backgrounds. They and their families may be displaced from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, and other countries. All are in need of transformative job and relocation opportunities.