Candidate FAQ

What is TalentLift and how does it work?

TalentLift is a non-profit international recruitment agency supporting Canadian employers to recruit and relocate talent from within refugee populations as a solution to skills shortages in Canada and displacement worldwide. TalentLift offers employers and the candidates they hire in-house services encompassing talent search, visa application, and settlement coordination. 

Our work leverages the demand for skills and the availability of skilled visa pathways across Canada, and the immense talent and potential within refugee populations. We envision a world where talented people living as refugees can equitably compete for global jobs and skilled visas, and where access depends on potential and not the privilege of living without fear.

Am I eligible for TalentLift’s support?

Our mission is to support talented people living as refugees to access job and skilled visa opportunities to Canada as a solution to displacement. Our work is focused on this talent pool. 

To be eligible for TalentLift support, you must be: 

  • Living in refugee or refugee-like circumstances
  • Living outside your country of birth or citizenship
  • In need of international protection

Do I need to pay for TalentLift’s services?

No. TalentLift does not charge candidates any fee for service. If anyone asks you for money on behalf of TalentLift, please alert us immediately: 

How do I find a job?

 Join TalentLift by registering your profile on our talent platform so we are aware of your skills and potential, and the job opportunities that may be right for you. Recruitment through TalentLift is entirely led by our employer partners. If a job opportunity matches your skills, TalentLift will contact you to collect further information to develop your CV. If we have not received any opportunities from employers that match your qualifications, we may not yet contact you. 

We also invite you to begin your job search in Canada to complement our efforts. You can download a letter from TalentLift to support your job search on our talent platform. Be very careful about potential fraud while searching for jobs. We suggest reading our blog post on indicators of fraud. Please alert us immediately if you suspect fraud during your job search: If you have a job offer in Canada and need to relocate for work, your employer can contact TalentLift.

How do I improve my ability to get a job in Canada?

There are several steps you can take. Once you register your profile with TalentLift: 

  • Take the time to share details about your work experience, education, and language ability in your profile. Complete and updated information helps us better match your profile with available job opportunities. You are welcome to log in and edit your profile information at any time. The more detailed, the better!
  • If you already have a complete CV, please upload this to your profile. If you do not have a CV or your CV needs an update, we invite you to add all your work experience and education information to your profile, and an editable CV can be generated using this information.
  • Practice your English or French language skills. We may be able to support you to upskill your language. We encourage you to take advantage of any language services we offer and pursue all learning and practice opportunities on your own. 

How do I relocate to Canada?

TalentLift supports candidates who obtain job offers in Canada to relocate alongside their families on skilled visas. The use of skilled visas is an additional and complementary mobility solution to humanitarian resettlement, and is therefore separate from resettlement. 

Canada has over 100 skilled visa pathways and selecting the right one will depend on the individual, the job offer, the employer, and the location of the job in Canada. Some of these visas are work permit (temporary) pathways and others are permanent residence pathways. TalentLift supports candidates to access either temporary or permanent pathways depending on the circumstances. Our legal team ensures that, if someone arrives first on a work permit alongside their family, they have a transition plan to permanent residence.

What if I don’t have the right documents or finances to apply for a visa?

TalentLift is a partner of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in supporting our candidates who have job offers in Canada to access solutions to displacement-related barriers, under a special program designed to support displaced talent to access skilled visas called the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP). Many documentary, administrative and financial barriers – that have nothing to do with your skills – have solutions. If you have a job offer in Canada, our legal team will work with you and your family to overcome any barriers you may face. 

What English or French language level do I need?

A certain language level may be required by an employer and by a skilled visa pathway, and these vary from lower-intermediate to advanced. In general, employers in skilled trades, manufacturing, and other technical fields may require lower-intermediate English (CLB or IELTS 4) while customer-facing service and other professional roles may require intermediate to advanced English (CLB or IELTS 6 and higher). See equivalencies for French. 

If you have beginner English or French, we still invite you to join TalentLift by registering your profile on our talent platform. Once we see your skills and potential, we may be able to support you to upskill your language. 

If I get a job and begin a visa process, who can accompany me to Canada?

Eligible accompanying family members on Canadian skilled visas include a spouse and children under the age of 22. Other family members, such as parents and siblings, are not eligible as dependents.

What is the typical application process and timeline for a Canadian skilled visa?

Some skilled visas require two steps. The first step may be an application to a provincial government, a community, a federal program, or a federal agency that assess labour market impact, depending on the visa type. The second step is an application to the federal government for either temporary residence (work permit) or permanent residence. Other skilled visas require just one application to the federal government for permanent residence. 

The total processing timeline varies significantly by visa type. The swiftest visa pathway available applies to specialized IT roles such as software developers. The total processing time can be completed in 2-3 months. Other visa pathways can take 6-10 months and occasionally longer. This timeline may be reduced if a case can be made that the role would provide significant benefit to Canada, for example, roles in healthcare and other essential sectors.

What is a trusted partner referral letter and how can I get one?

A trusted partner referral letter is a document that may be issued by TalentLift, as a supporting NGO of Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP), to support an applicant’s eligibility as someone who is in refugee circumstances. Referral letters are submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at the time of a visa application. 

TalentLift only issues referral letters for candidates who we have supported to obtain a job, and who we are legally representing in the immigration process. We are unable to issue referral letters for candidates who we have not yet supported to obtain a job, or who we are not legally representing. 

Importantly, not everyone requires a referral letter. Referral letters are only needed if applicants to the EMPP do not have other documentation of their refugee circumstances such as a Refugee Status Determination (RSD) or registration with UNHCR or UNRWA. Read more about EMPP eligibility here.