Latest Blog Posts

  • What’s new for Canada’s displaced talent pilot
    Canada’s groundbreaking pilot supporting talented people living as refugees to apply to economic immigration streams has an important set of new rules. Phase one of the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP), launched in 2018, successfully demonstrated that displaced talent can more equitably apply if administrative or financial barriers are removed, enabling them to make significant contributions to the national economy and the communities where they and their families arrive to put down roots. Last week, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship released details for phase two […]
  • A displaced talent strategy in Canada’s federal party platforms
    Canada has an unprecedented opportunity to leverage its full range of immigration options to support displaced talent. We didn’t have the policy tools or supporting infrastructure in place during past humanitarian security crises, like the displacement unfolding from Afghanistan’s borders, that have moved Canadians to contribute. But we do now.  Canada has pioneered efforts to open skilled visas to applicants living in refugee circumstances under the Economic Mobility Pathways Project (EMPP). The pilot helps applicants overcome some of the displacement-related barriers they might face despite their skills […]
  • 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 […]
  • Watch: TalentLift’s Veronica Wilson discusses innovation in immigration practice with the Canadian Bar Association
    Good people power good organizations.  Veronica Wilson, TalentLift’s co-founder and Legal Director, joined Emily Lukaweski in a webinar hosted by the Canadian Bar Association on “TalentLift: Innovation in the Practice of Immigration and Law.” Veronica spoke about her journey in immigration law that led her to co-founding TalentLift, Canada’s first non-profit talent agency offering in-house visa services that focuses exclusively on supporting employers to recruit and relocate talent from within refugee populations. In just six months of start-up work, Veronica has developed TalentLift into a Civil Society […]
  • Minister Mendicino announces latest steps to redesign skilled visas for talent in displacement
    Canada is redesigning skilled immigration pathways to include talented applicants living in refugee circumstances worldwide. New steps announced today send a signal that as Canada welcomes record numbers of skilled newcomers to grow our companies and communities, this country will deliberately include the immense talent within refugee populations.  Marco Mendicino, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, signaled a more inclusive skilled immigration system under the federal pilot Economic Mobility Pathways Project (EMPP), which aims to improve access to Canada’s skilled visas.  He spoke alongside Mohammed Hakmi, […]
  • Decoding tech recruiting for international talent
    The culture surrounding tech recruiting can be mystifying when first experienced. Why does one resume generate many calls from recruiters, while another with similar experience languishes? How do you answer questions like, “Tell me about a time a project failed?” And how are you supposed to code on a (now virtual) whiteboard when someone is watching you? If this culture is challenging for candidates in North America, even with coaching from their schools and private courses, it can seem impenetrable to those with tech experience in other […]
  • Ontario breaks new ground with refugee-inclusive design in skilled immigration system
    Ontario recently updated its intake system for prospective skilled immigrants with a design tweak that enables the province to conduct targeted draws for applicants who are both skilled and living in refugee circumstances. It may be the first example of refugee-inclusive design in the development of a Canadian skilled immigration system.  The new “expression of interest” (EOI) system in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, used to nominate people who have skills needed by the Ontario economy, asks all applicants to register a profile to determine eligibility and […]
  • TalentLift pioneers visa services for displaced talent as a Civil Society Organization with the Law Society of Ontario
    TalentLift supports Canadian employers to find and relocate talent from within refugee populations, and is the first non-profit talent agency of its kind to offer clients in-house visa services. We achieved registration as a Civil Society Organization with the Law Society of Ontario this month.   The Law Society of Ontario introduced a new Civil Society Organization status in April 2019 to make lawyer and paralegal services more accessible to the public. It enables lawyers and paralegals to provide their direct professional services as employees of charities and […]
  • In the News: Here’s one way Canada can help displaced Latin American workers
    Canada can immediately and actively share responsibility by offering displaced people across Latin America safe passage through access to programs for skilled immigrants, Craig Damian Smith of Ryerson University and Dana Wagner of TalentLift explain in an opinion piece published in the Globe and Mail. They argue that better access to work permits would revolutionize mobility opportunities to Canada for displaced talent worldwide – including for those living displaced in Canada’s own hemisphere. Further reading:  Policy Brief: How Canada can Address Skills Shortages by Improving Access to […]
  • Policy brief on opening Canada’s skilled visas as a solution to displacement in Latin America
    Displacement crises are unfolding across Latin America as people cross borders to seek safety from oppression, violence and environmental disaster. The number of Venezuelans alone who have fled their homes is approaching the scale of displacement caused by the war in Syria. They and others from across Central America are in neighbouring countries, often without work and decent living conditions, or making dangerous onward journeys. More than one million people are expected to seek safety at the American border this year.  A significant Canadian contribution to this […]
  • Reimagining relocation to Canada, where access depends on potential and not privilege
    A software developer landed in Toronto in March 2019, greeted by his new team members from a tech firm in Kitchener. Months later a chef arrived who would start working in Mississauga, and next came an engineer headed for Niagara Falls.  In a few more months, a healthcare employer from Pictou County would return from a recruitment mission overseas having made job offers to 13 nurses. A manufacturer from Collingwood did the same, returning after hiring 11 engineers.  All these stories of recruitment and relocation are ordinary, […]
  • The colour came back
    Nawar Alkhaleel paints in the morning and only in sunlight when each detail she brings to life is most visible. She begins with the eyes. The face, hair and posture that form a portrait in her mind extend on the page from there.  Her portraits are women built by colour, and their gaze, when it finds you, is difficult to break. It took Nawar just one week to finish her first portrait after arriving in Canada in January 2020. She and her family landed in Toronto on […]