Canada’s EMPP is open to support skilled immigration by displaced talent

Kinaz is a nurse living in displacement supported by TalentLift who will fill a critical role in healthcare in British Columbia.

Canada’s groundbreaking pilot supporting talented people living as refugees to apply to economic immigration streams is now open. As of today, people living in refugee circumstances can submit job-backed permanent residence applications through the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP).

The EMPP extends some flexibility to address administrative and financial requirements that have previously been a barrier to otherwise highly qualified applicants. Skilled immigration is an additional mobility option for those seeking a durable solution outside of traditional humanitarian resettlement. 

Talented candidates in refugee circumstances can now apply through selected economic programs with the following flexibility: 

  • 1 year of work experience accrued anytime (no recency period) under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) or Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) programs;
  • Use of a loan from a trusted microlender to satisfy a settlement funds requirement; 
  • Use of an expired passport or other ID in place of a valid passport; and
  • Waiver of the permanent residence processing fee and biometrics fee. 

These changes apply only to applicants to the provincial nominee programs (PNPs), AIP, and RNIP. 

A skills-based solution to displacement

One candidate whose application will be supported under the pilot is Mulham, hired as a CNC Machinist by a manufacturing firm in Ontario. Mulham and his family are living in refugee circumstances in Libya while they wait for their visas. 

Mulham told us 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.”

Read more about this family: https://www.talentlift.ca/scotiarise-invests-400000-in-talentlift-to-help-job-seekers-in-refugee-circumstances-find-work-and-settle-in-canada/

Essential improvements for deeper equity

TalentLift has made recommendations for deeper equity and the growth of this important and win-win mobility option to Canada. These recommendations build on our team’s operational knowledge of barriers facing qualified candidates and their prospective employers:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GcjQ6LDnCbsIq4J6LYPEs5VkJYjUk3MkmglzUmBWqOg/edit

TalentLift is excited to support Canadian employers and the talented candidates they hire under  the EMPP. We and our partners across hiring teams, alongside IRCC, provinces and territories, and supporting NGOs, are modelling a scalable, skills-based solution to displacement as a complementary pathway to humanitarian resettlement.

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.’

How hiring teams in Canada can support displaced Afghans


More than 2.6 million Afghans have left the country in search of refuge and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) expects this number to grow in the coming months. Many of those who are in refugee circumstances in neighbouring countries are professionals, tradespeople, recent graduates, or parents, all eager for an opportunity to put their skills to use and contribute in a new home community.

Hiring teams across Canada can be part of the solution by extending job and skilled visa opportunities to talented Afghans and others displaced by conflict or persecution globally.

We and our partners at Lifeline Afghanistan, a non-partisan network of individuals and organizations responding to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, hosted a webinar for hiring teams and other community members to learn how recruitment and relocation from within the displaced talent pool works. 

This unique form of recruitment, supported by the Canadian government and UNHCR through the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot, is a solution to both skills shortages and displacement. It’s a brilliant way to find talent while helping candidates and their families to relocate from displacement. Skilled immigration is additional and complementary to humanitarian resettlement and is a much-needed mobility option for those who can and want to use their professional skills to relocate.

The webinar recording is available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/SrQC2Ma9QGk  

We urge you to watch and consider these actions: 

  1. If you’re part of a team, start hiring with TalentLift.
  2. If you know Afghans who are displaced outside Afghanistan, job-ready and searching for a mobility solution, invite them to seek a job by joining TalentLift.
  3. If you want to engage another way, join Lifeline Afghanistan efforts to support private sponsorship of refugees.

You can also share the webinar recording with colleagues, friends or family and encourage these actions by others.

With the support of the Scotiabank ScotiaRISE initiative, TalentLift has built a talent platform for displaced job seekers to self-register, develop job-readiness, and connect to transformative job and relocation opportunities to Canada. Learn more

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 

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 of the EMPP in a public policy. Although applications will not be accepted under the EMPP until late fall 2021, we are excited to share what has been revealed so far about the next stage of the pilot and our recommendations for further development.  

EMPP phase two overview:

  • Exclusive to applicants in provincial nominee programs, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP).
  • Includes various ways an IRCC officer may determine whether the applicant is in refugee circumstances.
  • Applicable to only those residing outside of Canada at the time of application for permanent residence.
  • Permanent residence and biometrics fees are waived for principal applicants and accompanying family members.
  • If the applicant has a job offer, the requirement to show funds “unencumbered by debts or other obligations” is exempted. This change allows for the use of alternative proof of settlement funds such as loans, donations or grants.
  • Extension of the recent work experience period requirement under AIP and RNIP. Instead of acquiring one year of full-time work experience in the last three years, the applicant can demonstrate work experience obtained any time in the past. 
  • Valid passport not required. This means applicants with expired or no passports can use alternative proof of identity and alternative travel documents. 
  • Accompanying family members are limited to spouses, common-law partners and dependent children. This is the same rule applied to all applicants to economic immigration programs.  
  • Applicants are subject to all other admissibility and eligibility requirements. 
  • There is a cap of 500 applications that will be implemented as follows:
    • 150 applications accepted until June 30, 2022
    • 350 applications accepted starting on July 1, 2022

The new rules provide important clarification and some new flexibility such as removing work experience recency – a requirement that many displaced applicants can’t meet if they’ve been unable to legally work in their field in a host country. However, there are limits to scope and scale that don’t necessarily align with the fundamental goal of equitable access for displaced talent to the full breadth of the economic program. 

Here are our recommendations for deeper equity and the growth of this important mobility option:

  • Extend access to work permits which would ensure that temporary pathways and the many permanent residence pathways that require in-Canada work experience are accessible to displaced talent. 
  • Extend application to all economic immigration pathways to preserve maximal opportunities and equity of access. This includes extending the exemption from work experience recency and the flexibility on settlement funds across any pathway.
  • Accept referrals from trusted partner organizations to determine eligibility of applicants as refugees and other displaced people in need of international protection. This method reduces bureaucracy and delays. 
  • Waive the requirement for education credential assessments or accept alternatives such as the WES Gateway Program assessment. Displaced applicants may be unable to obtain the appropriate documentation from institutions in their home country without putting themselves or their families at risk.
  • Remove the 500 limitation and the expiry of the public policy to allow for further scale.
  • Extend eligibility to those who are both inside and outside Canada at the time of a permanent residence application to maintain speed and flexibility towards permanence for those who are able to arrive first on work permits.

We are excited to support Canadian employers and the talented candidates they hire under this next phase of the EMPP. We and our partners across hiring teams, alongside IRCC, provinces and territories, and supporting NGOs, are modelling a scalable, skills-based solution to displacement as a complementary pathway to humanitarian resettlement.

Ways to get involved: 

A displaced talent strategy in Canada’s federal party platforms

Photo: Ishmael n. Daro from Toronto, Canada, CC BY 2.0

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 and potential, like an expired passport with no safe or affordable way to renew it, and little to no savings to demonstrate their ability to settle. Now, when someone is compelled to leave their country in search of safety, their skills can open doors to Canada that were firmly closed before for no good reason. 

As Canadians of all political stripes search for ways to support Afghans and other displaced people worldwide, Canada’s political parties should share how their future governments would continue and expand the use of skilled visas by talented candidates in displacement – and by the teams across Canada who are eager to hire them. 

We outline below the essential commitments to signal a scalable and inclusive approach to Canada’s displaced talent strategy. 

A commitment to continue Canada’s pioneering efforts to attract displaced talent by: 

  • Expanding access to skilled immigration pathways for applicants living in refugee circumstances, which is a solution to both skills shortages in Canada and displacement worldwide, as an additional and complementary mobility option to humanitarian and resettlement pathways. This solution leverages the immense potential within refugee populations as well as the demand for international talent and the availability of skilled visa pathways. It advances equitable access to opportunities that are available to talent from other backgrounds and circumstances. It does all this while preserving and growing the resettlement program for those most in need. 
  • Adapting work permit criteria to enable access by displaced applicants. Specifically, removing the requirement that applicants living in refugee circumstances demonstrate their ability and willingness to leave Canada, and instead asking them to demonstrate their ability to stay through a transition plan to permanent residence. Work permits are the swiftest and most common route to Canada for international talent, and open additional permanent residence options that require in-Canada work experience. Access to work permits is essential to scale and equity of access, because employers require fast and predictable timelines when they hire international talent.
  • Applying open and flexible eligibility criteria with respect to applicants, so that lengthy refugee determinations and other red tape do not impede recruitment efforts, and with respect to the skilled visa pathways within scope of the pilot. People who are displaced outside their home country and who are in need of international protection should be included, regardless of whether they have yet had an official Refugee Status Determination. All skilled visa pathways should be within scope as a matter of principle and practicality, because displaced talent belongs across the full breadth of the economic stream. 
  • Working with stakeholders to continuously improve. This includes working with the business community, provinces and territories, supporting NGOs, and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to embed further flexibility across skilled visa programs that aims to overcome displacement-related barriers for otherwise qualified applicants. These barriers may include administrative, documentary, and financial rules that have nothing to do with skills and potential. 
  • Setting ambitious targets instead of quotas or caps for displaced talent applicants, to enable predictability, scale, and mainstreaming of access by this immense talent pool. 

We’ve gathered the platform commitments in this field by the main parties. We’ll publish updates as new commitments are announced. 

Bloc Québécois:

Skilled immigration – general:

  • Transfer the control of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to Quebec.
  • Reduce processing delays of immigration applications.

EMPP/Skilled immigration – displaced talent:

  • No related commitments at this time.

Conservative Party: 

Skilled immigration – general:

  • Prioritize and streamline immigration that would strengthen the health system including new measures to attract healthcare workers, especially in priority areas and regions. 
  • Rework the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to better align it with domestic needs and to protect workers and create a trusted employer system to prevent companies from continuously re-applying to the program. 
  • Establish clear standards and timelines for Labour Market Impact Assessment processes, including options for fee-based expedited visas when necessary. 
  • Establish a path to permanence for those who enter Canada as lower-skilled workers by allowing employers to sponsor applications for permanent residence. 

EMPP/Skilled immigration – displaced talent:

  • EMPP is not referenced but the platform highlights the importance of filling critical gaps and robustly growing the economy with bold and necessary solutions using our immigration system to meet this objective.

Green Party: 

Skilled immigration – general:

  • Bring more skilled workers and address current inequalities within the existing systems in Canada.
  • Introduce exceptions for permanent residency and citizenship application costs based on household income.
  • Introduce lower barrier, more accessible pathways to permanent residency for temporeign foreign and frontline workers.
  • Develop safe strategies for temporary foreign workers and whistle blowers to report abusive employers without losing their status.

EMPP/Skilled immigration – displaced talent:

  • No related commitments at this time.

Liberal Party: 

Skilled immigration – general:

  • Reform economic immigration programs to expand pathways to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers and former international students through the Express Entry system.
  • Establish a Trusted Employer system to streamline the application process for Canadian companies hiring temporary foreign workers to fill labour shortages that cannot be filled by Canadian workers.
  • Grow and improve the Global Talent Stream program by simplifying permit renewals, upholding the 2-week processing time, and establishing an employer hotline, to allow Canadian companies to attract and hire highly-skilled workers.
  • Continue to work with provinces, territories, and regulatory bodies to improve foreign credential recognition.

EMPP/Skilled immigration – displaced talent:

  • Build on theEMPP and work with employers and communities across Canada to welcome 2,000 skilled refugees to fill labour shortages in in-demand sectors such as healthcare.

New Democratic Party (NDP): 

Skilled immigration – general:

  • Ensure that immigration policies and levels meet Canada’s labour force needs and recognize people’s experiences, contributions, and ties to Canada. 
  • Work with the provinces to address gaps in settlement services and improve foreign credential recognition. 
  • Explore pathways to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers

EMPP/Skilled immigration – displaced talent:

  • No related commitments at this time. 

Contact TalentLift for insights on developing a displaced talent strategy. 

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.

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 Organization registered with the Law Society of Ontario and is pioneering the use of additional skilled visa pathways under Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Project for employers and candidates across tech, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality sectors. 

She showed us why mission-driven leadership creates value for employers and the candidates they hire. “I really value having the time to get to know clients and work with them on a more personal level,” she said. 

Driving Veronica and the outstanding hiring teams that partner with us is the potential within this unique talent pool. Candidates living in refugee circumstances “have so much to contribute if given the opportunity to use their skills and showcase their talent.” 

Meet Veronica and hear her firsthand leadership journey by watching the video conversation below or on the Canadian Bar Association Facebook page.

Ways to get involved: