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International Mobility Program (IMP)

International Mobility Program (IMP)

Are you dreaming of exploring new horizons and experiencing different cultures? Look no further than Canada’s International Mobility Program! This groundbreaking initiative offers boundless opportunities for individuals looking to work and learn in the Great White North. As one of the most welcoming and diverse countries in the world, Canada beckons you with its breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cities, and thriving economy. Enables Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

The International Mobility Program (IMP) allows employers in Canada to hire foreign workers on a temporary work permit without needing to obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

This may present a number of advantages to employers and workers alike, who may enjoy the simpler, quicker hiring process.

An LMIA-exemption refers to a situation in which it is not necessary for a Canadian employer to obtain an LMIA in order to hire a temporary foreign worker. ESDC along with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) maintain an index of LMIA-exemptions which are organized through the International Mobility Program.

These LMIA exemptions are based on the following conditions:

  • broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada; and
  • reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents.

The International Mobility Program

In order to hire a foreign worker through the IMP, a Canadian employer must follow three steps:

  • Confirm the position or worker in question qualifies for an LMIA-exemption;
  • Pay the employer compliance fee of $230 CAD;
  • Submit the official job offer through the IMP’s Employer Portal.

Only after completing these three steps will the foreign national be eligible to apply for their own work permit. LMIA-exempt workers may qualify for expedited work permit processing through the Global Skills Strategy if their position is NOC Skill Level A or 0 and they are applying from outside of Canada.

Benefits of participating in the IMP

Canada’s International Mobility Program offers a multitude of benefits for individuals looking to broaden their horizons and embrace new opportunities. From professional growth to cultural immersion, here are some key advantages of participating in the IMP.

1. Global Networking: By participating in the International Mobility Program, you’ll have the chance to connect with professionals from around the world. This global networking opportunity can lead to valuable collaborations, partnerships, and friendships that can benefit your career in the long run. Canada’s diverse workforce provides the perfect platform to expand your professional network and gain a broader perspective on your field of expertise.

2. Enhanced Skillset: Working in a foreign country exposes you to new challenges, methodologies, and work cultures. By participating in the IMP, you’ll gain valuable skills and knowledge that can boost your career prospects. Whether you’re learning new technologies, mastering a new language, or adapting to different work environments, the International Mobility Program provides a unique learning experience that can set you apart from your peers.

3. Cultural Immersion: Canada is known for its multiculturalism and inclusivity. By participating in the International Mobility Program, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Canadian culture and experience the country’s rich diversity firsthand. From trying new cuisines to celebrating cultural festivals, you’ll broaden your horizons and develop a deeper appreciation for different traditions and perspectives.

International Agreements

A significant number of LMIA-exemptions are available through international agreements between Canada and other countries.

Certain types of employees can transfer to Canada from other countries, and vice versa, if they are able to demonstrate this will have a positive impact. Canada has negotiated the following Free Trade Agreements, each encompassing a range of LMIA-exemptions:

Generally, immigration officers will assess a foreign national’s past track record of success and examine testimony and recommendations of distinguished experts in the foreign nationals field in order to determine significant benefit.

Canada Interest Exemptions

Another popular category of LMIA-exemptions fall under the broad category of Canadian Interest exemptions.

LMIA-exemptions under this category must demonstrate that the exemption will be in the best interest of Canada, either by being of significant benefit to Canadians or through the maintenance of reciprocal employment relationships with other nations.

In order to qualify for an LMIA-exemption under the category of significant benefit for Canadians, the employment of a foreign national must demonstrate significant social or cultural benefit to Canada.

Intra-Company Transferees

Another means of securing LMIA-exemptions for significant benefit is through the provision of LMIA-exemptions for intra-company transferees.

Through this provision, certain companies may transfer a foreign national to a Canadian location in order to improve the quality of their business for the benefit of Canadians.

Additional LMIA-Exemptions

While the majority of LMIA exemptions are granted due to either international agreements or Canadian interest, there are a number of LMIA exemptions outside of these categories.

In some cases, LMIA exemptions are granted for humanitarian and compassionate reasons. As well, certain candidates for Canadian permanent residency may be eligible to apply for LMIA-exempt work permits.

TFWP and IMP: an overview



LMIA requiredNo LMIA required
Work permits are closed (employer-specific)Work permits may be open or closed
Labour market-based (to fill shortages on a temporary basis)To advance Canada’s broader economic and cultural interests
Based on specific labour needs based on occupation and regionBased partially on international reciprocal agreements (e.g. IEC, NAFTA, CETA)
Streams applications based on the wage of the position offeredDoes not stream applications based on the wage offered, but certain streams take occupation skill level into account
Typically requires employers to search for Canadian workers before being able to hire a foreign workerEmployers may hire without first offering the position to Canadians
Employers hiring for high-wage positions usually must provide a transition planEmployers do not have to provide a transition plan
Employer pays fee for LMIA application ($1,000)Employer pays compliance fee ($230) unless job applicant holds an open work permit (in which case, no fee is required)
Two-week processing standard is only available for certain occupations and top 10% wage earners, otherwise the process can run to many monthsMany IMP streams have a two-week work permit processing standard
Overseen by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)Overseen by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)


Exploring job opportunities under the IMP

One of the main attractions of the International Mobility Program is the wide range of job opportunities it offers. Whether you’re looking for a short-term internship, a working holiday adventure, or a long-term career path, Canada has something for everyone. Here are some of the job opportunities you can explore under the International Mobility Program.

  • Information Technology: Canada’s technology sector is booming, and there is a high demand for skilled IT professionals. From software developers and data analysts to cybersecurity experts and project managers, the IT industry offers a plethora of opportunities for individuals looking to enhance their careers in this field.
  • Healthcare: With its world-class healthcare system, Canada is in constant need of healthcare professionals. Nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and allied health professionals can find rewarding job opportunities in hospitals, clinics, and research institutions across the country. Canada’s commitment to providing quality healthcare creates a supportive environment for professionals in this field.
  • Engineering: Canada is known for its engineering expertise and innovation. Whether you’re a civil engineer, mechanical engineer, or electrical engineer, there are numerous opportunities to contribute to major infrastructure projects, renewable energy initiatives, and technological advancements. The engineering sector in Canada offers competitive salaries, challenging projects, and a supportive work environment.
The International Mobility Program allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers on a Canada work permit without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Embracing new horizons through the International Mobility Program

Canada’s International Mobility Program opens doors to a world of opportunities for individuals seeking to work, learn, and grow in a welcoming and diverse country. With its breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cities, and thriving economy, Canada offers a unique blend of professional growth, cultural immersion, and personal development. Whether you’re a skilled professional, a student seeking practical training, or an entrepreneur with innovative ideas, the International Mobility Program has something for everyone. By unlocking the boundless opportunities available under this program, you can embark on a journey of adventure, growth, and success in Canada. For personalized guidance and assistance throughout your application process, consider reaching out to Hadson Immigration.

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