International Mobility Program (Who can appy?)

International Mobility Program (Who can appy?)

What is the International Mobility Program?

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required for Canadian employers seeking to hire temporary foreign workers, but the International Mobility Program (IMP) offers exemptions, facilitating the recruitment of foreign talent without the need for an LMIA, fostering international workforce mobility.

The International Mobility Program (IMP) allows Canadian employers to invite temporary foreign workers students, professionals, or researchers to Canada without the need Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Streams under the International Mobility Program often aim to broaden perspectives, promote global cooperation, and enhance participants’ growth in international experiences without the need for LMIA.

These LMIA exemptions can be achieved only if this will:

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

Who is eligible for the IMP (LMIA Exempt Work Permits)?

Programs that fall under the International Mobility Program or also to secure lmia exempt work permit are:

1. Canadian Interest Exemptions

Canadian Interest Exemptions provide flexibility in hiring foreign workers without an LMIA, LMIA exemptions in this category must prove their benefit to Canada or reciprocal employment ties with other nations.

For the “significant benefit for Canadians” exemption, a foreign national’s employment must demonstrate substantial social or cultural contributions, that would be evaluated through past success and expert recommendations.

2. Bridging Open Work Permit

The Bridging Open Work Permit allows temporary residents awaiting permanent residency to continue working in Canada, providing stability and continuity in employment during the immigration process. Learn more about Bridging Open Work Permit here.

3. International Free Trade Agreements

International Free Trade Agreements create pathways for foreign nationals to work in Canada, fostering economic cooperation while allowing businesses to access specialized skills without an LMIA requirement. Some employees can transfer to Canada if they they fall under one of these International Free Trade Agreements:

  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
  • Canada-Chile FTA/Canada-Peru FTA/Canada-Columbia FTA/Canada-Korea FTA
  • Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)
  • General Agreement On Trade In Services
  • Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

4. Reciprocal Youth Exchange Agreements

Reciprocal Youth Exchange Agreements promote cultural exchange by enabling young people from different countries to work and experience life in Canada, fostering mutual understanding and collaboration.

5. Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program allows international students who have completed their studies in Canada to obtain an open work permit, encouraging them to contribute their skills to the Canadian workforce and gain valuable professional experience.

6. Intra-Company Transferees

One more way to get an LMIA exemption can also be achieved by granting exemptions for intra-company transferees. This allows specific companies to transfer foreign nationals to Canadian locations, enhancing their business quality for the benefit of Canadians.

How to Apply for the International Mobility Program?

Step 1: Check Eligibility Ensure you meet International Mobility Program Canada requirements:

  • Valid passport
  • Submit a work permit application with required documents.
  • Obtain an official job offer letter from a Canadian employer with a valid LMIA exemption code.
  • For a graduation Work Permit, attend a recognized post-secondary school for at least eight months.
  • Positions exempt from LMIA must provide broad benefits for Canada.
  • To qualify for an LMIA exemption under significant benefit, the foreign national’s employment must show significant social or cultural benefit.

Step 2:  Employers have to pay a $230 fee, except for those hiring open work permit holders or for specific positions like non-trade agreement roles, certain research positions, and charitable or religious work.

Step 3: Job offers via the IMP must be submitted through the IRCC’s Employer Portal, where employers need to register a profile. Detailed job information, including duties, education and experience requirements, and compensation details, is required and might be subject to federal government audits.

Step 4: Employers will receive an offer of employment number after submitting a job offer, which the foreign worker needs for their work permit application.

Step 5: Once the work permit application is approved, the foreign worker outside Canada receives a letter of introduction, while those already in Canada or applying at entry get a new work permit. At the port of entry, the letter of introduction is exchanged for a work permit, ensuring all requirements are still met.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the Difference Between the TFWP and the International Mobility Program?

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is designed for foreign workers filling specific labor shortages, requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). In contrast, the International Mobility Program (IMP) facilitates the entry of foreign nationals for broader purposes, such as cultural exchange or reciprocal agreements, often without the need for an LMIA.

AspectTemporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)International Mobility Program (IMP)
Employer RequirementsRequires LMIA from ESDC.May not require LMIA, depending on category.
Work Permit DurationTied to LMIA duration.Varies based on category.
Job OfferRequires job offer with approved LMIA.May not require job offer.
LMIA ExemptionsNo LMIA exemptions.Possible exemptions based on category.

What occupations do not need a work permit in IMP?

Diplomats, military personnel, business visitors, performing artists, news reporters, public speakers, convention organizers, athletes, clergy, judges, and certain other roles may not require a work permit under the International Mobility Program.

What is the age limit for IMP Canada?

There is no specific age limit for the International Mobility Program (IMP) in Canada, other eligibility criteria may vary depending on the program and requirements.

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