International Mobility Program

Employers can hire temporary foreign workers without having to request a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under the Government of Canada’s International Mobility Program.


Positions exempt from requiring a LMIA are those which:

Provide broad economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada, and

Provide reciprocal benefits for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.


Workers who are eligible for the International Mobility Program (IMP) include:

Those entering Canada as part of trade treaties, such as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) or the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA).

Those entering Canada on an open work permit.

Those entering Canada as intra-company transferees.


A $230 employer compliance charge must often be paid when hiring a foreign employee through the IMP. The cost is not necessary if an employer is taking on a worker with an open work permit. A non-trade agreement, certain research roles, and philanthropic or religious activities are examples of other fee-exempt employment.

Job offers issued through the IMP must be submitted via the Employer Portal of the IRCC. Employers who wish to use the Employer Portal must first create a profile.

The portal must provide extensive information on the position being offered, including a list of responsibilities, the requisite level of education and experience, as well as compensation and benefits.

Audits of employer compliance by the federal government may use the information entered. Employers submitting a job offer with receive an offer of employment number. The foreign worker requires this number to complete their work permit application.


In most cases, an employer who wants to hire you under this program must submit an offer of employment through the Employer Portal. You will have to attach the number of your offer of employment to your work permit application.

Once your work permit application is approved, you will receive.

  • A letter of introduction, if you are outside of Canada; or
  • A new work permit, if you are already in Canada or if you submit your permit application when you enter Canada.

If you get a letter of introduction, you’ll need to show it when you get to Canada in order to get a work permit from the CBS officer, if applicable.

You are not need to file an application for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program if your business offers you a position under the International Mobility Program. For the purpose of hiring temporary foreign employees who require an LMIA, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) was created.

  • Post-Graduation Work Permit

The Post-Graduation Work Permit provides overseas students with the opportunity to work in Canada for up to three years following graduation.

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirements are not applicable to the PGWP.

The applicant must have spent at least eight months enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution or a secondary school with appropriate curriculum.

  • Bridging Open Work Permit

The Bridging Open Work Permits (BOWP, sometimes referred to as a ‘bridging visa’) is a much welcome innovation from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Many times, people who petition for permanent residency from within Canada have legitimate work permits for Canada. In order to keep employees in Canada employed while their petitions for permanent residency are being processed, the Bridging Open Work Permit was developed.

This work permit was decided by IRCC to bridge the gap between the expiry of the current work permit of applicants  who had valid work status in Canada — but whose work status may run out before a decision was made on their application for permanent residence.

  • Intra Company Transfers to Canada

International workers frequently relocate to Canada through intra-company transfers. Through the intra-company transfer program, you could be able to obtain a Canadian work permit if your employer has a parent business, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada.

A temporary work permit is granted to accepted applicants through the intra-company transfer program. As Canadian work experience is highly prized under Canada’s points-based immigration system, intra-company transferees may use their Canadian work experience as a stepping stone to permanent residence in the country.

  • CETA

Certain service providers, independent professionals, intra-company transferees, business travellers, and investors are permitted to work in Canada under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (CETA) without first completing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

A free trade deal known as CETA was done between Canada, the EU, and its member states. It became effective in 2017.

Prior to hiring a foreign worker, a potential employer in Canada must go through a rigorous recruitment process mandated by the LMIA process. The fact that CETA facilitates the LMIA-exempt hiring of certain Europeans is therefore beneficial to employers and eligible workers alike. LMIA-exempt work permits are issued through the International Mobility Program.

  • USMCA Work Permits for Canada

USMCA or United States—Mexico—Canada Agreement, allows certain types of workers from the United States and Mexico to work in Canada without a Labour Market Impact  Assessment (LMIA).  Workers in a wide variety of professions are allowed to work in Canada under the USMCA Professionals category.

Under the International Mobility Program (IMP), the Canadian government issues USMCA work permits.  Because U.S. and Mexican citizens do not require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada, USMCA work permit applications may be done at a Port of Entry, at a Visa Office, or online.

  • Canadian work permits through the CPTPP for professionals and technicians

Because of Canada’s involvement in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), experts and technicians from Mexico, Japan, and Australia may be qualified for work visas in Canada.

Canada enables qualified individuals to get work permits for a period of up to one year (with the option of an extension) in order to fulfil employment contracts with Canadian firms. When recruiting foreign talent, these work permits do not necessitate a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), saving Canadian firms time and money.

If you are eligible for a CPTPP work permit, it is a reasonably straightforward and rapid approach to get the licence to work in Canada. Plus, from a Canadian employer’s standpoint, it is also a reasonably uncomplicated process for recruiting a foreign worker, especially when compared to a costly and time consuming LMIA-based work permit.

  • Francophone Mobility

The Canadian government’s Francophone Mobility Program provides work visas to French-speaking foreign nationals who intend to reside and work in a Francophone community outside of Quebec. You must have a job offer with a National Occupation Code (NOC) skill level of 0, A, or B in order to qualify. Anyone from any country may apply for this program.

Employers are not required to do a labour market effect analysis for this work permit. This makes this immigration avenue very attractive to employers since it shortens the immigration process and can reduce costs. The permit is specific to the employer, good for the length of the employment offer, and renewable. There is no restriction on the number of applicants that can use this program.

  • International Experience Canada

International Experience Canada (IEC) is a set of programs enabling young people from participating countries to travel to Canada to live and work temporarily. Foreign nationals who are successful through one of the IEC programs will be authorized to apply for a Canadian work permit without the need for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). IEC authorizes temporary stay in Canada, with the approval of work permits for a maximum of one year.

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