All About International Mobility Program (IMP)

What is the International Mobility Program (IMP)?

The International Mobility Program (IMP) enables Canadian employers to hire foreign employees on a temporary work visa without the requirement for an LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment) in order to address a temporary labor shortfall in the Canadian labour market.

What is an LMIA?

The document known as a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) may be required by a Canadian employer prior to recruiting a foreign worker. In order to apply for a work permit, a Canadian employer must first establish if an LMIA is required or whether the occupation is LMIA-exempt. Otherwise, the work permit application would be denied.

Published on October 21, 2021

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6 Types of IMP Streams

The International Mobility Program, which grants work permits based on the state of Canada’s labor market in particular instances, promotes the economic and cultural interests of Canada as a whole. Here are 6 different types of IMP streams to choose from:

Buildings in the City of Toronto
There are 6 types of IMP Streams for skilled workers to choose from!

🎓 Stream 1: Post Graduation Work Permit Program

After graduating from a Canadian university or college, international students may work in Canada for up to three years with a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). Post-graduation employment permits may also assist graduates in obtaining Canadian permanent residency.

📑 Requirements
Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) applicants must be foreign nationals who are at least 18 years old and have completed an 8-month program of study while in Canada.

🧒🏼 Stream 2: Reciprocal Youth Exchange Agreements

The Reciprocal Youth Exchange Agreements include programs, such as the International Experience Canada (IEC),where young adults from over 30 countries can apply to live and work in Canada.

📑 Requirements
In order to apply for an IEC your country or territory of citizenship must have an agreement with Canada that states you may apply for an IEC work permit. Otherwise, you may utilize a recognized organization (RO). You must also meet the eligibility criteria for your country or territory of citizenship and the pool you’re applying for.

🤝 Stream 3: International Free Trade Agreements

The International Free Trade Agreements (CETA) like the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (CETA), permits particular service providers, self-employed individuals, intra-company transferees, business travelers, and investors to operate in Canada without acquiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

📑 Requirements
Eligible individuals entering the country under an FTA will usually need a work visa, but they will not be required to complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

💼 Stream 4: Intra-Company Transfer Program

For overseas workers, intra-company transfers to Canada are a common method of relocating to the country. If you work for a business that has a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada, you may be eligible to get a Canadian work visa via the Intra-company transfer program. To learn more about the Intra-company transfer program, visit their website. Applicants who have been approved via the Intra-company transfer program are issued a temporary work visa. 

📑 Requirements
Candidates for this program must be employed at an international company and wishes to work in Canada for that company’s parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate, as well as agree to work in Canada just temporarily.

👔 Stream 5: Bridging Open Work Permit

The Bridging Open Work Permits (BOWP) was developed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), allowing applicants applying for permanent residence in Canada a valid Canadian work permit. The Bridging Open Work Permit was designed to retain foreign workers in Canada while their petitions for permanent residence were being processed.

📑 Requirements
To be eligible for the Bridging open work permit, you should be residing in Canada when planning to apply, have a work permit that’s only valid for 4 months or less, a completed e-APR (electronic application for permanent residence), and a principal applicant in your permanent resident application.

🇨🇦 Stream 6: Social or Cultural Benefit to Canada Circumstances

Work permits for foreign employees who contribute significantly to Canada’s economy, social welfare, or culture may be issued without the requirement for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the employer. The LMIA exemptions in this category are referred to as the ‘significant benefit’ class.

📑 Requirements
To be eligible, you must have a LMIA-exempt offer, proof of employer compliance fee payment, and evidence of how your work provides a significant benefit economically, socially or culturally.

How to Move to Canada Through IMP?

First of all, you need to find a job in Canada. Then, the application process begins with your Canadian employer, similar to how it starts with the Temporary Foreign Work Permit Program. For a better understanding on how to apply, check out these 3 steps:

Your potential employer must use the employer portal to make a formal employment offer to you in Canada, which you must then accept before submitting your application. The employer portal can be found in the government of Canada’s website.

You may apply for your temporary foreign work permit once this step is complete. Before submitting your application, make sure to include your offer of employment number. If your application is accepted and you are eligible to work in Canada, you will get a letter of introduction and a work permit or a new work permit (if you currently reside in Canada).

Once you’ve obtained your work permit and travel visa, you’re ready to begin a new life in Canada.

Immigrant Employees in an Office Meeting in Canada
Remember: It's important that your Canadian employer sends you a job offer through the Employer Portal.

Learn more about work in Canada: