Everything about Canada’s International Mobility Program!


Canada is a contemporary economic hub. The economy of Canada is growing rapidly, and to fill the gaps in the Canadian job market, the government of Canada desperately needs more and more international workers. As a result, to bring more foreign workers to Canada. The Canadian government has put together many plans; one of them is the International Mobility Program. This article is a quick guide to know about the what and how of the International Mobility Program.

What is the International Mobility Program?

international mobility program

The Canadian International Mobility Program is an initiative by the federal government of Canada that allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis in order to help fill the skill shortage without the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

The program is designed to benefit both Canadian businesses and foreign workers by providing employers with access to a larger pool of potential employees and giving foreign workers the opportunity to gain work experience in Canada.

The International Mobility Program is open to workers from all over the world, and there is no limit on the number of workers that can be hired through the program. Employers must first obtain a positive labour market impact assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to participate in the program. Once an employer has obtained an LMIA, they can apply for a work permit for the foreign worker.

The IMP is just one of many programs that the Canadian government has in place to help employers find the workers they need. Other programs include the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the International Mobility Program, and the Global Talent Stream.

The IMP allows international organizations to bring highly skilled workers to Canada for up to two years. Workers must have a valid work permit and meet all of the program’s eligibility criteria. Once in Canada, workers will be able to work for any employer in their field of expertise.

Types of Work Permits in Canada

There are two types of work permit programs in Canada:

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required for a foreign national To obtain a work permit.

The LMIA’s intent for employers is to ensure the Canadian government that the hiring of a foreign worker would not have a negative impact on the existing workforce of Canada.

However, The Federal department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) wants to ensure that the hiring of an international worker would not take the place of an existing worker in Canada, nor will they put descending tensions on their wages.

The workers who need an LMIA fall under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

International mobility program

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is not required for an international candidate to obtain a work permit.

Despite the fact that the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is in the regulation, there are various different LMIA exempted work permits, and the cause of this is the free trade agreements, for example, the former North American Free Trade Agreement, currently known as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, or CUSMA.

These free trade agreements allow international workers to apply for work permits in Canada without their employers’ need to have a LIMA.

Apart from these employer-sponsored work permits, there are a number of work permits available for international workers who do not have a job yet, and these include post-graduation work permits and open spousal work permits.

Workers who do not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) fall under the International Mobility Program.

Canada’s international streams that fall under the International Mobility Program

There are three international streams that fall under the International Mobility Program: the International Skilled Worker Program, the International Experience Class, and the Provincial Nominee Program.

The International Skilled Worker Program is for highly skilled workers who want to permanently live and work in Canada. Applicants must have at least one year of work experience in a skilled occupation and meet the Canadian language benchmarks’ language requirements.

The International Experience Class is for young workers who want to come to Canada to gain work experience. To be eligible, applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 35 and must have at least one year of work experience in a skilled occupation. They must also meet the language requirements of the Canadian Language Benchmarks.

The Provincial Nominee Program is for skilled workers who want to live and work in a specific province or territory. To be eligible, applicants must have a job offer from a Canadian employer in their chosen province or territory and must meet the requirements of that province or territory.

Who is eligible for International Mobility Program?

The application for the international mobility program is easier and faster than the temporary Foreign Work Program because it does not require an LMIA, which may take a few months to process.

Workers who are part of Canada’s trade treaties, such as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMAor Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA)

Workers entering Canada on an open work permit
  • An open work permit allows the international worker to work for a Canadian employer for a specific time limit. However, an Open work permit may limit the worker’s occupation or location.
Types of open work permits in Canada

There are three main types of open work permits in Canada:

1. The General Occupations Open Work Permit: This type of open work permit allows foreign workers to work in any occupation, except for a few exceptions, such as those in the medical field.

2. The Specific Occupations Open Work Permit: This type of open work permit allows foreign workers to work only in specific occupations that are listed on the permit.

3. The Post-Graduation Work Permit: This type of open work permit allows foreign workers who have graduated from a Canadian educational institution to work in any occupation for up to three years.

How to apply through International Mobility Program?

To apply for International Mobility Program, below are the steps you might need to follow:


As with the temporary foreign work permit program, the process starts with your employer in Canada.

The expected employer will need to submit an official Job offer on the employer portal in Canada.

To be able to hire foreign workers through the International Mobility Program, the employer will need to meet the following requirement.

  • The employer needs to prove that the job or worker meets the requirements for LMIA exemption
  • They will have to submit an official job offer via the IMP employer portal

Once the job offer process on the employer portal has been done, you will be able to apply for a temporary foreign work permit. Additionally, to complete your application, you will need the offer of your employer number.

Suppose your eligibility to work in Canada meets the requirements of the employer. In that case, your application will be approved, and you will receive a letter of introduction and a work permit from a Canadian border service officer. You will also get a new work permit if you already live in Canada or are applying when you enter Canada.

Things to be noted

Only a work permit will not allow you to enter Canada. You need a Visitor’s Visa (Travel Visa) or an Electronic travel authorization (ETA) if you are moving to Canada from a different country.
You also need to submit a medical certificate to show that you are in good health.


Prepare yourself for a new job in Canada
Once you are all set with the work permit and a travel visa, you are ready to start a new one in Canada.


The International Mobility Program is an excellent opportunity for eligible individuals to live and work in another country. This program provides the opportunity to learn new skills, knowledge and experiences while gaining an international perspective.
If your company has a branch in Canada, you can simply ask them to transfer you to Canada to work through the International Mobility Program.
Individuals who cannot fulfill the requirements, such as IELTS, LMIA etc., can easily grant a permit to work in Canada in a short period. However, there is a catch if you want to apply through the international mobility program, you need to have expertise in the field in which you are looking to work.


Is it necessary to have a work permit to work in Canada?

If you are planning on working in Canada, it is essential to make sure that you have the proper documentation. A work permit is required for most types of employment in Canada. Without a work permit, you will not be able to work in the country legally.

What is the post-graduate work permit?

If you want to stay in Canada after you finish your studies, you need to apply for a post-graduate work permit (PGWP). A PGWP is a work permit that allows you to work in any occupation, for any employer, anywhere in Canada. To be eligible, you must have a graduate degree from a designated learning institution (DLI) and have a valid study permit. You can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit online or at a Canadian visa office. The processing time for a PGWP is usually around 2-3 months.

How can I obtain a Post-Graduate work permit in Canada?

There are a few ways to obtain a post-graduate work permit in Canada. The most common way is to apply for a work permit through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). To be eligible, you must have a graduation degree from a designated learning institution (DLI) and have a valid study permit. You can also apply for a work permit through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Once you have a work permit, you can work in any occupation for any employer in Canada.

What is an open spouse work permit?

Under the new rules, spouses of skilled workers who are living in Canada on a valid work permit will be eligible to apply for their own open work permit. This will allow them to work for any employer in Canada without the need for a job offer.

What is Labour Market Impact Assessment?

A Labour market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to hire a foreign worker.

The purpose of an LMIA is to make sure that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill a specific job and that no qualified Canadian worker is available to do the job.

An LMIA is also used to assess the impact of hiring a foreign worker on the Canadian labour market.

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