International Mobility Program

International Mobility Program—Advantage Skilled Workers with LMIA-Exempt Jobs in Canada

Why do skilled candidates often struggle to find a job in Canada? The answer— Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Under the Temporary Foreign Worker program, a Canadian employer can hire a foreign worker only after proving that he/she has not found a suitable candidate in the country. This is proved by applying Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for LMIA approval.

This is a costly and time-consuming process that deters employers with a genuine need from hiring foreign candidates. You have the option of hoping to find an employer ready to complete the LMIA process to hire you. Or you can check whether you are eligible for a Canada work permit under the International Mobility Program (IMP).

What is IMP and Benefits for Qualified Candidates?

The TFWP has been setup to help Canadian employers hire foreign workers to tackle labor shortages. Obviously, employers need to prove there is an actual shortage of qualified workers for the position before they can hire a worker under the TFPW. Hence, the LMIA.

The IMP has been setup to promote Canada’s broad economic, social, and cultural interests. The program’s focus includes strengthening bilateral and multilateral ties with the world and to promote arts, culture, sports, and religion in Canada along with addressing the labor market.

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The biggest, and most important, difference between IMP and the TFWP is that the IMP is a LMIA-exempt work permit program. If you are eligible under the IMP, then your employer can hire you without applying for LMIA.

And how does this help qualified candidates?

If you are qualified for the International Mobility Program, then your chances of getting a job in Canada will depend only on your skills and qualifications. Employers won’t reject you just because the hiring you involves time-consuming and expensive formalities.

Unlike the TFWP, there are multiple routes to the Canadian work permit in this program.

Does your country have a reciprocal youth exchange agreement like the International Experience Canada (ICE) program with Canada? If yes, then you can qualify for a LMIA-exempt work permit simply because your country too extends this facility to Canadians.

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Or is your country party to a bilateral or multilateral agreement like USMCA (earlier NAFTA) or Canada-European Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (CETA)? If yes, then you can get a LMIA-exempt work permit in Canada as per the provision of the agreement and

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A company that wants to setup a branch or subsidiary or affiliate in Canada can transfer its foreign employees to Canada through the IMP’s Intra-Company Transfer program. Entrepreneurs can use this option and hire themselves as employees to work, live, and settle in Canada without LMIA hassles.

A foreign student graduating from an eligible program from a Designated Learning Institute in Canada can get the LMIA-exempt Post-Graduation Work Permit with validity equivalent to the duration of his/her study permit.

This is a great option for international graduates to easily get a job in Canada and leverage their Canada study and work experience to quickly qualify for permanent residence.

The Mobilité Francophone work permit is available to skilled workers who are proficient in French and intend to settle outside Quebec. Since Canada considers increasing the population of French-speaking workers outside Quebec as offering significant social or cultural benefit to Canada, French proficiency can help you avoid the LMIA process completely and get a job quickly in Canada.

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Apart from offering a LMIA-exempt route to a Canadian job, another advantage that the International Mobility Program offers an open work permit to foreign skilled workers.

The TFWP offers an employer-specific work permit, which mean your permission to work in Canada is tied to a specific employer. The IMP work permit is an open work permit, which means you can switch jobs in Canada without worrying about visa formalities or procedures.

Thirdly, most streams have a standard two-week processing period, which means the process from applying for the job, attending virtual interviews, getting the job offer, applying for the work permit, and working in Canada can be done in less than a month.

In comparison, the LMIA process itself takes between a few weeks to few months, which means the entire process from start to end can take longer.

So, are you eligible for the IMP? Is it time to bypass the entire LMIA process and get on the fast track to the Canadian work permit? The smartest option would be work with an experienced immigration professional who can assess your eligibility and guide you through the entire process.

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