Under the International Mobility Program (IMP), employers in Canada may hire foreign workers on a temporary work permit without needing to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This may present a number of advantages to employers and workers alike, who may enjoy the simpler, quicker hiring process.
In contrast to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, under which work permits may be issued depending on labour market conditions in specific cases, the International Mobility Program serves Canada’s broader economic and cultural interests. This could take one of the following forms:
- Reciprocal youth exchange agreements, such as the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.
- Other international agreements with specific countries, such as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (CETA).
- Permitting companies with a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada to transfer workers under the Intra-Company Transfer program.
- Allowing someone transitioning to permanent residence in Canada to work on a Bridging Open Work Permit or, in the case of CSQ holders in Quebec, a LMIA-exempt work permit.
- Giving international graduates who studied in Canada the opportunity to work on a Post-Graduation Work Permit.
- Situations that bring ‘significant social or cultural benefit to Canada’ (one such example being the Mobilité Francophone initiative).
The above list is by no means exhaustive. In order to assess how Canadian work permit are issued, it is helpful to compare the International Mobility Program, which is effectively a loose collection of work permit streams, with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which delivers a more rigid, labour market-oriented assessment of whether a foreign worker may be eligible to work in Canada.