The Canada International Mobility Program is a special temporary immigration program that allows a Canadian employer to attract and hire a foreign workforce. The program allows foreign nationals to come to Canada as temporary workers and their work permit application is processed in a somewhat faster time than would normally be the case. Another benefit of the program is that the Canadian government allows foreign workers to come on this program without the LMIA – Labour Market Impact Assessment.

This program allows foreign workers to come to Canada and work in their field of study. The application process is relatively easy, especially when compared to other immigration solutions, such as the Provincial Immigration Programs, where the principal applicant makes the first move, in hopes that their complete application will attract Canadian businesses to bring them into Canada. The Canada IMP, on the other hand, allows the employment to be prearranged and the Employer Portal is then used to secure the spot, for as long as the candidate is eligible for the migration pathway.

What Is the International Mobility Program?

So, Canada IMP – International Mobility Program is a program that allows temporary residency in Canada and a temporary work permit. When it comes to the program itself it is a result of the need for international co-op and it has been designed with the experience, work experience, and the expertise of the international mobility worker in mind. Unlike the temporary foreign worker program, high-skilled workers find it much easier to immigrate to Canada and work on their professional and personal development there.

When it comes to the application for the program itself, potential employers use the Employer Portal to send an offer of employment. This offer will have a specific registration number. When you apply on your side, you will have to use this number to present in your application. If everything is OK on your side, and your application for the work permit is approved, you will become an international mobility worker. With this status, you can then join thousands of high-skilled workers immigrating to Canada through one of its many programs.

This being said, once the work permit is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction. This is the standard procedure for those who reside outside of Canada at the time of application. If, however, you are already in Canada, you will be able to apply and get your work permit while still in Canada. In the latter case, you will not need to receive a letter of introduction. If you do receive the Letter of Introduction through the IMP program, you will need to present it at the point of entry, and this is where your work permit will be issued to you.

Now, who is eligible for the international mobility program? Well, there are a number of groups of people who can apply for IMP Canada. When it comes to the IMP program Canada eligibility, it is important to note that these job positions (that you would like to work in) should provide a broad economic or cultural advantage for Canada. So, IMP Canada does not allow just about anyone to come to Canada, but the list of employers who use the program keeps growing year after year. It is still not as popular as Express Entry, but it is a good starting point for those seeking temporary immigration.

The IMP program Canada eligibility covers the following:

  • an international mobility worker entering Canada as a part of trade treaties (CUSMA, CETA, etc.)
  • an international mobility worker working with a Canadian open work permit
  • an international mobility worker coming to Canada as a part of an intra-company transfer

Temporary Foreign Workers Program vs International Mobility Program

So, there are two programs that you could use to immigrate to Canada temporarily to work there: the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP). Although very similar, the two programs also have some differences between them, and some may even confuse the two, although they are two completely different immigration pathways to Canada.

When it comes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, the program has been designed with the current employment needs in mind. When it comes to these, it is necessary to note that the program can provide a lot of benefits to all employers who have been looking for a potential employee in Canada and cannot find one. With this, they go for the LMIA evaluation, and if they receive a positive Impact Assessment, they can invite you to Canada and you can start working there.

The IMP – International Mobility Program – on the other hand, is there to satisfy an entirely different set of values and needs – from broader economic needs to being a type of culture-exchange program. Not to be misunderstood, the program does not provide any cultural experiences, but these come with being in Canada. The IMP program is in this sense similar to the following types of immigration pathways:

  • IEC – International Experience Canada Program – which is a reciprocal youth exchange agreement, whereby all the participating countries can allow their youth to travel to Canada and let the Canadian youth come and visit in their own country. The program is available in some 30 countries
  • USMCA – the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and other international trade agreements
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • CETA – the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement
  • Intra Company Transfer Program – a special program allowing skilled workers a temporary entry into Canada for work in the same company that they come to – to open new branches, and finish their training. This entry of business persons is temporary in nature and the intra-company transferees cannot change their workplaces. International companies usually use this program to strengthen the bonds between their branches and exchange essential personnel
  • Bridging Open Work Permit
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP)
  • All other programs and initiatives that have a positive impact on the social and cultural tendencies in Canada, as well as communicating the Canadian culture to the world

So, for example, the international mobility program Canada from India could bring people in on programs of cultural exchange, keeping international students in the country for longer, giving them a chance to get permanent residence, or helping Canadian companies further establish their presence on the Indian market. So, there are multiple ways to come to Canada, and intra-company transferees should know that this is just one of the ways to get here.

So, a TFWP requires an LMIA. It issues employer-specific work permits, which are closed in nature so that you cannot change your employer at all. On the other hand, the newly-Canadian workers are used to fill in labour-market shortages. The program intake is based on specific labour needs based on occupation and region. The streams are based on the wage of the position that is offered.

Further on, the TFWP requires Canadian employers to seek eligible employees in Canada first. The LMIA can be obtained only after it has been proven that the Canadian work market cannot offer such a person. At the same time, employers bringing in high-paid workers have to submit a transition plan, and the LMIA for them costs CAD1,000. The TFWP allows for fast processing times of around 2 weeks, but only for the top 10% of earners. On the other hand, the rest can wait for months.

On the other hand, the IMP – International Mobility Program – allows employers to bring in foreign nationals on a temporary work permit. This program is used to advance Canada’s economic benefit, bring in international talent, and secure Canada’s cultural influence over the world. Canada’s IMP program is partially based on international agreements, and it does not take into consideration the wages awarded for a job position but rather takes occupation skill level – both the TFWP and IMP are good for people in managerial positions.

This program is also perfect for those with good international networking skills, as employers may seek to hire you directly, without offering the work position to the Canadian work market. When it comes to the fees the employer has to pay, there is a CAD230 compliance fee. This program can offer open work permits, and if you already have one, the employer needs to pay no fees. The IMP streams offer a two-week work permit processing standard, and it is overseen by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Check Out What Is The International Mobility Program And How To Apply:

How To Hire a Worker Without an LMIA?

LMIA is necessary for most economic immigration programs. However, the PGWP, IMP, and some more do not require it. Among these, IMP is one of the most popular programs, and everything can be done through the Employer Portal. This way, you get a streamlined process, and the application on the side of the principal applicant is finished in as little as two weeks. However, there are also regulations that have to be followed or you will be penalized.

The first step in hiring someone without an LMIA using the IMP program is to create an Employer Portal account and then pay the employer compliance fee of CAD230. Then, you should create and submit the offer of employment form through the portal. The information that you should deliver concerns your business, the foreign worker you’d like to hire, the job details, wages, and benefits.

If the principal applicant (the foreign worker you would like to bring into Canada) already has an open work permit, you do not need to pay the compliance fee of CAD230. This way, you can save some money, but they also have to satisfy some document requirements to make sure you get to bring the worker in. One of the common reasons why you would not be able to bring them in are criminal reasons (criminal inadmissibility) or even medical inadmissibility if they have a condition, medical state or pathogens that could deem them a health hazard to the Canadian public or could cost a Canadian insurance company more than CAD100,000 over a five-year period (approximately CAD20,000 per year).

IMP Local Visa Office Requirements

International Mobility Program Canada requirements are simple and straightforward, but the issue may arise from the fact that employers of applicants may simply not be able to offer a job position that is attractive enough for the program. The IMP program relies on the skills and knowledge that are necessary for the program itself in such a way that Canada can have cultural and economic benefits from the program itself.

Intra-Company Transfer options are a great example of this: the companies working in Canada as it is can have an LMIA-Exempt offer to bring in their most educated or most experienced workers from abroad and into the country. The federal government, in this case, can have an overview of the worker and the job, and they can give a ‘yes’ if the employee is considered to be able to bring benefits to the company and help it grow. Usually, with intra-company transfers, a detailed business plan should be presented when asked for it.

As always, the personal reference code (or just personal code) is needed to make sure that you get to connect the job offer and the application on the other side of the portal. Applicants with time constraints can have their application processed in a record short time of just about 2 weeks, which is probably the fastest immigration route of all the Canadian immigration programs.

Of course, the country of origin must have a big say in how the application will be processed and what you will need to be able to apply for the program. As the minimum requirements depend on the country, you will need to:

  • Contact the local visa office or visit their website
  • Look for the application package or the document checklist for the program that you are interested in
  • Find the program that you are interested in
  • Select ‘online application’ or ‘apply online.’
  • Select the country that the worker will be applying from
  • Download the country-specific document requirements
  • Start gathering all the documents and have their certified translations if you have no documents in English or French, to make sure you get the fast processing – you should do this even if the application itself states that the documents are accepted in other languages as well. Police certificates and biometrics that are collected, and in some cases, the medical examinations are common examples of documents that may change depending on your location, but which you should provide if you want to join the Canadian labour market

What Is a Post Graduation Work Permit?

International mobility program non-IEC is a group of programs that allow temporary immigration to Canada for the sake of improving the Canadian economy and cultural influence or helping Canada reach new heights in the spheres of influence and cultural exchange. But, if you are already in Canada, on a study permit, you can also consider staying over the study permit and seeking a post-graduation work permit (PGWP).

The international mobility program jobs that would be done by high-skilled foreign employers are such that they could easily be done by students, provided that the students already have some work experience. When it comes to this, it is important to note that this program is aimed only at students who are already in Canada and have employment.

This program allows them to stay past their studies and to keep working, even for the same employer. The work permit that is granted under the PGWP program lasts for up to 3 years, and the program itself does not require an LMIA. Students can receive only 1 PGWP in their lifetime. Here are the eligibility criteria for the program:

  • The student must have completed academic, vocational or professional training with at least 8 months in duration and leading to a degree, diploma or certificate. The school in question has to be in Canada and one of the recognized learning institutions
  • The students need to have maintained their student status throughout the studies, with a notable exception in the case the student took leave from studies, or when the status was lost/suspended during the final academic session
  • The student should have received a transcript from the DLI (Designated Learning Institution)
  • The student has received an official letter from the DLI to inform them that all the conditions to finish their studies have been met
  • The student should also hold or have held a study permit within 180 days of the date of applying and have been authorized to study in Canada without the need to obtain a study permit under Paragraphs 188(1)(a) and (b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

There are also ineligibility criteria. Here are the things that will make you ineligible for a PGWP, where the IMP program may be a better solution for you:

  • Potential applicants need not have been issued a post-graduation work permit
  • Those who are ineligible for this application category are also those who have received funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  • Those that have participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by the GAC
  • Those who have obtained the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, especially Canada-Chile
  • Who have completed a study program in Canada, but at a non-Canadian institution of learning
  • Completed the majority of their study program courses/credits remotely or by distance learning
  • Those who have participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships program regardless of the cultural benefits they have received

What Is an Employer Portal?

Getting a temporary work visa in Canada is not difficult, especially considering how many people get it every year. The IMP program has been made with a quick turnover and transfer of foreign employee talents, and all qualified employees can use the program to bring in their experience from overseas markets. A two-week processing time makes transfers a breeze, and open work permit holders have even fewer expenses than those with none, seeking LMIA to access the Canadian work market.

When it comes to the employer portal, this is an online portal that is used under some streams of the IMP program. Here, the potential employers make their own login accounts. Then, they can use the portal to bring in a foreign workforce and to enrich their company’s personnel.

Once the account has been made, the employer must provide information about the nature of the business and the size of the business itself. Then, the information on the business’s main activities is entered. Information about the employment offer is also necessary, as this is the goal of accessing the portal itself. The employer should provide minimum eligibility requirements for the position, including the education level, work experience, and language abilities (both English and French). It is on the Employer Portal that the employer has to pay the CAD230 fee.


How Many Points Do You Get for LMIA?

IMP does not require an LMIA. However, some programs do, and depending on the program, you can expect to get between 50 and 200 CRS points for an existing LMIA and a valid job offer. You can also apply without it: around 90% of the Express Entry applications are processed with no valid job offer.

What is LMIA fee?

The LMIA fee is a CAD1,000 fee that the employer who would like to bring you to Canada has to pay to get the LMIA. As a business visitor, you may already have one, so make sure to check: if you have worked for the same employer and in the same position, you may already have the LMIA for that particular work position. In any case, it is much better that your employer ask for one than to risk not getting it: after all the border services officer does not care whether you have it or not, if the requirements to enter the country are not met, you will be sent back and at your own cost.

Who Is Eligible for the International Mobility Program?

There are several kinds of workers who are eligible for the International Mobility Program. These do not include permanent residents. If you want to join the IMP program, you can do that if you are entering Canada through a trade agreement program, those entering Canada with an open work permit, and those entering Canada as a part of intra-company transfers. For all else, there are other programs, such as PGWPP or even the FSWP.

How Can I Immigrate to Canada without A Job Offer?

When looking for ways to immigrate to Canada, you may have noticed that a valid job offer is one of the requirements for entry into the country with many programs. However, this does not always need to be the case, although every visa officer and border officer would love to see one. The programs that enable you entry into the country with no existing job offer include the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class (all operated under the Express Entry), some Provincial Nominee Programs, Critical/In-Demand Categories of immigration programs, as well as International Graduate Categories.

Final Thoughts

The Citizenship and Immigration Canada services have come up with the International Mobility programs for all employers that have a list of positions that they would like to fill. The actual work position has to be filled by an educated or experienced professional and the work position has to be such that it would enable a good influence on the Canadian culture and work environment. When it comes to the program itself, the application is fairly easy.

The program allows the principal applicant to be issued an open work permit. They can pick up the permit after arrival at one of many ports of entry, where a processing officer or one of the immigration officers will go through the documents one more time, and make sure that the candidate is indeed who they say they are and issue it. One of the biggest advantages of the program is the very fast processing time, which should allow a potential candidate to come to Canada in as little as two weeks.