Understanding the International Mobility Program (IMP) in Canadian Immigration

The International Mobility Program (IMP) is a vital pathway for Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This program is designed to advance Canada’s economic, cultural, and social interests by facilitating the entry of foreign talent that can contribute significantly to the country.

Requirements of the International Mobility Program (IMP)

For Employers:

  • Genuine Job Offer: Employers must provide a genuine job offer to a foreign worker.
  • Economic, Cultural, or Social Benefit: Employers need to demonstrate that hiring the foreign worker will bring significant benefits to Canada.
  • Compliance: Employers must comply with all applicable Canadian laws and regulations, ensuring that working conditions meet Canadian employment standards.

For Foreign Workers:

  • Valid Job Offer: A valid job offer from a Canadian employer is essential.
  • Qualifications and Experience: The foreign worker must have the necessary qualifications and experience to meet the job requirements.
  • Work Permit: Depending on the specific stream, a work permit application and supporting documents may be required.
  • Admissibility: Applicants must meet admissibility criteria, including security, criminal, and medical checks.

Benefits of the International Mobility Program (IMP)

For Employers:

  • Access to Talent: The IMP allows employers to access a wider pool of international talent.
  • Streamlined Process: The process to hire foreign workers is faster and more straightforward compared to the LMIA process.
  • Cost Savings: Employers save on the LMIA processing fee.

For Foreign Workers:

  • Work Opportunities in Canada: Foreign workers get the opportunity to work and gain valuable experience in Canada.
  • Faster Processing Times: Work permits under the IMP often have quicker processing times than those requiring an LMIA.
  • Pathways to Permanent Residency: In some cases, the IMP can be a stepping stone to permanent residency through programs like the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

Drawbacks of the International Mobility Program (IMP)

  • Limited Streams: The IMP is not available for all occupations or employers, limiting its applicability.
  • Complex Eligibility Criteria: Each stream under the IMP has specific and sometimes complex eligibility requirements.
  • Temporary Status: The IMP primarily offers temporary work permits, and while it can lead to permanent residency, it is not guaranteed.

Who Should Apply for the IMP?


  • Canadian businesses looking to hire skilled foreign workers in occupations eligible for the IMP.
  • Employers seeking to fill positions that bring significant economic, cultural, or social benefits to Canada.

Foreign Workers:

  • Individuals with skills and experience in demand in Canada who have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.
  • Professionals involved in reciprocal employment agreements, such as academic exchanges or professional sports.
  • Intra-company transferees from multinational companies.

Path to Permanent Residency

While the IMP primarily offers temporary work permits, some streams can lead to permanent residency through:

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC): This program is for skilled workers with at least one year of Canadian work experience.
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): Each province and territory has its own programs to nominate skilled workers for permanent residency.

Important Note

The information provided here is a general overview. Eligibility requirements and application procedures can vary depending on the specific IMP stream. It’s crucial to consult the official Canadian government website or an immigration lawyer for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

At our law firm in North Vancouver, we specialize in immigration services and can help guide you through the complexities of the International Mobility Program. Whether you are an employer looking to hire foreign talent or a foreign worker seeking opportunities in Canada, we are here to assist you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your immigration journey.


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