The International Mobility Program is typically meant for work permits that have a specific employer and are exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

International Mobility Program lets employers hire temporary workers without an LMIA. Exemptions from the LMIA process are based on both of the following:
  • the broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada
  • the reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents

In contrast to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, IMP work permits are issued for the following reasons:
  • International agreements with specific countries, such as the USMCA and the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (CETA)
  • Reciprocal youth exchange agreements, such as the International Experience Canada (IEC) program
  • 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)

Differences between Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and International Mobility Program (IMP)
LMIA required
No LMIA required
Work permits are closed (employer-specific)
Work permits may be open or closed
Labour Market Impact Assessment based (to fill shortages on a temporary basis)
To advance Canada's broader economic and cultural interests
Based on specific labour needs based on occupation and region
Based partially on international reciprocal agreements (e.g. IEC, USMCA, CETA)
Applications based on the wage of the position offered
Applications not based on the wage offered, instead take into consideration occupation skill level
Typically requires employers to search for Canadian workers before being able to hire a foreign worker
Employers may hire without first offering the position to Canadians
Employers hiring for high-wage positions usually must provide a transition plan
Employers do not have to provide a transition plan
Employer pays fee for LMIA application ($1,000)
Employer pays compliance fee ($230) unless job applicant holds an open work permit (in which case, no fee is required)
Two-week processing time through Global Skills Strategy is only available for certain occupations and top 10% wage earners, otherwise the process may take months
Many IMP streams have a two-week work permit processing time
Overseen by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
Overseen by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)