International Mobility Program

Canadian employers are able to hire temporary foreign workers under the International Mobility Program (IMP) without undergoing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). It is usually necessary for a Canadian employer to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment in order to hire a temporary foreign worker. However, there are a number of exemptions to the LMIA requirement. An LMIA-exemption is a situation in which an employer does not have to obtain an LMIA in order to hire a temporary foreign worker. As part of the International Mobility Program, ESDC and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) maintain an index of LMIA-exemptions.

The LMIA exemptions are based on the following conditions:

A broader economic, cultural, or other competitive advantage for Canada

Reciprocal benefits enjoyed by both Canadians and permanent residents

A Canadian employer must follow these three steps in order to hire a foreign worker through the IMP:

Verify whether the position or worker qualifies for an LMIA exemption

Submit the employer compliance fee of $230 CAD

Send the official job offer through the IMP's Employer Portal.

A foreign national will only be eligible to apply for their own work permit after completing these three steps. Workers exempt from LMIA may be eligible for expedited work permit processing through the Global Skills Strategy if their job is at NOC skill level A or 0, and they are applying from outside of Canada.

International Agreements

Several LMIA-exemptions are available through international agreements between Canada and other countries. Employees from other countries may be able to transfer to Canada, and vice versa, if they are able to demonstrate their move will have a positive impact. The following Free Trade Agreements have been negotiated by Canada, each of which includes a range of LMIA exemptions: