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International Mobility Program and Temporary Foreign Worker Program, What are their Differences?

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Do you get confused with Canadian immigration programs and their processes? Worry not, you are not the only one. In this article, we will help you understand the variations between the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and International Mobility Program (IMP).

We can say that TFWP seems like a stricter process as it requires a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Its evaluation depends on market conditions. On the other hand, under IMP, foreign workers may be hired on temporary work permit without the requirement of an LMIA. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) are the two departments conducting assessment for obtaining an LMIA.


Below, you will see our comparison made simple between TFWP and IMP:

LMIA Required Not Required
Fees Employer pays LMIA application of $1000 Employer pays compliance fee of $230 except for job applicants with open work permit, fee is not applicable
Work Permits Closed work permit (employer-specific) May be open or closed
Inspection By Employments and Social Development Canada (ESDC) By Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship in Canada (IRCC)
Basis Labor market, filling in demands of the work sector according to occupation and region For Canada’s economy to flourish and cultural interests. Some are based on international reciprocal agreements (IEC, CETA, NAFTA)
Streaming based on the wage of the position offered Occupation skill levels
Hiring Priority Usually searches for Canadian workers first before searching for foreign workers Can hire without first offering the position to Canadians
Transition Plan Typically for high-wage positions Not necessary
Processing Certain occupations and top 10% wage earner have a two-week standard, any other further than that processing can take more months Two-week work permit processing standard

With IMP, the employer needs to register also the job offer on the Canadian government website Employer Portal. Details on the offer must have information on the business nature and size, core activities and the main facts of the employment offer itself. Examples of these are education level, work experience and language skills. Scope of the work, salary and benefits has to be included too.

I hope we helped you understand TFWP and IMP with the overview we created. Have you decided which stream to choose on your way to Canada? Check your eligibility and fill out our assessment form here –

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