The International Mobility Program incorporates the majority of Canada’s foreign workers (IMP). In 2021 alone, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) gave 315,000 work permits under the IMP. Around 104,000 work permits were given under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

The primary distinction between the two programs is the requirement for a labour market impact assessment (LMIA). The TFWP requires companies to file LMIAs to prove that there are no Canadian workers available to perform the job and that hiring a foreign worker is therefore necessary.

LMIAs are not required for IMP work permits because their goal is to advance Canadian interests. The most frequently issued IMP work permits falls under the category of significant benefit and reciprocal employment. The government defines a foreign national of “significant benefit” as one whose labor benefits Canadians socially, culturally, or economically. Reciprocal employment occurs when Canada enters into an agreement with another country that provides for the cross-border exchange of workers. The labor market impact is judged to be neutral, as international workers have comparable options in Canada to those available to Canadian workers abroad.

IRCC releases monthly statistics on temporary and permanent residents on a regular basis. These recently revealed statistics illustrate where IMP holders were most likely to be found last year, by occupation and province . Numbers are rounded to the closest multiple of five.

Ontario accepted the majority of IMP work permits. The province received over 135,000 IMP work permits in 2021, twice the number issued by British Columbia, which came in second with over 55,000 work permits. Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba rounded out the top five provinces that awarded IMP work permits.

Top jobs according to the top five provinces

Possessing job experience that falls under these NOC codes does not automatically qualify you for an LMIA-exempt work permit. To obtain a work permit in Canada, you must be qualified for either the TFWP or IMP stream. These are only the most frequent occurrences of a certain NOC being specified on an LMIA-exempt work permit in 2021.


Ontario IMP work permits commonly listed Tech professions. Computer programmers and creators of interactive media were ranked first, followed by information systems analysts and consultants, as well as software engineers and designers. Professors and lecturers at universities were the fourth most frequent holders of IMP work permits, followed by specialized physicians.

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