Canada’s top jobs for LMIA-exempt work permit holders in 2021

IRCC data show where foreign workers got jobs in Canada under the International Mobility Program last year.

Most of Canada’s foreign workers fall under the International Mobility Program (IMP). In 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued more than 315,000 work permits under the IMP alone. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) accounted for about 104,000 work permits issued. The major difference between the two programs is the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The TFWP requires employers to complete LMIAs to show there are no workers in Canada available to do the job, and hence the hiring of a foreign worker is necessary. IMP work permits do not require LMIAs because their purpose is to support Canadian interests. The most common IMP work permits fall under the significant benefit and reciprocal employment categories. The government defines “significant benefit” as a foreign national whose work will benefit Canadians socially, culturally, or economically. Reciprocal employment is when Canada has an agreement with another country, which allows for the exchange of workers across borders. The labour market impact is considered neutral since foreign workers can have similar opportunities in Canada to what Canadian workers can have abroad. IRCC regularly publishes monthly data on temporary residents and permanent residents. These newly-released data show where you were most likely to find IMP holders last year, categorized by occupation and province. Numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of five.