For most foreign professionals, the idea of moving to Canada for greener pastures is often alluring because of the widespread efforts the government has rolled out to welcome top talent.
With years of experience under your belt and copious amounts of tremendous results that do your performance justice, it’s clear that moving to the Great White North is the next step in your ever-thriving career. While working in your home country may have significantly boosted your resume and acted as a stomping ground in your field, the higher wages, better healthcare, and better systems in Canada beckons a call you can’t ignore any longer.
As you continue to familiarize yourself with the process of immigrating to the Land of the Maple Leaf, you’ll run into different factors that you must account for during the application. However, among the different aspects of the immigration process that you’ll encounter, the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) portion is one that can be especially complicated, especially for receiving a work permit.
This begs the question: “Is it possible to work in Canada without an LMIA confirmation letter?” Well, the answer is yes—this is made possible through the International Mobility Program (IMP).
What is the International Mobility Program?
The International Mobility Program is a special type of immigration program that was introduced by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in recent years.
Compared to other programs, the IMP has become an opportune vehicle of choice among foreign nationals and professionals who work in Canada because of its much quicker and smoother process. By enabling temporary foreign workers themselves to receive work permits without an LMIA letter, immigrating professionals can make the move to the country much easier and get a head start on their careers!
Looking into the details
When it comes to enjoying the benefits of the IMP program, it’s important to note that the only obstacle between you and a faster process is eligibility (outlined in several listed regulations).
In the context of stated LMIA exemptions—which are found under sections 204 and 205 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations—specific professionals can avoid the need to submit a letter. Let’s go over what sections 204 and 205 states regarding providing exemptions so that you can make the right decisions moving forward:
In the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), section 204 provides valuable insight on which specific professionals can attain the right to bypass the LMIA letter submission process based on any existing agreements their home country may have with Canada. Let’s look at the specific International Agreements that the country has stricken up, which will be eligible for the IMP:
- The General Agreement on Trade In Services (GATS) by the World Trade Organization
- The North American Free Trade Agreement (which is slated to be replaced by the USMCA)
- The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Trade Agreement (CETA)
- A wide range of other Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with other countries, such as Chile, Columbia, and Bermuda
Apart from existing agreements, another specific characteristic that determines a foreign professional’s eligibility for the IMP program falls under the scope of Canadian interests. While Section 205 of the IRPR lists a wide range of purposes or interests that foreign professionals can bank on, here are the most common ones to watch out for:
- Self-employed professionals and entrepreneurs (or those who can help create jobs for other Canadians and contribute greatly to the economy)
- Televisions and film production work
- Live-in caregiving
- Performing arts
- Academic exchanges
While there are many different paths that you can take to further your career in the field of your choice, a move to Canada will present you with a lifetime of opportunities that you can’t overlook. Through the International Mobility Program’s help, you’ll be able to cash in on the dream of growing professionally in one of the best business environments in the world with much greater ease!
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