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Posted on January 04 2023

What is the difference between Canada's TFWP (Temporary Foreign Worker Program) and IMP (International Mobility Program)

By Editor
Updated September 01 2023

Highlights of the differences between Canada's TFWP (Temporary Foreign Worker Program) and IMP (International Mobility Program)

  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program are the two prominent ways foreign nationals get work permits in Canada.
  • The IMP and TFWP support Canada's economic growth by filling workforce gaps.
  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program requires an LMIA application to get the work permit.
  • IMP (International Mobility Program) is an LMIA exemption to obtain a work permit.
  • TFWP is considered an employer-specific work permit, and IMP is known sometimes as an employer-specific or open work permit

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Canada's General program for obtaining a work permit

Canada offers more than 100 options for foreign nationals to enter the country. Most of the pathways come under 2 general programs.

  • The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP),
  • The International Mobility Program (IMP).

Both programs support Canada's economic growth, provided both have different objectives, policies, & eligibility requirements.

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Differences between TFWP and IMP

Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

International Mobility Program (IMP).
Goal of the program: TFWP intends to help Canadian employers across the country with a way to recruit foreign nationals to accommodate the workforce shortages in a particular industry if no suitable Canadian is available to fill in the workforce gaps.

Goal of the program: The IMP program intends to encourage Canada's economic, social, and cultural policy objectives between Canada and global communities by allowing foreign nationals to the country.

The two programs assist Canadian employers in quickly offering the first opportunity for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. TFWP focuses on meeting the workforce market needs for specific occupations and regions.

IMP's goal is to provide complementary benefits to the Canadians with other countries through bilateral & multilateral agreements like CUSMA (Canada United States Mexico Agreement)
  LMIA: Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is an employer-seeking document that companies provide as proof that hiring International employees are an asset to the workforce.


 LMIA Requirement: The TFWP expects an LMIA application from the employers as a mandatory document. ESDC (Employment & Social Development Canada) is accountable for the LMIA issue, and the IRCC is accountable for the work permit issuance.

 LMIA Requirement: The IMP is an LMIA exemption permit. International Mobility Program does not need LMIA application submission. For IMP too, IRCC is responsible for the issuance of work permits.
 Programs led: Led by Employment & Social Development Canada (ESDC) jointly with IRCC.

 Programs led: Led by Whole and sole administration by IRCC.

Work permit: Work permits of TFWP are employer-specific. This means the international citizens applying through TFWP are associated with a single employer by obtaining LMIA from them and a temporary work permit.

Work permit: These work permits can be either open or employer-specific. This means depending on the agreement or the applicant's situation. The employee can be tied with 1 employer or any employer across the country.
 Wage dependency for eligibility criteria: TFWP depends on wages for all the streams instead of NOC (National Occupational Classification)

 Wage dependency for eligibility criteria: IMP does not depend on wages for any streams.

 Do you have a dream to migrate to Canada? Talk to World’s no.1 Y-Axis Canada overseas migration consultant.

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