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. Out of those, The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) accounted for about 104,000 work permits issued.

TFWP (Temporary Foreign Worker Program)  International Mobility Program  
Require LMIAs because employers needs to show there are no workers in Canada available to do the job, and hence the hiring of a foreign worker is not require LMIAs because their purpose is to support Canadian interests.   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.

Top occupations by top provinces

Having work experience that falls under these NOC codes does not necessarily mean you are eligible for an LMIA-exempt work permit. In order to get any work permit in Canada, you have to be eligible for a TFWP or IMP stream. These lists just indicate the most common instances of a certain NOC being listed on an LMIA-exempt work permit in 2021.

2174 – Computer programmers and interactive media developers 2171 – Information systems analysts and consultants 2173 – Software engineers and designers 4011 – University professors and lecturers 3111 – Specialist physicians2173 – Software engineers and designers 5135 – Actors and comedians 5241 – Graphic designers and illustrators 4011 – University professors and lecturers 2171 – Information systems analysts and consultants  

How to get LMIA-exempt work permits


There are many LMIA-exempt work permits available. The first step to get one is to learn your options, and determine what exactly you are looking for.

You may be able to qualify for an open work permit, which will allow you to hold any job in any Canadian province for any Canadian employer. All open work permits fall under the IMP. There are open work permit options for international student graduates, or youth from certain countries with reciprocal agreements to Canada, and spouses of Canadians and temporary residents.

There are also LMIA exemptions for certain professionals, investors, and traders from countries that have free trade agreements with Canada.

Canada also offers exemptions to eligible entrepreneurs, French-speaking skilled workers, and workers in occupations that are considered to promote the country’s interests.

Schedule a Work Permit Consultation with You Deserve Immigration Inc.

An article by Amy Chahal (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant)

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