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Top Jobs For LMIA-Exempt Work Permit Holders In 2021

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have revealed data showing where foreign workers got jobs in Canada under the International Mobility Program in 2021.

Majority of the foreign workers in Canada fall under the International Mobility Program (IMP) and in 2021, 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 that were issued.

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is what differentiates these two programs and the TFWP requires that employers in Canada would complete the labour market assessment to show that there are no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to take up the job position and so there is a need to hire a foreign worker to fill up the job position.

The IMP work permit doesn’t require a LMIA and this is because it is of Canada’s interest. The most common IMP work permits fall under the significant benefits and reciprocal employment categories.

The government defines “significant benefit” as a foreign national whose work will benefit the people in Canada socially, economically and culturally.

Reciprocal employment is when Canada has an agreement with another country and through this; it exchanges workers with the country it is in agreement with.

The labour market impact is considered neutral as foreign workers can have similar opportunities in Canada to what Canadian workers can have abroad.

The IRCC always publish its monthly data on temporary residents and permanent residents and the newly released data showed where you were most likely to find IMP holders last year categorized by occupation and province. The numbers are rounded off to the nearest multiple of five.

Ontario took in most IMP work permits

Over 135,000 IMP work permits went to Ontario in 2021 and British Columbia came second with over 55,000 work permits.

Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba rounded out the top five places where IMP work permits were issued.

IMP Work Permits Issued In 2021 By Provinces In Canada

ProvinceTotal IMP work permits issued
Not Stated27,420
Nova Scotia7,605
New Brunswick4,400
Prince Edward Island2,100
Newfoundland and Labrador1,815
Northwest Territories175

Top Jobs By Top 5 Provinces

You are not necessarily eligible for an LMIA-exempt work permit even if you have work experience that falls under these NOC codes and for you to get a work permit in Canada, you have to be eligible for a TFWP or IMP stream.

Let’s look at the top 5 provinces and the top jobs where LMIA-exempt work permits were issued in the provinces.

  • Ontario

In this province, tech occupations were mostly listed on the IMP work permits and computer programmers and interactive media developers took the top spot. The table below shows the top five jobs and the number of IMP work permits that were issued from the highest to the lowest.

Top 5 Ontario IMP work permits by occupation

NOCOccupationIMP work permits issued in 2021
2174Computer programmers and interactive media developers2,810
2171Information systems analysts and consultants2,235
2173Software engineers and designers2,035
4011University professors and lecturers1,355
3111Specialist physicians1,350
  • British Columbia

The most common IMP work permit holders in the province for last year were software engineers and designers after this, the actors and comedians came in second place.

The table below shows the top 5 occupations that were issued IMP work permits in British Columbia in 2021.

NOCOccupationIMP work permits issued in 2021
2173Software engineers and designers1,395
5135Actors and comedians785
5241Graphic designers and illustrators680
4011University professors and lecturers670
2171Information systems analysts and consultants360
  • Québec

In 2021, graphics designers and illustrators were the top LMIA-exempt work permit holders and university professors and lecturers came in second.

The table below shows the top five occupations that were issued IMP work permit in Québec in 2021

NOCOccupationIMP work permits issued in 2021
5241Graphic designers and illustrators1,295
4011University professors and lecturers1,070
4012Post-secondary teaching and research assistants515
3111Specialist physicians450
5131Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations250
  • Alberta

University professors and lecturers topped the list of the most common IMP work permit holders in Alberta followed by the food service supervisors.

The table below shows the top five occupations that were issued IMP work permit in Alberta in 2021.

NOCOccupationIMP work permits issued in 2021
4011University professors and lecturers530
6311Food service supervisors325
4012Post-secondary teaching and research assistants260
7511Transport truck drivers150
  • Manitoba

The majority of the occupation that held the IMP work permits in Manitoba was industrial butchers, poultry preparers and meat cutters.

The table below shows the top five occupations in Manitoba that were issued IMP work permit in 2021.

NOCOccupationIMP work permits issued in 2021
9462Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers360
7511Transport truck drivers305
8252Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers100

How to get LMIA-exempt work permit

There are a lot of LMIA-exempt work permits and the first step to take to get one is to learn your options and determine what exactly you are looking for.

You can be able to qualify for an open work permit which will allow you to work for any employer in Canada and also work in any job position in any province in Canada.

All Open Work Permits fall under the IMP and there are open work permit options for international graduates from certain countries with reciprocal agreement to Canada and spouses of Canadians and temporary residents.

There are also some LMIA exempt work permits for eligible entrepreneurs, French-speaking skilled workers and workers in occupations that will help promote Canada’s interest.

Canada also offers LMIA-exempt work permits to certain professionals, investors and traders from countries that have free trade agreements with Canada.

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