Top Jobs in Canada for LMIA-Exempt Work Permit Holders in 2021

Posted Feb 24, 2022 8:00 AM EST



Most foreign workers in Canada fall under the International Mobility Program (IMP). In 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued over 315,000 work permits under the IMP alone. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) accounted for approximately 104,000 work permits issued.

The main difference between the two programs is the need for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The TFWP requires employers to complete LMIAs to show that there are no workers in Canada available to do the job, and therefore hiring a foreign worker is necessary.

IMP work permits do not require an LMIA, as their purpose is to support Canadian interests. The most common IMP work permits fall under the categories of meaningful benefits and reciprocal employment. The government defines a “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 that allows for the exchange of workers across borders. The impact on the labor market is considered neutral since foreign workers may have similar opportunities in Canada to what Canadian workers may have abroad.

IRCC regularly publishes monthly data on temporary residents and permanent residents. This newly released data shows where you were most likely to find PMI recipients last year, broken down by occupation and province. Numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of five.

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Ontario got most work permits from PMI

Over 135,000 IMP work permits went to the province of Ontario in 2021, double that of British Columbia, which came in second with over 55,000 work permits.

Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba round out the top five locations where PMI work permits have been issued.

IMP work permits issued in 2021 by province

Province Total IMP work permits issued
Ontario 135,585
Before Christ 55,315
Quebec 42,910
Not indicated 27,420
alberta 19,670
Manitoba 11,565
New Scotland 7,605
Saskatchewan 6,710
New Brunswick 4,400
Prince Edward Island 2,100
Newfoundland and Labrador 1,815
yukon 565
Northwest Territories 175
Nunavut 35

Main occupations according to the 5 main provinces

Ontario

Technology occupations were most often listed on Ontario PMI work permits. Computer programmers and interactive media developers took the top spot, followed by information systems analysts and consultants, and software engineers and designers.

University professors and lecturers were the fourth most common IMP work permit holders, followed by medical specialists.

Top 5 Ontario IMP Work Permits by Occupation

NOC – Occupation # of IMP work permits issued in 2021
2174 – Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers 2,810
2171 – Information systems analysts and consultants 2,235
2173 – Software engineers and designers 2,035
4011 – University professors and lecturers 1,355
3111 – Medical specialists 1,350

Before Christ

Software engineers and designers were the most common IMP work permit holders in British Columbia last year. Comedians and comedians come second, followed by graphic designers and illustrators, university professors and lecturers, and information systems analysts and consultants.

Top 5 BC IMP Work Permits by Profession

NOC – Occupation # of IMP work permits issued in 2021
2173 – Software engineers and designers 1,395
5135 – Actors and comedians 785
5241 – Graphic designers and illustrators 680
4011 – University professors and lecturers 670
2171 – Information systems analysts and consultants 360

Quebec

Graphic designers and illustrators were the top LMIA-exempt work permit holders in Quebec last year. University professors and lecturers come second, followed by post-secondary teaching and research assistants. Medical specialists and producers, directors, choreographers and related personnel occupied the fourth and fifth positions.

Top 5 Quebec IMP work permits by profession

NOC – Occupation # of IMP work permits issued in 2021
5241 – Graphic designers and illustrators 1,295
4011 – University professors and lecturers 1,070
4012 – Post-Secondary Teaching and Research Assistants 515
3111 – Medical specialists 450
5131 – Producers, directors, choreographers and related personnel 250

alberta

University professors and lecturers were the most common PMI work permit holders in Alberta. Food service supervisors, post-secondary teaching and research assistants, cooks and transport truck drivers are also among the top five.

Top 5 Alberta IMP Work Permits by Occupation

NOC – Occupation # of IMP work permits issued in 2021
4011 – University professors and lecturers 530
6311 – Restaurant Supervisors 325
4012 – Post-Secondary Teaching and Research Assistants 260
6322 – Cooks 240
7511 – Transport Truck Drivers 150

Manitoba

In Manitoba, industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers held the most PMI work permits. Transport truck drivers, athletes, cooks and agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers held the following positions.

Top 5 Manitoba IMP Work Permits by Occupation

NOC – Occupation # of IMP work permits issued in 2021
9462 – Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers 360
7511 – Transport Truck Drivers 305
5251 – Athletes 135
6322 – Cooks 120
8252 – Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and skilled livestock workers 100

How to Obtain LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

There are many LMIA-exempt work permits. The first step to getting one is to know your options and figure out exactly what you are looking for.

You may be eligible for an open work permit, which will allow you to work in any job in any Canadian province for any Canadian employer. All open work permits fall under the PMI. There are open work permit options for international graduate students, or young people from certain countries with reciprocal agreements with 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 qualifying contractors, French-speaking skilled workers, and workers in occupations considered to promote the interests of the country.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with Cohen Immigration Law Firm

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Clifton L. Boyd