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Canada Immigration Programs Issuing the Majority of Work Permits | An In-depth Guide 

November 8th, 2023 at 03:58 am

Canada Immigration Programs Issuing the Majority of Work Permits | An In-depth Guide

The majority of work permits are issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the IMP. These are the two main work permit routes for newcomers.

To begin, immigration is what drives Canada’s labor market growth, and it plays a critical role in meeting the country’s economic needs and socialized welfare systems.

Overall, the relationship between the Canadian economy and immigration is multifaceted. This is because immigrants not only benefit Canada but also profit from the abundance of opportunities that exist here.

During their stay, they can work, achieve higher pay scales, and possibly build their eligibility for Canadian permanent residence.

As a result, it is obvious that immigrants in Canada will eventually require job experience and a work visa in order to transition from temporary resident status to Canadian permanent residency. So, here are the specifics of becoming a permanent resident as a Temporary Foreign Worker.

Between 2010 and 2020, Statistics Canada’s two studies give vital insights. These studies include examining the makeup of work permits as well as comparing work permit holders to job records.

Programs issuing the majority of work permits

The TFWP and the International Mobility Program are the two major work permit pathways in Canada. These two main paths are made up of a number of streams that pertain to different scenarios.

Essentially, the two can be distinguished because the Temporary Foreign Worker Program seeks to alleviate labor market shortages in Canada. Domestically, it will be difficult to meet these shortfalls.

To issue work permits, TFWP requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment. LMIA will consider hiring a foreign national based on their ability to positively or negatively impact Canada. These LMIA-based work licenses limit the foreign national to working for a single employer and in a specific industry.

In contrast, the International Mobility Program exists to meet Canada’s social, economic, and cultural needs. IMP is not limited to an LMIA requirement and is not equivalent to Open Work Permits, as holders will be able to work for more than one employer and in multiple industries.

In the past 10 years, which programs have issued the majority of work permits?

According to 2010 data, TFWP work permits provided almost 174,876 of the total 531,700 work permits. This is around 32.9 percent. IMP work permits totaled 225,440, or roughly 42.4 percent, for the same time period. When comparing statistics from 2021, IMP work permits accounted for 963,400, whereas TFWP work permits accounted for 14,573, or roughly 15.1 percent. IMP work permits, on the other hand, were roughly 526,016, representing around 54.6 percent during the same time period.

IMP has gradually gained prominence, whereas the TFWP has seen a steady decrease in the percentage of work permits given. The use of IMP has increased significantly, with approximately four times the number of work permits issued in the past ten years.


This expansion was driven by two major immigration streams within the IMP, both of which saw significant increases. These include post-graduate jobs and work licenses for academic purposes.

Essentially, the total number of work permits is nearly double that of the previous ten-year period. This represents an increase in immigration to fill labor market gaps.

At the same time, TFWP’s prominence has fallen dramatically. This excludes agricultural initiatives that have seen a slight increase in the last 10 years. According to the critical suggestions, Canada can currently meet the majority of labor market criteria. The country may move forward with this through the workers who are already in Canada. However, this is with the exception of the specific key industries that have consistent job openings.

Based on these crucial results, work permit candidates may find employment success by doing the following:

  • Work authorization via the IMP
  • Post-Graduation Employment;
  • Work Permit for educational purposes

These employment permits are linked to the study program both during and after graduation. Furthermore, the number of these authorizations has increased significantly during the last ten years.

However, because it is frequently linked to the success of immigrants and the labor market, this road to a work visa might be helpful. This is accomplished through the ability to improve English or French language skills, make relationships, and receive a Canadian educational certificate.

Prospects for foreign workers finding employment in Canada

After getting their work permits, the majority of work permit holders in Canada seek Canadian permanent residency. If they want to apply for PR, the bulk of economic pathways require at least one year of significant work experience in Canada. As a result, work experience becomes an important factor for such people.

If we want to know how many work permit holders find work in Canada, we should compare the numbers in a given year to those who have good pay in that year.

However, it is critical to understand that this distinction will not recognize self-employed figures due to their inability to generate eligibility for a PR.

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In 2020, 682,500 work permit holders reported a positive wage as a result of labor force participation. This number is based on the 991,500 work permit holders. This means that 98% of work permit holders have a job.

Although this ratio appears to be lower, it is important to remember that certain variables would have influenced these percentages. These reasons could include permit holders who are no longer in Canada or those who are not now looking for work in Canada.

In 2020, the rate of participation among those with study permission and good pay will increase to 83 percent.

However, work done as an international student in Canada is not taken into account when determining PR eligibility.

In comparison, the rate of work participation in 2011 was lower, with only 311,100 work permit holders. In the same year, just 55% of work permit holders were considered to have a positive income.

Which programs accounted for the majority of jobs in Canada?

The data available goes a step further by categorizing foreign workers in Canada based on age, work permit period, and work permit program.

Agriculture programs had the largest positive income rate, at 92 percent. This was the highest rate of participation across all TFWP streams and IMPs. Furthermore, because TFWP work permits are based on LMIA, they already have an employment offer. Employers must also obtain an LMIA for TWFP work permits.

Regarding the IMP work permit streams, the highest rate of post-graduation employment was 76 percent. This was simply because I was following the TFWP agricultural streams.

These streams followed 66 percent of intra-company transfers and roughly 62 percent of work permit holders from International Experience Canada.

The largest labor force participation rate occurred between the ages of 25 and 34. This means that 68 percent of work permit holders earn a living salary. Another close participation percentage of 67 percent happened among those aged 35 to 44 years.

Finally, the work permit length reflects permit holders with a validity period of ten to twelve months, a participation percentage of 74%, and positive pay. This follows a participation rate of 67 percent with a work permit term of seven to nine months. Work permit lengths and participation rates have a consistent positive relationship.

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Which path is the best?

Considering all of the aforementioned criteria, IMP has grown in importance for granting work permits. This is especially true for work permits and authorizations associated with educational programs.

Furthermore, this specific category has the highest percentage of labor-force involvement in the overall labor market. This is in addition to the TFWP’s agricultural streams. This effectively begs the question of whether seeking Canada’s study options is an ideal option for obtaining a work permit and performing well in the labor market. Also, whether or not it will result in PR eligibility

Statistics Canada data only helps us determine the appropriate work permit path. However, deciding on the optimal path will be subjective to each applicant. This is due to their unique characteristics and situations.

This is especially true when tuition fees are factored in.

Furthermore, this study has certain drawbacks. These include a delayed and traditional approach to calculating work permit holders that does not accurately represent the number of work permit holders in Canada.

Other restrictions include:

  • A lack of distinction between job seekers with and without work permits.
  • The inability to include independent contractors when evaluating immigration. As a result, the study group’s engagement in the job market declined.





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