In response to longstanding calls to streamline the hiring process of temporary foreign workers (TFWs), the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages announced the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP) on August 8, 2023. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce had been calling for this program for over a decade, recognizing its importance for sectors heavily reliant on temporary foreign workers.
The REP, which launched on September 12, 2023, represents a significant step in addressing the labour and skills challenges faced by the Canadian economy. It is designed to simplify the hiring process for Canadian employers who frequently engage with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and demonstrate a strong record of compliance with program regulations.
So, what does this mean for businesses?
Employers granted recognition under the REP gain access to extended validity periods for approved Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs), lasting up to 36 months. Moreover, the REP streamlines the LMIA application process for hiring additional employees via the LMIA Online Portal, promising enhanced administrative efficiency.
The REP will be implemented in two stages:
- Stage one, starting in September 2023, allows employers in the Primary Agriculture stream to apply for occupations identified as in-demand and facing a shortage of domestic labour supply. These occupations include livestock labourers, harvesting labourers, specialized livestock workers, farm machinery operators, and nursery and greenhouse labourers.
- Stage two, starting in January 2024, will open to all other designated occupations across various sectors.
To be eligible for the REP, employers must meet specific criteria:
- Having received at least three favorable LMIA decisions for TFWs over the past five years.
- Demonstrating a history of meeting high working and living condition standards, as well as worker protection within the TFWP.
- Adhering to regular TFWP requirements.
Employers can apply for REP concurrently with their LMIA application, with a processing fee of $1,000 per position. The REP will stop accepting applications in September 2024, concluding in Fall 2026. Throughout the pilot’s duration, employers can continue to submit requests using a simplified LMIA process for positions previously approved under LMIAs.
The REP marks a significant milestone in improving labour market access for temporary foreign workers and streamlining the hiring process for Canadian employers. This initiative is poised to benefit both businesses and the Canadian economy at large.
Do you have any questions?
Reach out to the Employer Contact Centre (ECC)
The ECC hours of operation are from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm, Eastern Time, Monday to Friday
Canada and the United States:
506-546-7569 (collect calls accepted)