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Canada Introduces New Recognized Employer Pilot

By Casey August 18, 2023 (Updated February 7, 2024) 5 min. read
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January 2024 Update: Phase 2 of this program has started. See below for more details on phase 2 of this program.

Canada has unveiled a fresh initiative designed to tackle labor shortages and streamline the hiring process for repeat users of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). This new pilot project, set to launch in September 2023, is known as the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP).

The REP is aimed at simplifying the experience for employers who frequently rely on the TFW Program to staff essential roles in specific fields. Under this program, eligible employers will have the opportunity to secure extended Labor Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs), which will be valid for up to 36 months. This represents a notable enhancement compared to the current maximum validity period of 18 months.

Typically, employers need an LMIA before they can apply for work permits to hire temporary foreign workers. An LMIA confirms the necessity of hiring a foreign worker and certifies the unavailability of Canadian citizens or permanent residents for the position. It also verifies the legitimacy of the job offer and the employer’s compliance with regulations aimed at safeguarding workers.

Requirements and Eligibility for Recognized Employer Pilot

To qualify for the REP program, employers must have received at least three positive LMIAs for the same occupation within the past five years. These occupations must be listed as in demand and supported by data from the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS). Additionally, eligible employers must demonstrate adherence to high standards of working and living conditions as well as worker protection. They must also commit to continuing compliance with standard program prerequisites.

In addition to the extended LMIA validity period, participants in the REP program will benefit from a simplified application process for future LMIA applications related to positions on the COPS list.

When Will Canada’s Recognized Employer Pilot Begin?

The pilot has been introduced in two phases:

Phase 1

In September 2023, applications will be open for roles within the Primary Agriculture stream. These Phase 1 occupations, such as livestock laborers, harvesting laborers, greenhouse laborers, and specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators, have been identified as both in demand and facing a shortage of domestic labor supply.

Phase 1 occupations include:

NOC code 2021Occupation
85100Livestock labourers
85101Harvesting labourers
84120Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators
85103Nursery and greenhouse labourers

Phase 2

The second phase began in January 2024. This phase will allow applications for positions listed in the Phase 2 REP occupations catalog by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This expanded list encompasses occupations from diverse sectors like healthcare, food service, construction, trades, and manufacturing. Notably, the Global Talent Stream (GTS) occupations are excluded from the REP program, as they already receive expedited LMIA processing and GTS recruitment benefits based on the current labor market assessment by COPS.

Phase 2 occupations include:

NOC code 2021Occupation
20010Engineering managers
20011Architecture and science managers
21321Industrial and manufacturing engineers
21322Metallurgical and materials engineers
21200Architects
21201Landscape architects
21202Urban and land use planners
21203Land surveyors
31300Nursing coordinators and supervisors
31301Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
31100Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine
31101Specialists in surgery
31102General practitioners and family physicians
31103Veterinarians
31111Optometrists
31201Chiropractors
31209Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating
31121Dieticians and nutritionists
31112Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
31202Physiotherapists
32109Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
31203Occupational therapists
31204Kinesiologists and other professional occupations in therapy and assessment
32120Medical laboratory technologists
33101Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations
31303Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals
32104Animal health technologists and veterinary technicians
32103Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
32121Medical radiation technologists
32122Medical sonographers
32110Denturists
32111Dental hygienists and dental therapists
32112Dental technologists and technicians
33100Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants
32101Licensed practical nurses
32102Paramedical occupations
33102Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
33103Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
33109Other assisting occupations in support of health services
31200Psychologists
41301Therapists in counselling and related specialized therapies
41310Police investigators and other investigative occupations
44101Home support workers, caregivers and related occupations
65310Light-duty cleaners
63100Insurance agents and brokers
62020Food service supervisors
62200Chefs
63200Cooks
63201Butchers – Retail and wholesale
65202Meat cutters and fishmongers – Retail and wholesale
64100Retail salespersons and visual merchandisers
65200Food and beverage servers
65201Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations
72106Welders and related machine operators
72310Carpenters
72311Cabinetmakers
72400Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
72402Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
72405Machine fitters
72406Elevator constructors and mechanics
72420Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics
72421Appliance servicers and repairers
72422Electrical mechanics
72423Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and other related mechanics
72429Other small engine and small equipment repairers
73200Residential and commercial installers and servicers
73300Transport truck drivers
85100Livestock labourers
85101Harvesting labourers
84120Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators
85103Nursery and greenhouse labourers
85102Aquaculture and marine harvest labourers
85120Logging and forestry labourers
94141Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
94142Fish and seafood plant workers
94210Furniture and fixture assemblers, finishers, refinishers and inspectors
94211Assemblers and inspectors of other wood products
95100Labourers in mineral and metal processing
95101Labourers in metal fabrication
95102Labourers in chemical products processing and utilities
95103Labourers in wood, pulp and paper processing
95104Labourers in rubber and plastic products manufacturing
95106Labourers in food and beverage processing
95107Labourers in fish and seafood processing

How Long Will Applications Be Accepted?

Applications will be accepted for this trial program until September 2024. But if they need to hire more temporary foreign employees, businesses participating in the REP will still have the choice to fill positions during the pilot period using a streamlined LMIA procedure. In the fall of 2026, the REP program is expected to come to an end.

At its core, this novel program targets roles that are in high demand but lack sufficient domestic labor, showcasing the federal government’s dedication to streamlining labor access for employers and enhancing flexibility in the Canadian labor market.

Are You Interested in Applying for Canada’s Recognized Employer Pilot?

If so, Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for Niren and Associates an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

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