On August 8, 2023, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has announced a new three-year Recognized Employer Pilot (REP) under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW) aimed at reducing administrative hurdles for eligible employers and addressing labour shortages in Canada.
The REP will be rolled out in two phases:
Phase one begins in September 2023 for employers in the Primary Agriculture stream
Phase two begins in January 2024 for employers in all other industry sectors.
Applications will be accepted until September, 2024. To participate in the REP, employers must have a minimum of three positive Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) for the same occupation over the past five years from a list of occupations designated as in-shortage under the Canadian Occupational Projection System.
Employers who become recognized will gain access to LMIA validity periods of up to 36 months, and, if required, simplified LMIA applications to hire additional workers in the future.
There are two ways to apply for an LMIA and REP:
Through the LMIA Online Portal, a reliable and secure platform where employers can complete and submit an online application to ESDC; or,
If the employer has a valid proof of valid exemption to the LMIA Online Portal, they can email a PDF application form to ESDC.
Employers who are expected to meet REP eligibility criteria will be proactively invited to apply using a dual-purpose LMIA application which differs from the regular LMIA. Employers can request that the application be used to apply for recognized status under REP and for the LMIA at the same time.