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Canada Expands Recognized Employer Pilot Program: Faster Hiring for Skilled Workers

Canada Expands Recognized Employer Pilot Program: Faster Hiring for Skilled Workers

Jan 27, 2024

An expanded pool of Canadian employers now has the opportunity to engage in the Recognized Employer Pilot Program (REP), a strategic initiative crafted to expedite processes for those demonstrating compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Within the framework of REP, qualifying employers stand to gain from the extension of the validity periods of Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) and the streamlining of LMIA applications following the initial assessment.

The eligibility criteria for Recognized Employer Pilot Program participation stipulate that an employer must have secured a minimum of three positive LMIAs over the past five years. Moreover, they should be actively recruiting Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) for positions identified as ‘in-shortage’ based on insights from the Canadian Occupations Projection System (COPS). This program aims to enhance efficiency and responsiveness in the Canadian labor market, ensuring a smoother integration of skilled foreign workers where their contributions are most needed.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP):

  • Purpose: Employers address urgent workforce needs by hiring foreign nationals.
  • LMIA Submission: Employers submit a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This process confirms the unavailability of Canadians or permanent residents for the job.

REP Benefits for Eligible Employers:

  • Extended LMIA Validity: REP-eligible employers enjoy LMIAs valid for up to 36 months, compared to the standard 18 months.
  • Future Advantage: Simplified LMIA applications in subsequent processes.

ESDC Promises for Eligible Employers:

Simplified Application Process:

  • For future LMIA applications related to positions on the Canadian Occupations Projection System (COPS) list.

Reduced Contact Points:

  • Fewer interactions during the pilot, facilitated by simplified LMIA forms allowing hiring of additional Temporary Foreign Workers during Recognized Employer Pilot Program.

Job Bank Designation:

  • Employers receive a recognized status in the Job Bank, enhancing visibility and attracting prospective workers.

Thorough Initial Assessment:

  • ESDC ensures stringent selection by conducting a comprehensive initial assessment.
  • REP Application Submission: Employers can apply for REP during LMIA submission, requiring no additional information.
  • Decision Assurance: Employers ineligible for REP still receive a decision on their LMIA.

Phase 1 Focus (September 2023):

  • Geared toward employers in the primary agriculture sector.
  • Included occupations like Livestock Labourers, Harvesting Labourers, Specialized Livestock Workers, and Farm Machinery Operators, Nursery, and Greenhouse Labourers.

Phase 2 Expansion:

Over 80 in-demand occupations from various sectors are now eligible for the REP, signifying a substantial program expansion.

In reference to the eligibility for work permits under the Global Talent Stream, EDSC emphasizes that such occupations are deliberately excluded from the list. The rationale behind this exclusion is rooted in the fact that these occupations already enjoy eligibility for expedited processing.

Regarding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), Canadian employers intending to hire applicants through this program are required to submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to ESDC. The department meticulously evaluates these applications to determine the prospective impact, whether positive, negative, or neutral, on Canada’s labor market and economy. If ESDC concludes that the impact will be either neutral or positive, the employer is likely to gain approval to hire foreign workers.

Employees engaged through the TFWP receive closed work permits, denoting that they are restricted from working for any other employer within Canada. ESDC conducts thorough checks to ensure employer compliance with various conditions. Employers are required to adhere to provincial and territorial employment regulations. They must fulfill agreed-upon wage commitments outlined in employment contracts. Additionally, they need to provide safe working conditions free from any form of abuse.

How DEV Immigration Can Help:

DEV Immigration, with its team of experts, can guide employers through the REP application process, ensuring adherence to criteria and maximizing the benefits of this streamlined program. From initial assessments to LMIA submissions, DEV Immigration streamlines the immigration journey, aligning with the efficiency goals of the REP.

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