Canada Launches Second Phase of Recognized Employer Pilot Program

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Canada has kicked off the second phase of the Recognized Employer Pilot Program (REP), promising a smoother ride for those venturing into the world of Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

The REP is designed to fast-track processes for Canadian employers demonstrating compliance with the TFWP. Successful applicants enjoy extended validity periods for Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) and simplified LMIA applications after the initial assessment.

Who Qualifies?

To participate in the REP, an employer needs a track record of at least three positive LMIAs over the past five years. Moreover, they should be hiring Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) for positions listed as ‘in-shortage’ as per the Canadian Occupations Projection System (COPS) data.

Benefits of REP

Through the TFWP, employers address urgent workforce needs by hiring foreign nationals. The REP amplifies this process by offering LMIAs valid for up to 36 months, a significant extension from the usual 18 months. Additionally, employers benefit from simplified LMIA applications in the future.

Eligible Employers

Eligible employers can anticipate a streamlined application process for future LMIA applications related to COPS-listed positions. Fewer touchpoints with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) during the pilot will be facilitated by simplified LMIA forms, enabling employers to bring in additional Temporary Foreign Workers seamlessly.

Furthermore, a Job Bank designation awaits successful employers, highlighting their recognized status and enhancing interest from prospective workers.

Initial Assessment

ESDC ensures the REP involves a meticulous initial assessment, aiming to select only reputable employers. Applying for the REP coincides with the LMIA submission, requiring no additional information. Even those who don’t qualify for the REP will receive a decision on their LMIA.

Phase 2 Expansion

While Phase 1, launched in September 2023, focused on the primary agriculture sector with only four eligible occupations, Phase 2 is a game-changer. More than 80 in-demand occupations across various sectors are now eligible for the REP.

“Imagine the REP as an expanding horizon, inviting employers from diverse fields to partake in this transformative journey.”

Notable Exclusions

Occupations listed as eligible for work permits through the Global Talent Stream are intentionally omitted from the REP list. Their expedited processing is already assured.

Decoding the TFWP

To hire through the TFWP, Canadian employers submit an LMIA to ESDC. The department reviews the impact on the labor market and economy. If deemed neutral or positive, the employer can proceed with hiring foreign workers, who are then granted closed work permits.

ESDC conducts compliance checks on various conditions, including adherence to provincial laws, fair wage payment, and providing safe working conditions.

FAQs – Your Top 5 Questions Answered

How can I determine if my occupation is on the COPS list?

Can I apply for the REP if I don’t meet the three positive LMIA criteria?

Unfortunately, eligibility criteria must be met. However, you’ll still receive a decision on your regular LMIA application.

Are there additional benefits for employers in Phase 2 compared to Phase 1?

Yes, Phase 2 includes a more extensive list of eligible occupations across various sectors, offering a broader spectrum of opportunities.

What happens if my occupation is already eligible for expedited processing through the Global Talent Stream?

Such occupations are excluded from the REP list, as they already enjoy expedited processing.

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