How To Hire Canada Temporary Workers Through Recognized Employer Pilot

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How To Hire Canada Temporary Workers Through Recognized Employer Pilot
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Canadian employers can bring in foreign nationals to Canada as temporary workers through a streamlined Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application process under the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP).

The REP is open to employers who have received positive LMIAs for positions on the REP occupations list as follows:

  • at least three positive LMIA decisions in the last five years to hire temporary foreign workers, or;
  • for those employers who didn’t submit LMIA applications in 2020 or 2021 because of COVID-19 restrictions, but:
    • received at least one positive LMIA decision in 2022 or 2023, and;
    • received two other positive LMIA decisions as far back as 2016.
  • meet the highest standards for working conditions, living conditions and worker protection as demonstrated through their history with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and agree to adhere to the regular TFWP requirements.

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Employers need only submit an LMIA application to apply for the REP because when they do so they are given the option to apply for the REP at the same time. no additional information is required.

“We’ll determine whether you’re eligible based on your history with the TFWP,” notes Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) on its website.

“If you’re not eligible for the REP, you’ll still get an LMIA decision. Some types of LMIA applications can’t be considered for the REP, such as any kind of Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) transfer.”

REP-qualified employers enjoy a longer validity period of up to 36 months for LMIA applications that receive a positive decision and can also access a simplified LMIA application when hiring additional workers.


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Employers interested in the REP program, though, should note that Service Canada will stop accepting REP applications in September this year and the REP will conclude in the autumn of 2026.

Employers may be ineligible for the REP if:

  • they have received negative LMIA decisions;
  • been found non-compliant;
  • significant and credible allegations have been made against them for putting the health and safety of temporary foreign workers at risk;
  • they have failed to meet requirements associated with inspection check-ins, or;
  • there has been a change in the labour market that impacts the position they are trying to fill.

Affiliates of ineligible employers or in default of any amount payable in respect of an administrative monetary penalty, are also ineligible to participate in the REP.

An affiliate includes an employer that’s controlled by another employer, including those who:

  • have two employers that are under common control, or;
  • employers that aren’t operated at arm’s length.

Processing fee for each REP position is $1,000

REP-qualified employers must commit to the following:

  • participate in random REP check-ins;
  • undertake annual wage reviews on Jan. 1 of each year to ensure that temporary foreign workers are receiving the current prevailing wage for the occupation and work location where they’re employed, regardless of the wage on the approved LMIA;
  • continue to make reasonable recruitment efforts to hire Canadians or permanent residents until all positions are filled, including meeting the minimum recruitment requirements for the stream for which they submitted their applications, and;
  • where applicable, meet the housing inspection requirement of the stream for which they submitted their applications.

In addition to meeting the TFWP and REP requirements, employers must also uphold the conditions and rules set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) regarding the hiring of temporary foreign workers.

The processing fee for each position requested under the REP is $1,000 and that payment can be made by:

  • Visa;
  • MasterCard;
  • American Express;
  • certified cheque (shall be made payable to the Receiver General for Canada);
  • money order (shall be made payable to the Receiver General for Canada), or;
  • bank draft (shall be made payable to the Receiver General for Canada).

Processing fees are not refunded when applications are withdrawn at the employer’s request, cancelled or if the employer’s application receives a negative decision.

Refunds are issued only if a fee was collected in error and neither the processing fee nor recruitment fees can be paid or recovered from temporary foreign workers.

LMIA processing fees don’t apply to occupations related to primary agriculture or positions under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 codes 80020, 80021, 82030, 82031, 84120, 85100, 85101 and 85103.

“Employers who have employed a temporary foreign worker in the five years prior to submitting a new LMIA application must ensure they have made reasonable efforts to provide a workplace that’s free of abuse,” notes ESDC.

“A workplace that’s free of abuse includes proactive efforts made to prevent workplace abuse and reactive measures taken to stop abuse.”

Although a copy of the employment agreement isn’t required at the time of LMIA submission under the REP, employers must commit to providing a completed and signed employment agreement to each temporary foreign worker on or before their first day of work.

An employment agreement must:

  • include information for employment in the same occupation, with the same wages and working conditions as those set out in the offer of employment;
  • be drafted in either English or French as preferred by the temporary foreign worker, and;
  • be signed by both the employer and the temporary foreign worker.

Employers must also meet the housing inspection requirements of the streams for which they are submitting an application.

REP list of eligible occupations expanded to 84 during second phase

When the pilot’s first phase kicked off in September, it was targeted solely on the agricultural sector and allowed REP-qualified employers to hire temporary workers only for four occupations, including:

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

Under the second phase of the REP, though, that list of eligible occupations has exploded to include 84 occupations, allowing recognized employers to benefit from validity periods of up to 36 months for those applications which receive a positive decision and also access a simplified LMIA application when hiring additional workers.

The list of eligible occupations under the second phase of the REP, which started this month, includes:

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

Canadian employers hoping to attract workers through economic immigration can recruit them through the TFWP and the International Mobility Program (IMP).

The Global Talent Stream (GTS), a part of the TFWP, can under normal processing situations lead to the granting of Canadian work permits and processing of visa applications within two weeks.

Employers can also bring in foreign nationals to fill available positions through the Express Entry system, which receives immigration applications online.

It powers the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST), and Canada Experience Class Program (CEC) which all draw from the Express Entry pool of candidates. Those with the required Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores are then sent Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in regular draws.

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Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of immigration.ca featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.