2023년 8월 16일
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Canada's New REP: Easier Foreign Worker Sponsorship

Canada's Recognized Employer Pilot (REP) addresses labor shortages by easing the hiring of foreign workers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Canada's New REP: Easier Foreign Worker Sponsorship

In the face of growing labour and skills shortages across Canada, employers have been grappling with the challenge of filling essential roles vital to their operations. Recognizing the pressing need to bridge this gap, the Government of Canada has taken a proactive step by introducing the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP) under the Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW).

This visionary three-year initiative not only seeks to alleviate labour shortages but also aims to streamline administrative processes and safeguard the rights of temporary foreign workers.

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, recently unveiled the REP, a milestone that has the potential to reshape Canada's approach to addressing the workforce deficit.

We believe this will greatly benefit employers that need to frequently hire foreign workers to fill labour shortages by reducing their administrative costs.

What is the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP)?

The REP offers a strategic solution that aligns the interests of employers, employees, and the Canadian economy.

  • Eligible employers with a demonstrated history of adhering to program requirements will gain access to Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) that remain valid for an impressive 36 months. This extended validity period enables employers to plan their staffing needs more effectively and substantially reducing the administrative overhead associated with repeated CanadaLMIA applications.
  • For employers in need of additional workers from the same occupation during the pilot, the REP offers a simplified LMIA application process. This measure serves as a tangible testament to the government's commitment to reducing unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and facilitating the hiring process.
  • Participation in the REP requires employers to have secured a minimum of three positive LMIAjobs for the same occupation over the past five years, based on the Canadian Occupational Projection System data. This prerequisite ensures that the program targets employers with a track record of engagement in roles that are in high demand.

Prior Process

Prior to the launch of REP, employers also enjoy a somewhat simple LMIA application process if their most recent LMIA application was positive. This application must have been submitted in the last two years.

Eligible employers do not have to provide documents to prove that: 1) they are providing services or products allowed in Canada, 2) they have the financial capacity to hire these additional workers.

Normally, employers would have to provide recent corporate tax returns, payroll records, accountant/lawyer’s attestations and etc. This alleviated the burden of paperwork on employers who frequently need to hire foreign workers to fill labour shortages.

Timeline

  • Starting in September 2023, primary agriculture employers will have the opportunity to apply for the program, reflecting the government's recognition of the specific needs of various industries.
  • In January 2024, all other employers across sectors will be eligible to apply for REP, creating a comprehensive approach that covers the diverse spectrum of the Canadian job market.

It's essential to note that the application window for REP will close in September 2024, underscoring the urgency and finite timeframe within which employers can take advantage of this opportunity.

Application Process

  1. To ensure a smooth and efficient application process for REP under the TFW Program, eligible employers will receive proactive invitations to apply.
  2. These invitations will involve a dual-purpose LMIA application, tailored specifically for REP, setting it apart from the regular LMIA process. This unique application allows employers to seek recognized status under REP while simultaneously applying for the LMIA.
  3. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will evaluate REP eligibility based on an employer's track record within the TFW Program. In cases where recognized status isn't granted, employers will still maintain eligibility to use the TFW Program, and ESDC will continue assessing their LMIA applications.

Two pathways are available for submitting an LMIA and REP application:

  • LMIA Online Portal: This secure and dependable online platform enables employers to complete and submit their applications to ESDC electronically.
  • Valid Exemption to LMIA Online Portal: If employers possess legitimate proof of exemption from the LMIA Online Portal, they can opt to submit a PDF application form to ESDC via email.

The assessment of a REP application hinges on an employer's history of compliance with the TFW Program, alongside their frequency of utilization of the program to fill positions in high-demand occupations.

Eligible employers can anticipate several benefits from participating in REP:

  • A streamlined application process for forthcoming LMIA applications pertaining to positions listed in the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS).
  • Fewer points of contact with ESDC during the pilot phase due to simplified LMIA forms. This streamlining facilitates the hiring of additional Temporary Foreign Workers for genuine job offers throughout the REP duration.
  • A Job Bank designation indicates recognized status, which serves to enhance interest from potential workers.

It is noteworthy that occupations falling under the Global Talent Stream and identified in the current labour market conditions assessment by COPS have been excluded from REP. This exclusion is grounded in the fact that these occupations already enjoy expedited LMIA processing time.

For a more comprehensive understanding of REP and its application process, ESDC will offer technical briefings to stakeholders. Additional details will be accessible on the official website, where interested parties can find the latest updates and information regarding REP.

Conclusion

Canada's Recognized Employer Pilot is a bold step toward addressing labour shortages while also streamlining administrative processes and safeguarding the rights of temporary foreign workers. The program's focus on recognizing and rewarding employers with strong recruitment practices showcases Canada's commitment to fostering a productive, ethical, and inclusive job market.

As REP takes flight in two phases, it presents a timely opportunity for employers to contribute to the nation's growth while benefitting from streamlined processes. With these initiatives, Canada's approach to workforce challenges is poised to become more agile, efficient, and worker-centric.

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