A key part of Canada’s economic policy for post-pandemic recovery has involved instituting novel immigration programs and expanding existing programs. The implemented measures have resulted in an increase in immigration in accordance with the plans set out by the Canadian Government. However, despite these increases, the Canadian Government continues to unveil new programs in pursuit of new impacts.

In August 2023, Employment and Social Development Canada launched a new pilot program in order to make it easier for temporary foreign workers to remain in Canada, and also make it easier for Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers.This particular pilot program is called the “Recognized Employer Pilot for Temporary Foreign Workers.”

Recognized Employer Pilot

According to the Canadian Government through Employment and Social Development Canada, the Recognized Employer Pilot will “help to reduce the administrative burden and simplify the hiring process for repeat Temporary Foreign Worker Program employers who demonstrate a history of complying with program requirements.”

Labour Market Impact Assessments

In order for the majority of Canadian employers to legally hire temporary foreign workers, they must complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment before they can submit a work permit application to hire a temporary foreign worker. A Labour Market Impact Assessment must confirm that the employer has:

  • a need for a temporary foreign worker; and
  • there are no Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are available to do the job.

Certain employers may be exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment, however, such exemptions are not relevant as part of the Recognized Employer Pilot. The Labour Market Impact Assessment ensures that an employer’s job offer is legitimate and also confirms that the employer is in compliance with regulations and program requirements that are promulgated to protect temporary foreign workers.

Participating in the Recognized Employer Pilot

In order for employers to be part of the Pilot Program, certain conditions must be met. Employers must have a minimum of three positive Labour Market Impact Assessments for the same occupation over the past five years from a list of occupations that are designated by the Canadian Government as “in shortage” and are supported using Canadian Occupation Projection System data. Employers are also eligible when they regularly access the Temporary Foreign Workers program to fill in-demand positions and meet the highest standards for:

  • working conditions;
  • living conditions; and
  • worker protection.

Employment and Social Development Canada will determine employer eligibility as part of the Recognized Employer Pilot based on the above-listed factors. If an employer is not chosen to participate in the Pilot Program, they may still hire workers through the Temporary Foreign Workers Program.

Applications and Dual Purpose Labour Market Impact Assessment

Employers who are expected to meet the requirements for the Recognized Employer Pilot will be invited to apply for the program using a dual purpose Labour Market Impact Assessment, which doubles as an application for the Recognized Employer Pilot Program. In many cases, this can be applied for through the Labour Market Impact Assessment Portal. Alternatively, a completed PDF application form may be sent to Employment and Social Development if an exemption from using the online portal applies.

The Labour Market Impact Assessments granted as part of the program will be valid for up to 36 months.

Benefits to Employers

Employers who qualify and participate in the Recognized Employer Pilot will have their future Labour Market Impact Assessment application processes simplified for in demand jobs. Simplified Labour Market Impact Assessment forms will also be available, which will enable employers, who are part of the program, to hire additional Temporary Foreign Workers during the Pilot Program term.

Employers that are chosen to participate in the Pilot Program will also receive a Job Bank designation to highlight their recognized status. As a result, confirmation of being vetted by the Canadian Government may make employers who participate in the Pilot Program may become more attractive to potential workers.

Program Timeline

The Recognized Employer Pilot is set to begin in September 2023 and is set to last for three years. However, the Pilot Program will be rolled out in two phases; therefore, not all employers will be able to participate in the program immediately upon its inception.

Participation will depend on the employer’s industry. Stage One, commencing in September 2023, will allow employers in the Primary Agriculture stream to be able to apply for the program in time for the 2024 hiring season. Stage Two is scheduled to commence in January 2024 and will be open to employers in other industry sectors.

Applications under both streams will be accepted until September 2024, so employers have time to prepare if they want to participate in the program.

Contact Garson Immigration Law for Advice and Assistance in Immigrating to Canada

At Garson Immigration Law, we are exclusively dedicated to helping individuals, families, students, and workers navigate the complexities involved in immigration matters. With an eye toward the ever evolving regulations and emerging immigration programs, our experienced immigration lawyers work closely with clients to understand their unique needs and develop a tailored solution. If you have any questions about coming to Canada as a temporary foreign worker, or are interested in preparing a Labour Market Impact Assessment for your business, please contact us online or by phone at 416-321-2860 to learn how we can assist you.

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