LMIAtemporary foreign worker program

Canadian Government to Launch Recognized Employer Pilot (REP)

Published on: August 9th, 2023

The Canadian government has announced a new pilot program coming this September. This new program aims to alleviate the administrative complexities faced by many Canadian employers while working within the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program. It also helps to streamline the process of recruiting foreign workers through the program. And ultimately, it makes the process more straightforward and less burdensome for employers.

What is the REP? (once we have the perm page, we will link it in this section)

The government of Canada will offer the new pilot program Recognized Employer Pilot (REP). The program will help to reduce the administrative burden and simplify the hiring process Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program employers.  Companies who demonstrate a history of complying with program requirements.

To participate in REP, employers must have a minimum of three positive LMIAs for the same occupation over the past five years. Additionally, occupations should come from a list designated as in-shortage and supported using Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) data.

Employers who are recognized under the REP will have a few advantages. The main advantage is for LMIAs. Employers will have access to LMIAs that are valid for up to 36 months. In some cases, they will also have a simplified LMIA application process. This will allow for a smoother hiring process for additional workers in the future.

The program will have two phases, the first beginning next month for employers in the Primary Agriculture stream. This will allow employers to prepare for the 2024 season. 


How to Apply for REP & What to Expect

Employers will be proactively invited to participate in the REP if the are expected to meet the eligibility criteria. They will be invited to apply using a dual-purpose LMIA application which differs from a regular LMIA. Employers can request that the application be used to apply for recognized status under REP and for the LMIA at the same time.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will determine REP eligibility based on the employer’s history with the TFW Program. Should an employer not receive recognized status, they will remain eligible to use the TFW Program. In addition the Department would continue to assess their LMIA.

Here’s how to apply and what you can anticipate during the process:

Stage One: Starting in September 2023, employers within the Primary Agriculture stream can begin applying for the 2024 season.

Stage Two: From January 2024, the application process opens for all other industry sectors.

Both streams will accept applications until September 2024.

You have two options to apply for an LMIA and REP:

  • LMIA Online Portal: Use this secure platform to complete and submit your online application to ESDC.
  • Email Submission: If you have a valid exemption from the LMIA Online Portal, you can email a PDF application form to ESDC.


If you’re eligible, you can look forward to having a simpler future LMIA application process. In the first place, this simple process apply for positions listed on the COPS (Canadian Occupational Projection System) list. Second, you will enjoy reduced interaction with ESDC due to simplified LMIA forms during REP. This will allow you to hire more Temporary Foreign Workers easily. And finally, your company will have access to a Job Bank designation showcasing your recognized status, enhancing interest from potential workers.


What is an LMIA?

An essential part of hiring foreign employees in Canada involves going through a process known as a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This process ensures that the Canadian job market is protected and that opportunities are first considered for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

An LMIA is essentially a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that evaluates the potential impact of hiring a foreign national within the country. This assessment is carried out to determine if there are available Canadians or permanent residents who could fill the job position. The outcome of the LMIA, plays a significant role in the decision-making process for hiring foreign workers.

When the LMIA outcome is positive, it signifies that no suitable Canadian candidate is readily available to take up the job. As a result, the employer is given the green light to proceed with hiring a foreign worker. Conversely, a negative LMIA outcome indicates that there are qualified Canadians or permanent residents who could fulfill the job requirements, and the job should ideally be offered to them.


Interested to learn more about this pilot program or about your opportunities to immigrate to Canada? Complete our free immigration assessment to get started.

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