September 14, 2023

Recognized Employer Pilot: Simplifying LMIA Process for Repeat TFWP Employers

Posted by Lijing Cao - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Besides modernizing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) by transitioning to online Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications through the introduction of the LMIA Online Portal, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has initiated a 3-year pilot project, the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP), to further streamline LMIA processing.

REP provides the following benefits to eligible employers:

  • A simplified application process;
  • Fewer points of contact between employers and ESDC during the pilot period; and
  • A Job Bank designation showing employers’ recognized status.

ESDC will roll out the REP pilot project in two phases. Phase 1 will begin this September, focusing on occupations in the Primary Agricultural stream. The Phase 1 REP occupations list has been pre-determined by ESDC as being in-demand with labour shortage, which includes the following occupations:

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

Phase 2 will start in January 2024, and there is also a pre-determined occupations list covering a variety of occupations. You can find phase 2 occupations list here.

To qualify for the REP, an employer must:

  • Have received at least 3 positive LMIA decisions in the last 5 years for the same positions on the REP occupations list;
  • Demonstrate a history of compliance with the TFW Program; and
  • Agree to adhere to the regular TFWP requirements.

No additional information is needed in order to apply for the REP. When submitting an LMIA application, the employer can choose to apply for REP at the same time. ESDC will determine whether the employer is eligible based on its history with the TFWP. Even if an employer is not approved for the REP, it could still get a positive LMIA decision.

For recognized employers, they would benefit from validity periods of up to 36 months as well as simplified LMIA application processing.


This article is prepared for information only and it is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions about this pilot program, please feel free to contact our team.