In A Flash

Recognized Employer Pilot to Offer Eligible Employers Streamlined LMIA Application Process

On August 8, 2023, Employment and Social Development Canada announced the introduction of a new three-year pilot, the Recognized Employer Pilot, under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”). The Pilot aims to streamline the Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) application process for eligible employers with a demonstrated history of compliance under the TFWP.

In order to be eligible, employers must meet the following requirements:

  • Must have received at least three (3) positive LMIA decisions in the past five (5) years for the same occupation, which must be considered in-demand;
  • Must meet the highest working conditions, living conditions, and worker protection standards, which will be demonstrated through the employer’s history under the TFWP; and
  • Must agree to adhere to the regular requirements under the TFWP.

Employers who meet the above requirements may still be found ineligible if they have previously received a negative LMIA decision and/or have been found non-compliant under the TFWP.

Minimum LMIA advertising requirements must still be met when applying through the Pilot. As well, subject to limited exceptions, the employer must pay the prevailing wage, which is the highest of either the regional median hourly wage for the occupation and work location, or a wage which is within the range currently being paid to employees in the same job and work location, with the same skills and years of experience.  

If approved, “recognized” employers will benefit from LMIAs with a three-year validity period, as well as a “streamlined” LMIA application process for subsequent LMIA applications for eligible in-demand occupations. If refused, the employer will still be eligible to apply for LMIAs through the regular, non-Pilot stream.  

Primary agricultural employers applying for an LMIA for positions on the “Phase 1” Occupations List will be able to apply for the Pilot as of September 2023. Employers applying for an LMIA for positions on the “Phase 2” Occupations List will be able to apply as of January 2024. Employers may continue to submit applications to be recognized under the Pilot until September 2024.

Employers have recently experienced longer than usual processing times when submitting LMIA applications, even for positions which are typically eligible for priority 10 day processing. We anticipate that eligible employers who are frequent users of the TFWP will benefit from this new Pilot, as it will reduce the administrative burden and timelines when applying for an LMIA for many in-demand occupations.

Further information on the eligibility requirements and application process for the Recognized Employer Pilot can be found here.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.

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