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The Recognized Employers Program and Its Benefits to Employers

Updated: Jan 9

An agricultural worker observing lettuce on a planting bed
An agricultural worker observing lettuce on a planting bed

The Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) has now launched the Recognized Employers Program (REP) for Canadian employers in primary agriculture. REP is a three-year pilot program for employers in primary agriculture which offers a streamlined approach for employers who regularly employ and fill positions for in-demand fields from the REP occupations list and have demonstrated the highest level of compliance with the TFW program requirements for working and living conditions and worker protections. The pilot offers a more efficient application process to access the TFW program and fill more in-demand roles quickly and reduce cost. The role must be one of the jobs listed in the REP occupation list.

Primary Agriculture in summary includes work duties that must be performed within the boundaries of a farm, nursery, or greenhouse and involves at least one activity such as: the operation of agricultural machinery; boarding, care, breeding, and handling of animals other than fish; or planting, car, harvesting of crops, trees and other plants, which must be consistent with National Occupational Classifications indicated in the regulation.

Phase 1 of the REP project commenced in September 2023 for Phase 1 Occupation list comprising livestock labourers (NOC85100), harvesting labourers (85101), specialised livestock workers and farm machinery operators (NOC84120), and nursery and greenhouse labourers (NOC 85103). Phase 2 of the REP project starts in January 2024 when applications will be accepted for positions on Service Canada’s Phase 2 REP occupations list.

The REP offers employers the following benefits;

  • access LMIAs that are valid for up to 36 months, instead of the usual 6 or 12 months.

  • use of a simplified LMIA application form that requires less information and documentation.

  • Job Bank designation that shows their recognized employer status and helps to attract more prospective workers.

An employer may be eligible for the REP if;

  • Employers have received at least 3 positive LMIA decisions in the last 5 years to hire TFWs for positions on the REP occupations list,

  • Employer meets and demonstrates the highest standard for working conditions, living conditions, and worker protection,

  • Employer agrees to comply with the regular TFWP requirements and standards.

In addition, what the REP means to employers includes a reduction in the frequency with which employers apply for LMIAs as LMIA are issued to be valid for up to 36 months under this program. This also helps employers to save the time and costs associated with submitting multiple LMIA applications over that period and consequently also reduces the cost of having to process work permit renewals several times within the 36-month period.

Arcstone Law Corporation can assist employers with their LMIA applications, work permit applications as well as carry out a comprehensive review of their policies and practice to ensure that they are compliant with the TFW program requirements. We are also available to help businesses initiate a compliance audit in this regard to test readiness for compliance. You can contact us All legal services are rendered through the Arcstone Law Corporation.


Bolanle Oduntan, Managing Lawyer at Arcstone Law

Name: 'Bolanle Oduntan

Title: Managing Lawyer

This blog, website, and the information contained therein are made available by Arcstone Law Corporation for informational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. The information is not legal advice and should not be considered as such. By using this blog site, you understand that there is no lawyer-client relationship between you and the blog, and the website publisher. The blog and website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional lawyer in your province. If you have specific questions about the issue to which this blog speaks, kindly consult with your legal counsel or other legal services provider.


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