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REP: Canada's Recognized Employer Pilot Program

REP: Canada's Recognized Employer Pilot Program

Advice for contractorREP: Canada's Recognized Employer Pilot Program

Canada is known for its dynamic economy and diverse population, which attracts a lot of foreign workers every year. To streamline their professional integration process and meet the needs of local employers, the government developed a pilot project for recognized employers in Canada. This pilot project was established to simplify the hiring process of foreign workers and provide them with a faster and simpler way to receive their Canadian permanent resident status. This article will focus on an in-depth overview detailing the different aspects factored into this pilot project.

What is the REP exactly?

Source: Canva

This immigration pilot project was introduced by the Canadian government in order to meet the specific needs in terms of the workforce. Its purpose is to attract and retain qualified foreign workers in focus areas. 

A Three-Stream Immigration Program


Temporary foreign worker

This stream allows Quebec-based employers to hire temporary foreign workers to fulfill jobs that don’t require higher education. The selected temporary foreign workers can then request their permanent resident status in Quebec. 

International graduates 

This stream is addressed to international graduates from recognized Canadian institutions. International graduates who have an eligible job offer in Canada can apply for permanent residency.  

Semi-skilled trades

This stream was specifically designed for foreign, semi-skilled workers in high-demand trades across certain regions in Canada. The semi-skilled foreign workers selected can also apply for their permanent residency in the region of their choosing. 

Trade Sectors Covered by the Pilot Project

The recognized employers pilot project spans a wide range of trade sectors. However, certain sectors are especially targeted by this program, such as:

  • Health

  • Engineering

  • Computer science

  • Agriculture

  • Food and beverage

  • Hospitality

  • Tourism

These industry sectors are considered to have an ongoing need for a qualified workforce and the need to hire foreign workers to fulfill job openings. 

Employer Eligibility Criteria

The following measures must be adhered to: 

  • Must be a government-recognized employer (a registered employer and in compliance with the Registraire des entreprises du Québec [Quebec Business Registry])

  • Must be an employer operating within an eligible trade sector

  • Provide qualified foreign workers with a permanent job in one of the eligible fields detailed in the pilot project (a trade that meets the specific needs of the Quebec labour market)

  • Provide proof that the job offer is fair and in compliance with the current labour standards and laws in Quebec. The employer has to provide a detailed job description, including: tasks and responsibilities; pay; benefits; work schedule, etc.

  • Agree to support the foreign worker in their efforts to integrate Quebec by providing support systems, such as: helping them find an apartment; guiding them through government-offered services; promoting the French language, etc.

Note that the above-mentioned criteria are subject to change and it’s advisable to consult the official information provided by the Government of Quebec to remain informed about the most recent eligibility criteria. 

REP Advantages

Source: Canva

For recognized employers

Once recognized as a Quebec employer, there are numerous advantages offered. Here are some of the key perks:

Access to a qualified workforce

Recognized employers can recruit qualified foreign workers who meet their hiring criteria and job-specific workforce needs. This can benefit employers looking to hire suitable candidates for job openings that are more difficult to fill locally. 

Simplified hiring process

The pilot project provides a simplified and fast-tracked hiring process for employers. For example, the job opening may be posted on a dedicated platform and the candidate selection process might be sped up.

Extended work permit

The foreign workers hired as part of the pilot project benefit from an extended work permit. This allows employers to rely on these employees long-term, thereby reducing the need to constantly plan ahead to fill vacant positions. 

Job transition opportunities

The foreign workers hired as part of the pilot project can transition from one job to another more easily. This flexibility can benefit employers, who can then benefit from a larger talent pool. 

Personalized services

Recognized employers benefit from personalized support throughout the hiring and integration process of foreign workers. This may include advice in terms of administrative guidelines, cultural and linguistic adaptation, and employee follow-ups.   

These advantages allow pilot project-recognized employers to strengthen their workforce, fulfill key job openings, and face head-on the labour shortage in certain industries. 

For foreign workers

Foreign workers also benefit from a lot of advantages courtesy of the pilot project. Here’s a list of the main perks:

Simplified application process

Foreign workers can benefit from a simplified application process, which streamlines their permanent residency application in Quebec. 

Temporary job opportunities

Foreign workers can obtain a temporary work permit through the pilot project, which allows them to legally work in Quebec throughout the duration of their work contract. 

Work permit extension opportunity

Foreign workers who already have a provincial or federal work permit may be granted a work permit extension under the pilot project terms. 

Desirable job opportunities

Foreign workers can fill desirable job opportunities offered by Quebec-recognized employers, which allows them to further develop their skills and professional experience. 

Family reunification opportunity

Another perk offered to foreign workers participating in the pilot project is reuniting with their spouses and children in Quebec. 

Access to immigration services (Accompagnement Québec)

Foreign workers participating in the pilot project have access to government-offered integration services, which can facilitate their integration and participation in Quebec society. 

Overall, the pilot project is designed for recognized employers in Quebec, offering foreign workers the opportunity to work legally, access desirable jobs, and benefit from a simplified process to obtain their permanent residency in Quebec. 

How can you participate in REP?

Source: Canva

To participate in REP (Recognized Employer Pilot) in Canada, follow these guidelines:

1- Verify company eligibility

The REP is meant for employers who wish to fill vacant positions with qualified temporary foreign workers. Your company must be approved by the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program established by the Government of Canada and meet specific criteria. 

2- Participation application

You must submit an application to the REP via the TFW. This application must include detailed information regarding your company, the description of the job openings, and the reason behind your desire to hire temporary foreign workers.

3- Wait for approval

Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll have to wait for approval from the TFW. The approval delay period may vary based on your application. 

4- Hire temporary foreign workers

Once your application is approved, you can start the temporary foreign worker hiring process. You can use hiring methods such as job postings, you can also participate in job fairs, etc. 

4- Request work permit

Once you’ve hired temporary foreign workers, you’ll need to help them with their work permit requests. The workers will submit their applications to the Canadian government, which will then process their eligibility. 

5- Adhere to REP requirements

As an employer participating in the REP, you’re required to adhere to the requirements outlined by the program, such as simplifying a worker’s transition to permanent residency (if applicable) and complying with the terms and conditions detailed in the work contract.

Note that the program-specific details may change, therefore, it’s recommended to consult official government-issued resources to obtain up-to-date information regarding the REP.

REP: A Fast-Track to Immigration for Foreign Workers

The pilot project for recognized employers is a government initiative aimed at simplifying the hiring process of foreign workers and offering them a fast-track and streamlined path to permanent residency. Recognized employers benefit from advantages such as the opportunity to hire foreign workers without a labour market study, whereas foreign workers benefit from a simplified hiring process in their trades with the opportunity to expedite their permanent residency application. With this program, Canada fosters the professional integration of foreign workers, while meeting the needs of local employers in various economic sectors. 

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Last modified 2023-11-15

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