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Agri-Food Immigration Pilot

Agri-Food Immigration Pilot

Agri-Food Immigration Pilot was introduced by the government for foreign farm workers, who, usually with little formal education, have had limited opportunities to stay in Canada for failing to meet the requirements of the country’s economic immigration programs that are designed to attract highly educated and skilled professionals.

This new pilot project, Agri-Food will attract and retain experienced full time, non-seasonal workers who can be economically established in Canada. The idea is to provide them with an opportunity to become PR instead of having to renew their work permits repeatedly whether to continue working for a longer period of time or to work for a different employer.

Eligible Industries and Eligible Occupations:

  1. Meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116)
    • NOC B 6331 – Retail butchers
    • NOC C 9462 – Industrial butchers
    • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
    • NOC D 9617 – Food processing labourers
  2. Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114)
    • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
    • NOC C 8431 – General farm workers
    • NOC D 8611 – Harvesting labourers
  3. Animal production, excluding aquaculture (NAICS 1121, 1122, 1123, 1124 or 1129)
    • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
    • NOC C 8431 – General farm workers

Applicant Requirements:

The candidate must fulfill the following requirements:

  • 12 months of full time non-seasonal Canadian work experience in an eligible occupation in processing meat products, raising livestock, growing mushrooms or greenhouse crops
  • Canadian Language Benchmark level 4 (English or French)
  • High School or greater (Canadian equivalency)
  • Indeterminate job offer for full time non-seasonal work outside Quebec at or above prevailing wage
  • Unless already working legally in Canada at the time of applying, worker must prove to have enough money to support family members, even if they’re not coming to Canada with them (50% of the low-income cut-off totals for the year they apply)

Employer Requirements:

The employermust fulfill the following requirements:

  • is active in the field of agriculture or the food industry;
  • can offer you the salary and benefits they promise you;
  • offers you a full-time permanent job in one of the categories mentioned earlier;
  • has obeyed all the employment laws and regulations in Canada; and
  • genuinely needs you to fill the position.

Agri-Food immigration jobs and their caps:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) expects a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants to be accepted for processing each year under the Agri-Food Immigration pilot. With family members, the pilot could welcome approximately 16,500 new permanent residents to Canada over the course of the pilot’s three-year duration.

The immigration authorities will accept applications under the following groups.

Job Category NOC Code Cap
farm supervisor or specialized livestock worker 8252 50
industrial or retail butcher 9462 or 6331 1,470
food processing labourer 9617 730
general farm worker 8431 200
harvesting labourer 8611 300

These limits are for each year. However, IRCC intend to run the pilot program for three years.

Pathway to Permanent Residency

The Agri-Food pilot offers a pathway to permanent residence for agricultural workers in Canada. In recent years, Employers in the above-noted eligible occupations and industries have struggled to fill labour shortages and workers have had to rely on short-term, seasonal work permits in order to find employment. The pilot aims to attract and retain workers by offering a pathway to permanent residence in Canada, allowing workers and their families to work and live in Canada for as long as they like.

To apply for permanent residence through the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, you need:

  • eligible Canadian work experience, and
  • a job offer from a Canadian employer in one of the industries and occupations listed as eligible for the pilot. For this reason, as a candidate you need to find a job and show that you have experience in an eligible industry and eligible occupation.