Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food industry is a vital component of the Canadian economy and contributes more than $110 billion annually to the country’s gross domestic product.
In order to attract and retain the workers needed to sustain and grow this output, the Government of Canada introduced the three-year Agri-Food Immigration Pilot to provide eligible temporary foreign workers in the sector with a pathway to Canadian permanent residence.
NOTE: This program will accept applications from May 15, 2020, to May 14, 2023. A total of 2,750 applications will be accepted each year. At this time, the pilot program will primarily target people who are already in Canada due to existing travel restrictions.
Agri-Food Immigration Pilot: Eligible occupations
The occupations and industries eligible under the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot include:
- meat processing
- retail butcher
- industrial butcher
- food processing labourer
- harvesting labourer for year-round mushroom production and greenhouse crop production
- general farm worker for year-round mushroom production, greenhouse crop production, or livestock raising
- farm supervisor and specialized livestock worker for meat processing, year-round mushroom production, greenhouse crop production or livestock raising
Agri-Food Immigration Pilot: Eligibility requirements
Candidates with work experience in the above occupations must also meet the following eligibility requirements in order to be considered for Canadian permanent residence under the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot.
- 12 months of full-time, non-seasonal Canadian work experience in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in one of the eligible occupations.
- a Canadian Language Benchmark level 4 in English or French
- the foreign equivalent of a high school level education or greater
- an indeterminate job offer for full-time, non-seasonal work in Canada, outside of Quebec, at or above the prevailing wage.
Agri-Food Immigration Pilot: 2-year LMIA for employers
Eligible employers in the meat processing sector who use the pilot will be issued a two-year Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
In order to be eligible, meat processors will be required to outline their plans to support the temporary foreign worker in obtaining permanent residency.
Unionized meat processors will require a letter of support from their union and non-unionized meat processors will have to meet additional requirements to ensure the labour market and migrant workers are protected, IRCC says.