The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program in Canada: Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food sector accounts for about 10% of the country’s GDP each year, making it an extremely important sector of the economy.
To help foreign temporary workers in Canada’s agri-food sector gain permanent residency, the country has an immigration pilot program called the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot. The annual application cap is set at 2,750.
Job Categories for the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program
The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot program welcomes anyone working in the following occupations and industries:
- Meat processing,
- Retail butchering,
- Industrial butchering,
- Food processing,
- Gathering for year-round mushroom production and greenhouse crop production.
- Farm supervisor and specialized livestock worker for meat processing,
- Greenhouse crop production,
- Livestock-raising general farm worker for year-round mushroom cultivation
- Or greenhouse crop production or animal raising
Eligibility for the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program Requirements
To be considered for permanent residence in Canada under the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, candidates with work experience in the aforementioned occupations must also meet the following eligibility requirements. There are some points that you should know while thinking about to take Job in Canada.
- Full-time, year-round work experience in one of Canada’s approved occupations through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for at least 12 months.
- CLB 4 in English or French
- High school diploma or its international equivalent and
- A job offer for full-time, year-round work in Canada (other than Quebec) paying at least the national average wage.
Agri-Food Immigration Pilot: 2-year LMIA for Employers
A two-year Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) will be provided to participating employers in the meat processing industry.
Meatpacking companies must demonstrate how they would help a temporary foreign worker become a permanent resident to qualify.
IRCC states that unionized and non-unionized meat processors will need union letters of support to safeguard the labour market and migratory employees.
IRCC has extended the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, and the occupation cap has been removed.
The Agri-Food Immigration pilot program will be extended, and IRCC will no longer impose annual occupational caps on program participants.
The Agri-Food Pilot Program has been extended through May 14, 2025, according to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser. The pilot program was established to aid in the immigration process for skilled employees in Canada’s agricultural and food industries.
The Minister also declared that the yearly occupational quotas would be eliminated. According to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), lifting these caps will allow more qualified people to submit applications. By year’s end, IRCC will have introduced even more modifications.
The department will phase in new changes to the pilot, such as allowing unions to vouch for a candidate’s work experience in place of employer reference letters and expanding open work permit access to family members of pilot program participants regardless of the candidates’ job skill level.
Canadian applicants will have the option of satisfying the education criterion (which involves verification of educational credentials) or the job offer requirement (which includes verifying the offer’s median income).
The pilot program will begin considering prior job experience for vulnerable people with open work permits. According to IRCC, this will open the door to eligibility for a wider range of workers.
To address manpower shortages in sectors such as meat processing, mushroom cultivation, greenhouse farming, and livestock husbandry, the Canadian government launched the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot in 2020.
IRCC declared that it would accept up to 2,750 primary applicants and their families over the next three years per year. The pilot program’s participation deadline had been set for May 14, 2023.
More than 243,000 individuals are working in Canada’s Agriculture, Hunting, Fishing, and Forestry. However, there are more than 14,000 job openings, according to data from February 2023. The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the industry, leading to factory shutdowns, market fluctuations, and supply chain delays.
Which industries and jobs qualify for participation?
Some examples of businesses and professions that qualify for the pilot program are:
- Processing and packaging of meat; retail butcher shops
- Meat processors
- Managers of farms and people who specialize in caring for animals
- Workers in the food industry
Production in greenhouses, nurseries, and floriculture, including mushroom cultivation; Agricultural managers and specialists in animal husbandry
- Farmhands in General
- Workers who harvest crops.
- Supervisors of farms and livestock specialists outside of aquaculture.
Eligibility of Candidates
Candidates must also have: a Canadian Language Benchmark level 4 in English or French; the foreign equivalent of high school education or higher; a job offer for full-time, non-seasonal work in Canada, outside of Quebec, at or above the prevailing wage; and 12 months of full-time, non-seasonal work experience in one of the eligible occupations under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
The Meat Industry
A Labour Market Impact Assessment covering the next two years will be made available to meat processing companies participating in the trial program. The plan must specify the company’s steps to help the temporary foreign worker become a permanent resident.
The International Recruitment and Certification Council (IRCC) states that unionized meat processors must provide a letter of support from their union and that non-unionized meat processors must meet extra requirements to safeguard the labour market and migrant workers.
- The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program covers meat, greenhouse crop, mushroom, cattle, and farm work.
- The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program requires full-time, year-round work experience in one of Canada’s approved occupations.
- Language proficiency, a high school diploma or international equivalent, and a job offer in Canada are also required.
- The Canadian government extended the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program through May 14, 2025.
- Annual occupational quotas have also been scrapped to allow more qualified applications.
- Both unionized and non-unionized meat processors need union letters of support to preserve the labour market and migratory workers.