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Canada’s Agri-Food Pilot, a New Pathway to Permanent Residence for Temporary Foreign Workers

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June 3, 2020

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By Amrita Nepal

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One more good news on the row for the new immigrants - Canada’s new Agri-Food Pilot program is now accepting applications after experiencing a bit delay due to COVID-19. 

 

So, what is the New Agri-Food Pilot?

 

The Agri-Food Pilot has been launched to address the labour needs of agri-food sector in Canada, specifically for meat and mushroom processing, greenhouse production, livestock-raising, to meet the export targets, where a new industry specific approach will be tested. 

 

This three year pilot program will run until May 2023, starting from May 15, 2020, which will be a pathway to permanent residence for experienced temporary foreign workers in Canada, belonging to specific industries and occupations. 

 

The agriculture and the agri-food industry have been a crucial contributor to the economic growth of the country that supports about one in eight jobs in Canada. In 2018, the agricultural exports reached a new record of $66.2 billion.

 

IRCC will be accepting 2750 principal applicants and their family members, representing approximately 16,500 new residents in the next three years through the pilot program, till May 14, 2023 as per the media release on IRCC website. 

 

Seems promising? Let's review the eligiblility criteria.

 

Eligibility Requirements for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot

Foreign workers must meet the following five requirements to be eligible for the program. 

1. You must have eligible Canadian work experience in one or more of the eligible industries and occupations

2. A full-time, non-seasonal job offer from a Canadian employer in one of the eligible industries and occupations (outside of Quebec)

3. Must meet or exceed the language requirements

4. Must meet or exceed the educational requirements

5. Have settlement funds (if applicable)

6. Should maintain temporary resident status (if already in Canada)

 

1. Work experience

You must have Canadian work experience as follows:

 

• At least 1 year full-time experience in non-seasonal jobs in the past 3 years (at least 1,560 hours),

• in one or more of the eligible occupations, listed under one of the eligible industries,

• through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

o Please note that a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) with a minimum 12-month duration is should be submitted by your employer when hiring you. 

 

Open work permits

In case you used to have a work permit under Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and now have an open work permit, it can still be counted as an eligible work experience. But, any work experience from your open work permit will not be considered. 

 

2. Job offer

Your job offer must meet the following requirements: 

• The job must be in an eligible occupation listed under 1 of the eligible industries.

• The job must be full time.

• The job must be non-seasonal.

• Your employment is permanent.

• Your job offer must be for a job in Canada outside of Quebec.

 

3. Language requirements

You should prove your ability in English or French and submit your results that is less than 2 years old when you apply.

 

4. Educational requirements

For education, you must have at least: 

• a Canadian high school diploma, or

• an educational credential assessment (ECA) report from a designated organization or professional body showing that you completed a foreign credential at the secondary school level or above

• The ECA report that is less than 5 years old on the date of your application.

 

4. Settlement funds

You must prove that you have enough funds to settle in Canada to support yourself and any family members you may have, even if they are not coming to Canada with you.

 

If you are working in Canada already with a valid work permit when you apply then you the proof of settlement funds is not necessary.

 

Eligible Industries

The eligible industries classified by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) under the pilot are: 

• meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116)

• greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114)

• animal production, excluding aquaculture

o cattle ranching and farming (NAICS 1121)

o hog and pig farming (NAICS 1122)

o poultry and egg production (NAICS 1123)

o sheep and goat farming (NAICS 1124)

o other animal production (NAICS 1129)

 

Eligible occupations

Occupations listed are classified by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code. If you'd like review the duties for each occupation, you can search on the National Occupational Classification website.

 

Below are the eligible jobs for each eligible industry:

 

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

 

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

 

Animal production, excluding aquaculture (NAICS 1121, 1122, 1123, 1124 and 1129)

NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers

NOC C 8431 – General farm workers

 

Eligible Occupations and Applications Limit

There is an annual limit for each occupation category as below:

Eligible Occupations Annual Limit

 

Applications fees will be refunded for those applications that are rejected due to the annual limit reached for each occupation category.

 

If you meet all the requirements as above, you will be able to submit your application for permanent residence directly, using the application guide and forms available on the official Agri-Food Immigration Pilot webpage.

 

Labour has been a limiting factor for many of the agricultural industries in Canada, and as mentioned by Canadian Federation of Agriculture or CFA’s President Mary Robinson, in 2014, it was reported that about 26,400 jobs were unfilled, resulting in 1.5 billion loss.

 

Amidst the COVID-19 news, this good news is a light for many immigrants who are waiting to apply as Temporary Foreign Worker in the agricultural industry. 

 

Do you have more questions about the new Agri-Food Immigration Pilot? We can get back to you with answers, its few clicks away!

 

Start your assessment

 

Source: IRCC, Agri-Food Pilot 


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