Agri-Food Immigration Pilot

Agri-Food Immigration Pilot

About the pilot

The Agri-Food Immigration pilot is an industry-specific program. It’s designed to help address the labour needs of the Canadian agri-food sector, particularly in meat processing and mushroom production.

The pilot aims to attract experienced, non-seasonal workers who can economically establish in Canada, and who support the ongoing labour needs of the agri-food sector.

This pilot will last for three years.

About the process

As a candidate, you will need to find a job with an employer within one of the industries and occupations listed as eligible for the pilot. If you have eligible Canadian work experience, a qualifying job offer and are successful in applying for permanent residence, you will be able to work and live in Canada as a permanent resident and work toward becoming a Canadian citizen.

Additional details on how individuals may apply for permanent residence through this pilot will be available in March 2020.

As a candidate you’ll need to find a job and show that you have experience in an eligible occupation within an eligible industry.

Determining your employer’s industry

Industries are classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). You can see specific industry definitions by searching the industry codes below on the NAICS website. To support your application by making a job offer, your employer will need to provide this information.

The eligible industries for the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot are:

  • meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116)
  • greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114)
  • animal production, excluding aquaculture (NAICS 1121, 1122, 1123, 1124 or 1129)

Eligible jobs under the pilot program

Eligible jobs for the pilot are classified by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code. You can see what duties are involved by searching your job title on the National Occupational Classification website. For each eligible industry, eligible jobs are listed below.

For meat product manufacturing:

  • retail butchers (NOC B 6331)
  • industrial butchers (NOC C 9462)
  • farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (NOC B 8252)
  • food processing labourers (NOC D 9617)

For greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production:

  • farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (NOC B 8252)
  • general farm workers (NOC C 8431)
  • harvesting labourers (NOC D 8611)

For animal production, excluding aquaculture:

  • farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (NOC B 8252)
  • general farm workers (NOC C 8431)

Application limits by occupation

To ensure that a range of labour needs are met, there will be annual limits on the number of applications that will be processed for each occupation.

There will be a limit of

  • 50 applications made with an eligible job offer to work as a farm supervisor or specialized livestock worker (NOC B 8252)
  • 1,470 applications made with an eligible job offer to work as either an industrial butcher (NOC C 9462) or as a retail butcher (NOC B 6331)
  • 730 applications made with an eligible job offer to work as a food processing labourer (NOC D 9617).
  • 200 applications made with an eligible job offer to work as a general farm worker (NOC C 8431).
  • 300 applications made with an eligible job offer to work as a harvesting labourer (NOC D 8611)

This pilot will last for three years. For the first and final years of the pilot, these caps adjusted (prorated) based on remaining period for that year under the pilot.

Fees will be refunded for applicants who submit an application that is rejected as a result of the caps being reached.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program, you must meet all these requirements. You must

Work experience

You need 1 year of non-seasonal work experience (at least 1,560 hours) in the past 3 years. Your work experience must be in an eligible occupation within an eligible industry.

Work experience must be acquired in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

To calculate your hours of work experience

  • Count the hours worked in full-time jobs
    • the hours can be in different eligible occupations and with different employers
    • the hours must be accumulated over a total period of at least 12 months (working more weekly hours cannot shorten this period)
    • the hours must be accumulated while being authorized to work in Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program on the basis of a Labour Market Impact Assessment with a minimum 12 month duration
  • Don’t count hours you weren’t paid for; volunteering or unpaid internships don’t count
  • Don’t count hours when you were self-employed

Job offer

You must have a genuine job offer to work in an eligible occupation within an eligible industry.

The job you’re offered must meet all of these requirements

    • this means mean you work at least 30 paid hours per week
  • The job must be non-seasonal
    • in general, this means you have consistent and regularly scheduled paid employment throughout the year
  • Your employment is permanent
    • this means that there is no set end date
  • The wage must meet or exceed the Job Bank’s prevailing wage for the occupation indicated on the job offer
  • Your job offer must be for a job in Canada, outside of Québec

Language requirements

You must prove your ability in English or French.

To measure your levels, we use the

The minimum language requirements for the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot are

CLB/NCLC 4

You must submit your results from a designated language test. These results must be less than 2 years old when you apply.

Find out more about language testing.

Educational requirements

You must have

  • 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 high school level or above.
    • the ECA report must be less than 5 years old on the date of your application
    • the original ECA report must have been issued on or after the date the organization was designated

Settlement funds

Unless you’re already working legally in Canada when you apply, you must prove you have enough money to support yourself and any family members while you get settled in your community.

You must prove you have enough money to support any family members you may have, even if they’re not coming to Canada with you.

You will need to have 50% of the low income cut-off totals for the year you apply.

The low income cut-off totals are updated every year. More details will be provided when final numbers for each year are available on our website.

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