Agri-Food Pilot now accepting applications


Agri-Food Pilot now accepting applications

      Marco Mendicino

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has started accepting applications to a three-year pilot which will provide a pathway to permanent residence ” for many temporary foreign workers already in Canada.”

According to an IRCC news release, the three-year pilot will test an industry-specific approach to help employers in the meat processing, mushroom and greenhouse production, and livestock-raising industries fill ongoing labour needs for full-time, year-round employees.

Immigration Minister  Marco Mendicino said that ” attracting and retaining talented workers is essential to help grow our economy and improve the living standards of all Canadians.”

A total of 2,750 applications will be accepted annually throughout the pilot, which applies primarily to people who are already in Canada. Existing travel restrictions continue to apply.

 The Agri-Food Pilot will accept applications until May 14, 2023.

More than half of the 2,750 yearly spots will go to industrial butchers (1,470), followed by food processing labourers (730), harvesting workers (300), general farm workers (200), and farm supervisors or specialized livestock workers (50).

Applicants must meet minimum language requirements and have the equivalent of a Canadian high school diploma, as well as one year of “nonseasonal, full-time” work experience. They also need a job offer letter from their employers.

Canada is committed to attracting the best talent from around the world through the Temporary Foreign Workers Program to fill skills shortages, drive local economies, and create and support middle-class jobs in communities across the country that will benefit all Canadians, said the news release.

 The Agri-Food Pilot will accept applications until May 14, 2023.

The Agri-Food Pilot complements Canada’s existing suite of economic immigration programs, which includes the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, the caregivers pilots, the Global Skills Strategy, a revitalized Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program.

(Since Quebec establishes its own economic immigration selection under the Canada-Quebec Accord, the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot does not apply there.)

The agriculture and agri-food industry is an important contributor to Canada’s economic growth and vitality, supporting one in eight  jobs across the country. In 2019, agricultural exports hit a new record, reaching $67 billion.