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Canada Agri Food Pilot Program

Canada Agri-Food Pilot Program – All You Need to Know!

Last Updated On 20 October 2022, 2:13 PM EDT (Toronto Time)

The Canada Agri-Food Pilot program helps meet the labour requirements of the Canadian agri-food sector.

The pilot program presents experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and occupations with a path to permanent residence. This pilot program will run until May 2023.

Overview of the process 

You must meet the following requirements to apply for permanent residence under the Agri-Food Pilot:

  • Have eligible Canadian work experience in one or more eligible industries and occupations 
  • Obtain a full-time, non-seasonal job offer from a Canadian employer in one of the eligible industries and occupations (outside of Quebec)
  •  Meet the language requirements 
  • Satisfy education requirements 
  • Have sufficient settlement funds (if applicable)
  • If you are already in Canada, you must maintain your temporary resident status.

Eligible Work Experience Requirement 

The first requirement is to have Canadian experience where your acquired experience must be: 

  • A minimum of one year of full-time (at least 1,560 hours), non-seasonal work in the last three years 
  • in one or more of the qualifying occupations listed under one of the qualifying industries
  • using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
    • When you were hired, your employer was required to submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for at least 12 months. If unsure, you can inquire with your former or current employer.

Working on open work permits

You may have eligible work experience if you currently have an open work permit but previously held a work permit through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Nevertheless, the work experience you gained being on an open work permit does not count

How can you calculate the hours of work experience? 

Work experience while working full-time on a legal status counts where the hours can be:

  • Acquired when working in different eligible occupations and with other employers.
  • Worked hours should be spread out over 12 months where working more than 30 hours per week does not reduce the time period 

When hours do not count: 

  • Volunteering or unpaid internships
  • Being self-employed
  • Working part-time or seasonal jobs
  • Working unauthorized hours by IRCC 

Job offer requirements

The job offer you have must be genuine and must meet all the following requirements:

  • The job must be in one of the eligible industries and must be in an eligible occupation.
  • The job must be paid and full-time, requiring you to work at least 30 hours per week. 
  • It must be non-seasonal, meaning you must have consistent and regularly scheduled paid employment throughout the year. 
  • Employment must be permanent, which means it has no set end date. 
  • If the position offers unionized wages, it must be determined by the applicable collective agreement.
  • For non-unionized positions, the wage must meet the Job Bank’s prevailing (median) wage for the occupation listed on your job offer in the province of employment (or at the national level if no provincial rate is available).
  • The job must be in Canada but outside of Quebec 

Language requirements

As an applicant, you must demonstrate your English or French abilities. 

For English, you must meet the minimum language requirement of Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 4. While for French, you must meet the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) Level 4. 

You must meet the minimum language requirements in all sections, including: 

  • Reading 
  • Writing 
  • Speaking 
  • Listening

Moreover, you must submit your results from an approved language test, which must be less than two years old when you apply. 

Education Requirements

To meet the eligibility requirements, you have at least the following:

  • Canadian high school diploma, or
  • Educational credential assessment (ECA) report from a designated organization, proving that you completed a foreign credential at the secondary school level
  • Your ECA report must be less than 5 years old. 

Proof of funds requirements

You need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to settle in Canada. Moreover, you will need to prove that you have enough funds to support yourself and any family member, even if they are not coming with you to Canada. 

However, you do not need to provide proof of funds if you work in Canada on a valid work permit when you apply. 

Eligible industries and occupations 

As mentioned earlier, to apply for Agri-Food Pilot, you need the following:

  • Demonstrate work experience in an eligible industry and eligible occupation, and
  • Obtain a job offer for full-time, non-seasonal work in an eligible industry and occupation in Canada (outside of Quebec).

Eligible industries

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) categorizes industries. You can search the industry codes below on the NAICS website to find specific industry definitions. In addition, your employer needs to include the industry code in your job offer

Industries that are eligible under the pilot include:

  • meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116)
  • greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114)
  • animal production, excluding aquaculture
    • cattle ranching and farming (NAICS 1121)
    • hog and pig farming (NAICS 1122)
    • poultry and egg production (NAICS 1123)
    • sheep and goat farming (NAICS 1124)
    • other animal production (NAICS 1129)

Eligible occupations

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) code classifies occupations. By searching the National Occupational Classification website, you can see the duties for each occupation.

Below you can find eligible jobs within each eligible industry: 

For meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116), eligible jobs are

  • 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

For greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114), eligible jobs are

  • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • NOC C 8431 – General farm workers
  • NOC D 8611 – Harvesting labourers

For animal production, excluding aquaculture (NAICS 1121, 1122, 1123, 1124 and 1129), eligible jobs are

  • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • NOC C 8431 – General farm workers

Limits on applications based on eligible occupation

Each eligible occupation has an annual limit on the number of applications that can be processed. Each year applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning January 1. This pilot will run for three years.

If your application gets rejected because the annual limit for your occupation category has reached its limit, IRCC will refund your application fees. 

Canada agri-food pilot program

How to apply? 

Before applying, ensure that you meet the job offer and work experience requirements. If you do not meet both requirements, your permanent residency application may be refused. 

Forms and checklist

Forms for Employer

Your employer must fill out the attached form below and hand it back to you to submit with your application. Note that you must also read and sign the declaration at the bottom.  

Forms you, as a principal applicant, must fill out. 

Forms for your dependents, if applicable.

Source: IRCC