The Canada Agri-Food Immigration Pilot program is for foreigners who wish to work in Canadian Agro-industries.  Agriculture is a mainstay in every economy including Canada, and in order to sustain the industry and address the shortage of workers in the industry, a new immigration program was introduced by the Canadian government which will give foreign workers who are specialized in the Agri-Food industry an easy pathway to permanent residence.

The pilot program is intended to address the labour needs of Canadian employers in the mushroom, meat processing, and greenhouse production, and livestock-raising sectors. Foreign workers or temporary visa holders who are already living in Canada working in these fields will be able to apply for Canadian permanent residence under the new immigration program.

Canada’s Immigration Ministry (IRCC) will admit up to 2,750 principal applicants with their family members annually for the next three years under the immigration program. Applications are being welcomed from now until May 14, 2023, according to an IRCC news release.

What is Canada Agri-Food Immigration Pilot?

The agri-food immigration pilot program is an industry-specific immigration program aimed at attracting foreign workers who are interested in the Agri-Food industry who intend to have Canadian PR. The aim of the program is to attract workers to work in the Agri-Food industry with the intention of giving them permanent residence.

Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Industries and Occupations

Not every industry or occupation in the Agri-Food sector is eligible for the Agri-Food immigration pilot program, there are specifically selected industries and occupations that are in this program.

Eligible Industries

Industries eligible for the Agri-Food immigration pilot program are classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Eligible industries under the pilot are:

  • 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

Agri-Food immigration pilot occupations are classified by National Occupational Classification. The occupations under the program with their NOC codes are

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 farmworkers
  • NOC D 8611 – Harvesting 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 farmworkers
  • 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 farmworkers

There are annual limits laced on each occupation eligible for the Agri-Food immigration pilot program and applications are processed on a first-come-first-served basis. You can submit your application in January each.

Annual limits

Eligible occupation Number of applications accepted per year
Farm supervisor or specialized livestock worker (NOC B 8252) 50
Industrial butcher (NOC C 9462) or retail butcher (NOC B 6331) 1470
Food processing labourer (NOC D 9617) 730
General farm worker (NOC C 8431) 200
Harvesting labourer (NOC D 8611) 300

If your application is rejected because the annual limit has been reached, then your application fee will be refunded.

Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Requirements

For an applicant to become eligible for the Agri-Food immigration pilot program, the candidate must meet the following requirements:

  • eligible work experience
  • eligible job offer
  • language requirements
  • education requirements
  • settlement funds

Eligible Work Experience

To qualify for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, you must have one year of Canadian work experience in the last three years. The work experience must be

  • a minimum of one year(1,560 hours) within the last three years
  • a non-seasonal full-time job
  • be a permanent job
  • be an eligible occupation in the NOC list

be through Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Job Offer

Before applying for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, you must have a genuine job offer from a Canadian employer in one of the eligible occupations.

  • Your job offer must meet the following requirements:
  • the job offer must be non-seasonal and full-time meaning that you must work for at least 30 hours every week
  • the job must be permanent, that is, it has no termination date
  • it must be an eligible occupation in the NOC list of eligible occupations
  • Your job offer must be outside of Quebec.

Language Requirements

There is a level of Canadian languages you are expected to reach. The minimum language requirement is Canadian Language Benchmark (CBL) 4 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

You must submit your application within two weeks of getting your language test result.

Education Requirements

To qualify for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program, you must have:

  • a Canadian High school diploma or
  • an educational credential assessment showing that you have an education diploma equal to a Canadian high school diploma. The educational credential assessment must be within five years from the day you submit your application.

Settlement Funds

You also need to show that you have enough to settle in Canada and also show that you have enough money to settle in Canada with family members coming with you.

If you are already working in Canada with a work permit, you don’t have to prove that you have enough money to settle in Canada.

The table below shows the amount needed for an applicant and accompanying family members to settle down in Canada.

Agri-food Immigration Pilot Eligibility

To qualify for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, must reach the following minimum requirements:

  • have eligible work experience
  • have an eligible job offer
  • meet or pass the language requirements
  • meet or pass the educational requirements
  • prove you have enough money to settle in Canada (if applicable)
  • have maintained your temporary resident status (if already in Canada)

Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Jobs

You must have a genuine job offer to become eligible for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot and the job must be a permanent job from a Canadian employer.

The job must be from both eligible industries and occupations for it to be a genuine offer. If the job does not meet the following requirements, then it may not be a genuine offer.

  • it must be an eligible offer listed in the NOC list of eligible occupations
  • it must be full-time, permanent, and non-seasonal
  • it must be outside of Quebec

Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Application Process

The following process will help you in your application for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program.

1. Complete the application package

Before you apply for permanent residence through Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, you must make sure that you meet the requirements for both job offer and work experience. If you fail to meet any of the requirements, then your application for permanent residence will not be approved.

For both job offer and work experience requirements, you can see them above.

2. Get ready to apply

After checking for your eligibility for the program, you can now gather your documents and get ready to submit your application. You can also read the instruction guide to know your eligibility, fee, and how to apply.

3. Get your photo and fingerprint taken

For applicants between 14 and 79 years, they must submit their biometrics. So, if you fall within this age range, then you must submit them to the IRCC website.

Even if you have given out your biometrics before and they are still valid, you must pay the fees and this must be done within 30 days to avoid delay.

4. Pay your fees online

After you have filled your application form,  the next thing you do is to pay your fees online.

You can see the details of how to pay your fees online on the IRCC website.

5. Submit your application

You can submit your application to the IRCC website after filling the application form and paying your fees online.

6. Your application is processed

After submitting your application, it will be assessed and processed by an officer.

7. Submit your medical exam result

Before you can live in Canada, you must have a medical test, so, you and your family members must submit medical test results to show your health conditions.

You will not be accepted if your health

  • is a danger to Canada’s public health or safety
  • would cause too much demand on health or social services in Canada.

8. Your information is verified

Make sure to provide valid and true information because if any information is found to be f, the following actions may be taken against you.

  • Your application may be refused
  • You may be found inadmissible
  • You may be banned from coming to Canada for 5 years.

9. Decision is taken on your application

Your application can either be approved or refused. The decision can be based on

  • whether you meet the eligibility criteria for the program
  • whether you’re admissible to Canada, based on the results of your
    • medical exam
    • background checks

If your application is refused, you can reapply on the following conditions:

  • fill out and submit a new application
  • meet the eligibility criteria
  • be found admissible to Canada
  • be accepted under the annual occupational caps.

If your application is accepted, you must pay your fees if you have not done so:

You receive a confirmation e-mail

You will also receive a confirmation email containing

  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)
  • permanent resident visa

Your COPR serves as your identity and it contains both your name and your photo. You must check to make sure that every detail is correct.

Apply for a permanent residence card

Immediately you receive an email confirming your application, you must submit an application for a PR card. This card will replace your COPR as your means of identification.

Agri-Food Immigration Pilot processing time

There is no time frame for processing Permanent Residence through Agri-Food Immigration Pilot but the process can be done in less than 12 months. So, if you are eligible, you have to get everything ready even before submitting your application.

Once you have submitted your application, you go ahead to pay your fees online and gather all your documents and make sure they are ready.

You can be called anytime from the moment you submit your application and if your application is approved, you will have less than 30 days to provide all your documents including your medical report.

FAQ About About Agri-Food Immigration Pilot

Q. Who is eligible for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program?

A. Any candidate who meets the minimum requirements and has an eligible job offer from an employer in any of the eligible occupations is eligible.

Q. How long will Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program Last?

A. Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program is a three years program that started in May 2020 and will end in May 2023.

Q. How can I apply for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program?

A. If you want to apply for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program, you have to check if you meet the minimum requirements and you have to get a job offer from an employer in the eligible industry and occupation. You must also have at least one year of Canadian work experience.

Q. Where can I work if I qualify for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program?

A. If you qualify for the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot program m, you can work in any city except in Quebec.