Hadson Immigration

Agri-Food Pilot

What is Agri-Food pilot program for?

The pilot program’s mandate is to fill labor shortages in the meat processing, mushroom and greenhouse crop production and livestock raising industries.

In the past, skilled workers in this industry have been offered short-term work permits. The pilot would offer agricultural workers with Canadian job experience and a job offer from a Canadian employer a pathway to Canadian permanent residence.

The Canadian government is continuing to take every precaution to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. As such, the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot has been rescheduled to start in May instead of March.

Applications are expected to open on May 15, 2020, and will continue to be accepted up until May 14, 2023.

Who is eligible?

In order to be eligible, applicants must:

  • Have work experience within a specific industry
  • Have a genuine job offer
  • Meet the minimum language requirements
  • Meet the minimum education requirements
  • Show they have the funds to support themselves
  • Have one year of full-time, non-seasonal Canadian work experience (at least 1,560 hours in the past 3 years)

Which jobs and industries qualify?

Eligible industries include the following codes as classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Eligible jobs within those industries are classified by their NOC codes:

Meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116):
  • 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)
Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114):
  • Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (NOC B 8252)
  • General farm workers (NOC C 8431)
  • Harvesting labourers (NOC D 8611)
Animal production (NAICS 1121, 1122, 1123, 1124 or 1129):
  • Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (NOC B 8252)
  • General farm workers (NOC C 8431)

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The IRCC will start accepting applications on January 1 of each year, and will continue to accept applications until they have fulfilled their designated quotas for each position. 

The quotas for specific applications are as follows:

Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers: 50

Industrial or retail butchers: 1470

Food processing labourer: 730

General farm workers: 200

Harvesting labourers: 300

Agri-food includes agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and food and beverage processing. While Canadian agri-food products have high profile and a strong reputation around the world, competition is intensifying.

There are various ways to immigrate to Canada through its farming sector, but perhaps the best way is through the PNP (Provincial Nominee Program).
The PNP allows you to immigrate to Canada if you have a valid job offer or business proposal and intend to live and work in a specific province or territory.

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There is an unprecedented transition happening in Canadian agriculture. 92% of farmers who are looking to downsize or retire don’t have successors (AAFC).

Meanwhile, young people, new Canadians and second career farmers from all backgrounds are looking for new paths into agriculture.

Agriculture is an important sector of Canada’s economy.

Among Canada’s top agricultural products are canola, cattle and calves, beef and veal, vegetables and poultry.

Canadian companies export crops, meat, maple syrup and many other products. Canada is a top exporter of agricultural products in the world.

If you receive a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, and are applying for a work permit, you may be eligible to have your spouse and dependent children accompany you to Canada.
Your spouse or partner may also be eligible to apply for an open work permit, allowing him or her to work for any employer in Canada.

More than 52 percent of Canada’s best farmland (labeled Class 1 by the Canada Land Inventory) is located in southern Ontario where population growth is highest.

According to salary data for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers from May 2016, the average salary is $75,790 a year.

In contrast, they make a median salary of $66,360, with half getting lower salaries and half being paid more.

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