Canadian Immigration Programs for Low-skilled Temporary Workers
Many positions remain unfilled due to the aging population and low birth rate. As a low-skilled worker, you can immigrate to Canada with many options.
Now is the perfect time to apply for these programs because of Canada’s goal to welcome over 1.23 million foreign workers within the next three years.
Agri-food Immigration Pilot
The position would usually require a secondary school-level education and job-specific training. Canada needs foreign workers to fill the many job openings in low-skilled positions, as the country needs these specific jobs to boost the economy.
The Agri-food Immigration Pilot is designed to focus on the labor needs of the Canadian agri-food sector. As a foreign skilled worker, this pilot allows you to become a Canadian permanent resident.
The Agri-food Immigration Pilot has annual limits on the number of applications processed yearly. It works on a first-come, first-served basis and starts on January 1 every year. However, this specific pilot will expire in 2023 once annual limits have been reached.
Below is a table of the annual limits per occupation.
Agri-food Immigration pilot Annual Limits
Number of applications accepted per year
Farm supervisor or specialized livestock worker (NOC B 8252)
Industrial butcher (NOC C 9462) or retail butcher (NOC B 6331)
Food processing laborer (NOC D 9617)
General farm worker (NOC C 8431)
Harvesting laborer (NOC D 8611)
To be eligible for this pilot, you must:
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)
Atlantic Immigration Pilot
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) assists Canadian employers in finding skilled foreign workers for positions they haven’t been able to fill locally. If successful, you can immigrate to one of Canada’s Atlantic provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The AIP has three programs, including the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program, one of the Canadian immigration programs for low-skilled temporary workers.
What do you need to be eligible for the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program?
- You must have worked 30 hours per week for one year. This excludes any self-employment periods.
- You have work experience at National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level C. These are occupations such as industrial butchers, long-haul truck drivers and food and beverage servers
- Have work experience as a registered nurse or registered psychiatric nurse (NOC skill level A 3012) or as a licensed practical nurse (NOC skill level B 3233); or
- If you have one of the following jobs offers: A nurse’s aide, orderly or patient services associate (NOC skill level C 3413) or a home support worker (NOC skill level C 4412)
- You must have a Canadian secondary or postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree from a recognized institution; or
- A foreign degree, diploma, or certificate equal to a Canadian credential, along with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report
Along with the requirements above, you’ll also need to take an approved language test to show you can communicate in English or French and prove that you have enough funds to support yourself and any other family moving to Canada.
You’ll also need to ensure that your job offer meets the following requirements:
- Your offer must be completed on an Offer of Employment to a Foreign National form
- Your employer is designated as one taking part in the AIP by the province
- Your job is full-time, a minimum of 30 hours per week, and the offer must be a minimum of one year
- It’s the correct job skill type as listed by the NOC; and
- You need to be qualified and capable of executing all duties required by the position
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot RNIP is designed to serve the community. The program distributes the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who wish to live and work in Canada.
The four steps to applying for permanent residents through the RNIP are as follows:
Ensure that you meet both IRCC eligibility and community-specific requirements.
Each community will have its requirements for applicants. You can find these additional requirements on the websites listed below.
North Bay, ON
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Thunder Bay, ON
Moose Jaw, SK
West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), BC
Find an eligible job with an employer in one of the participating communities.
- Have qualifying work experience or have graduated from a publicly funded post-secondary institution in the recommended community
- Meet or exceed the language requirements
- Meet or exceed the educational requirements
- Prove you have enough money to support your transition into the community
- Intend to live in the community; and
- Meet community-specific requirements
If you are a candidate, you must have a genuine job offer. This means the job offer you receive will need to meet the following requirements:
- It must be a full-time job with at least 30 paid hours per week. The job also needs to be non-seasonal
- The employment is permanent, which means there isn’t a set end date
- Your wages need to meet or exceed the Job Bank’s minimum wage for your job offers NOC; and
- Your experience needs to prove that you can execute all job duties
Once you have a job offer, submit your application for recommendation to the community
Each community will have a different way of working. As mentioned before, the procedures can be found on the website. It’s important to note that you must provide supporting documents when applying to a community for a recommendation.
The final thing you need to do would be for you to apply for Canadian permanent residency. CanadianVisa.org works with Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs), who can ensure that the entire step-by-step journey will be as simple and hassle-free for you as possible.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Temporary Foreign Worker Programs (TFWP) allow Canadian employers to hire foreign workers within various occupations. When applying through the TFWP, it’s required to apply for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This document will prove that no Canadian or permanent residents are available and qualified to fill the position.
There are several streams within the TFWP, including the Low-Wage Worker Stream. This is yet another great Canadian immigration program for low-skilled temporary workers.
The Low-Wage Worker Stream is for employers who plan to hire a temporary foreign worker who will be paid less than the median hourly wage of their province.
However, they need to meet certain requirements to ensure that the workplace rights and safety of low-wage non-resident workers are being met.
Provincial Nominee Program
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) are designed to help skilled foreign workers, who have a job offer, immigrate to a specific province of Canada. This is possible through an agreement between the government and the local provinces.
Each province has its own labor market needs and will nominate skilled workers accordingly. When applying for a nomination, apply to provinces where your skills are in demand. This will increase your chances of success significantly.
The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) and the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) regularly invite many low-skilled workers to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence.
How do I apply for a PNP?
Direct Application Process
This form of application is sent directly to the province of British Columbia. You will need to submit a paper application via mail or courier. You could wait for your application results anywhere between 15 to 19 months.
Express Entry Application Process
Applying via the Express Entry system will give you two options. They are:
- Expression of Interest – this is where you can express interest in the province of British Columbia through your Express Entry profile. The province will nominate you if you have the right skills and experience.
- Apply through a Provincial Nominee Express Entry Stream.
Applying via the Express Entry system will result in you living and working in Canada sooner, as the processing can be as quick as six months.
Why Move to Canada as a Low-Skilled Worker
The Canadian labor market suffers perennially from labor shortages.
The low-end of the marketplace for labor which requires little to no work experience has continually had long and significant periods in which job posts were unable to be fulfilled.
As a means of finding a solution to the dwindling labor force numbers within Canada, a lot of Canadian businesses, through the assistance of the provinces they are headquartered in, have petitioned Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to allow them to hire eligible foreign workers.