Applications for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot are now being accepted. The pilot is intended to address Canadian employers' labour-related needs in meat processing, mushroom and greenhouse production, and livestock-raising industries. Under the new pilot, temporary visa holders who already work in these fields in Canada will be able to apply for permanent residency.
For the next three years under the pilot, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will accept up to 2,750 primary applicants plus their family members annually. According to an IRCC media release, applications will be accepted from now until 14 May 2023.
Canadian agri-food employers have called on the federal government to help them hire and maintain the labour force they need to function. The planned launch date for the pilot was expected to be at the end of March but was postponed because of the global coronavirus pandemic. It provides an opportunity to get permanent residency for temporary foreign workers (TFWs) with agri-food work experience.
Quebec province has its own system of immigration. Hence Quebec is not included in The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot. However, employers in Quebec who recruit non-seasonal temporary foreign workers may benefit from the Immigration pilot's two-year Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) as long as the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code of the worker is valid. They may then apply through the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) for a permanent selection from Quebec.
The eligible occupations and industries under this pilot are
· Retail butchers-6331
· Industrial butchers-9462
· Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers-8252
· Food processing labourers-9617
· General farm workers-8431
· Harvesting labourers-8611
The agriculture and agri-food sector supports 1 in 8 workers nationally. Farming exports reached a record of $67bn in 2019.