IRCC extends Agri-Food Immigration Pilot for Foreign Workers

The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of supporting the labor market needs of the agri-food sector in order to improve Canada’s food supply system. This announcement helps to improve Canada Immigration .

What’s the Announcement?

The IRCC has announced the extension of the Agri-Food Immigration pilot program as well as the removal of yearly occupational caps for program participants.

The Agri-Food Pilot Program will now operate until May 14, 2025, according to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser. The Minister also declared that the annual occupational caps would be removed. According to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), removing these restrictions will allow more qualified people to apply. 

These are the Changes:

By the end of the year, IRCC will also make additional changes. The department will gradually implement fresh adjustments to the pilot, such as:

  • Extending open work permit access to family members of all Agri-Food Pilot participants, whatever their job skill level
  • Allowing unions to attest to a candidate’s work experience, as an alternative to employer reference letters
  • Giving Canadian residents the option of meeting the work offer requirement, which includes the median wage requirement for the employment offer, or the education requirement, which includes educational qualification assessment verification
  • Accepting work experience gained under an open work permit for vulnerable workers, giving more workers an opportunity to qualify

Understanding the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot

In order to deal with employment shortages in the meat processing, mushroom and greenhouse production, and livestock-raising industries, Canada’s Agri-Food Immigration Pilot was established in 2020.

At the time of the announcement, IRCC stated that for the next three years, it would accept up to 2,750 candidates and their family members per year.

On May 14, 2023, the application window for the pilot was supposed to end. More than 243,000 Canadians are working in the agriculture, hunting, fishing, and forestry sector, according to recent data on job openings from February 2023, while there are more than 14,000 open positions. 

What Occupations Qualify for The Program?

The following jobs and industries are eligible for the pilot:

1. Manufacturing of meat products;

  • Retail butchers
  • Industrial butchers
  • Farm managers and specialized livestock employees
  • Food processing workers

2. Production of greenhouses, nurseries, and floriculture, as well as mushroom production;

  • Farm supervisors and livestock specialists
  • General farm workers
  • Harvesting workers

3. Animal production excluding aquaculture:

  • Farm supervisors and livestock specialists
  • Farm laborers in general
Khushboo Kumari

Khushboo Kumari

She is a content specialist at TCWW. She has expertise in content writing on various topics including immigration, education and travel.

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