The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot is introduced by the government of Canada to fill the gaps in the labour-market of Canada. This program lets eligible immigrants with appropriate work experience in certain fields gain permanent residence in Canada. The program is predicted to stop accepting applications in May 2023. 

If you are a skilled worker with the required woke experience, in an industry or occupation mentioned in this article, and you have a desire for Canadian permanent residency, the Agri-Food Immigration Program is for you. You must have a job offer to work full-time in an eligible industry in Canada the work must be non-seasonal. 

Eligible industries

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) classifies the industries that are eligible under this program. Each industry is also assigned a code by the NAICS. You must be provided the code for the industry you will work in when you enter Canada by your employer. The list of eligible industries and their codes is given below. 

  • Manufacturing of meat products (3116).
  • Greenhouse, Nursery and Floriculture production, Mushroom production (1114).
  • Animal husbandry (1121).
  • Farming of hogs and pigs (1122).
  • Production of poultry and eggs (1123).
  • Farming of sheep and goats (1124).
  • Other animal-related production (1129).

Eligible occupations

The National Occupational Classification has listed the occupations under each industry for which candidates can apply for Canadian permanent residence through this program. The eligible occupation, their NOC skill type and code are listed below. 

Manufacturing meat products (3116)

  • Butchers involved in retail sales NOC B 6331
  • Butchers in industrial sale NOC C 9462 
  • Supervisors of farms and workers  specializing in  livestock  NOC B 8252 
  • Labourers involved in food processing NOC D 9617 

Greenhouse, nursery, floriculture production (1114) 

  • Supervisors of farms and workers  specializing in  livestock NOC B 8252 
  • Workers with experience in general farming NOC C 8431 
  • Labourers involved in harvesting NOC D 8611 

Animal related production (1121, 1122, 1123, 1124, 1129) 

  • Supervisors of farms and workers  specializing in  livestock NOC B 8252 
  • Workers with experience in general farming NOC C 8431 

Eligibility criteria

Find out if you are eligible to gain Canadian citizenship and permanent residence through this program.

  • You must have qualified work experience.
  • You must have an employment offer that meets the requirements of this program from an eligible employer living in Canada.
  • You must prove your language abilities
  • You must meet the educational qualifications set for the applicants of this program. 
  • You must be financially sound to support yourself and your family members once you start staying in Canada.
  • You can also apply for Canada PR as a temporary resident of Canada. 

Work experience

Your Canadian work experience is considered eligible if it fulfills the following criteria.

  • You must have completed at least one year of non-seasonal work as a full time temporary foreign worker in the previous 3 years before submitting your application for permanent residence.
  • You must have work experience in any one of the eligible occupations. 
  • You must have gained this experience through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
  • While hiring you, your employer is required to submit a Labor Market Impact Assessment with a duration of at least one year. 
  • If you have an open work permit but had a Work Visa in the past under the Temporary Foreign Worker Stream, your work experience is considered eligible.
  • Any work experience gained under an Open Work Permit is not included in the eligible work experience.

How to calculate your hours of work experience

What should be counted

  • The hours spent working as a full-time worker.
  • These hours may be gained from working under different employers.
  • The hours of experience must be gained over at least one year. Working more hours per week does not decrease the one-year requirement.

What should not be counted?

  • Unpaid hours of work, including volunteer work and Internships.
  • Hours worked as a self employer.
  • Working a part-time position or as a seasonal worker.
  • Hours worked that were not authorized by the Immigrants Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

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A valid job offer.

If your job offer meets all the following criteria, it is considered valid and eligible for you to become a  permanent resident of Canada through this program.

  • The job offer must be for an eligible occupation under an eligible industry as listed above.
  • The job must be for full-time work. This means working for 30 hours every week.
  • The job offer should not be for seasonal work in Canada. 
  • The job must offer you consistent paid employment for the entire year with regular pay. 
  • The employment must be for a position as a permanent employee. Your contract must not come with an end date for the job.
  • If the position is unionized, your wage should be decided upon by the applicable collective agreement.
  • If the position is not unionized, your wage must satisfy or exceed the median wage for your occupation in your province set by the Job Bank. 
  • Your job offer must be for work in any province except Quebec.

Language requirements

You are required to prove your language proficiency in the Canadian Languages of French or English for qualifying for settling in Canada. Then taking a language test from a recognized testing authority such as IELTS is also required. Your score will be calculated by the Canadian Language Benchmark (CBL) standards. 

The test will check your four language abilities to comprehend, write, read and speak. The test score will have to be filled out in a field in the application form. The test dates should be within the last two years of submission of the score. 

Educational requirements

You must meet the following educational qualifications to be eligible for Canadian permanent residency and citizenship through this program. 

  • You must have a diploma from a Canadian college.
  • A report known as Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an authorized institution is a must-have. It must verify that you completed a foreign educational course at the secondary level or post-secondary level. 
  • The ECA report must have been made within the last five years of submission of your application. 
  • When the ECA report was issued, the organization must have been designated by Canadian standards. 

Settlement funds

You will be required to show proof that you have enough funds to settle in Canada, as well as support yourself and your family members, those coming with you to Canada or otherwise. 

However, if you are working in Canada under a valid Work Visa when you submit your application, you will not be required to provide proof of funds. 

How to apply for Agri-Food Immigration Program

If you are eligible to apply for this program, here are some steps you can follow to submit your application and gain Canadian residency.

  • Application packages must be completed. Make sure your job offer is eligible and you meet the work requirements of your wish to gain permanent residence through this program. Your application will be refused if you do not meet the requirements. Processing delays can be avoided by ensuring the submission of a complete application. 
  • Read the instruction guide carefully. It contains important information on how to fill out the forms correctly, detailed information about the eligibility criteria, fee you will have to pay as well as on the application procedure. 
  • Get your biometrics ready. You will be required to submit your fingerprints and a digital photograph along with your application for Canada PR. 
  • Pay the application fee online. You will also have to pay the biometric fee along with the application to avoid delays. 
  • Submit your application. You will have to mail your application to the Centralised Intake Office (CIO) located in Sydney, Nova Scotia. They will ensure your application is complete. If it is found to be complete, it will be processed further. The authorities will contact you in case any supporting documents are required. 

There is a limit to the number of applicants accepted for permanent residence through this program under each occupation every year. On the first day of every year, applications begin to be processed on the basis of first-come, first-serve. 

The  Canadian government has also introduced other programs such as the Express Entry Program and the Provincial Nominee Programs to help those immigrating to Canada gain permanent residency in Canada, permanent resident status and become a Canadian citizen.  Special programs are also available for Canadian immigrants who are international students, foreign workers, temporary residents and skilled workers under the Provincial Nominee Program. 

So do not delay any longer. Find out from your Immigration consultant if you are eligible for permanent residence in Canada and Canadian citizenship according to the Canadian Immigration Law, and grab the chance to immigrate to Canada today!