Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Canada

Update! This program has started accepting applications on May 15, 2020.

Agri-food immigration CanadaBeatriz is a Costa Rican farmer. He has heard the government of Canada has a unique immigration program for farmers. However, Beatriz doesn’t know much about the new Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Canada. He knows that he needs Canadian work experience and a job offer, but that’s all he knows. 

The IRCC intends to offer an immigration opportunity to a small group of agri-food workers. This program will roll out sometime in 2020. Nonetheless, the following article can provide you with heads-up about what you should expect. This three-year pilot program is subject to change.

Agri-Food immigration jobs and their caps

The immigration authorities will accept applications under the following groups.

Job Category NOC Code Cap
farm supervisor or specialized livestock worker 8252 50
industrial or retail butcher 9462 or 6331 1,470
food processing labourer 9617 730
general farm worker 8431 200
harvesting labourer 8611 300

 

These limits are for each year. However, they intend to run the pilot program for three years. Consequently, based on the number of applications they receive in the first two years, they may adjust the third year caps.

Acceptable employers for Agri-Food immigration

You may only apply under this program if you have a job offer from a qualified employer. Of course, an eligible employer

  • is active in the field of agriculture or the food industry;
  • can offer you the salary and benefits they promise you;
  • offers you a full-time permanent job in one of the categories mentioned earlier;
  • has obeyed all the employment laws and regulations in Canada; and
  • genuinely needs you to fill the position.

Typical industries for Agri-Food immigration

Ideal employers belong to one of the following NAICS groups. Of course, NAICS  stands for the North American Industry Classification System.

  • meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116)
  • greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114)
  • animal production, excluding aquaculture (NAICS 1121, 1122, 1123, 1124 or 1129)

I took the list directly from the IRCC website. However, I added the links to the NAICS codes for your convenience.

Valid job offers for Agri-Food immigration

Assuming the Canadian employer is acceptable, they must offer you a job that meets all of the following criteria:

  • Non-seasonal: You need to work throughout the year.
  • Full-time: The employer expects you to work at least 30 hours a week.
  • Fair wages: Your salary must be comparable to similar workers in Canada.
  • Permanent: There is no end-date on your employment contract.
  • Outside Quebec: You may receive a job offer from any province or territory of Canada but Quebec.

Knowledge of English or French languages for Agri-Food immigration

You need to take at least one of the following tests.

  • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program  (Only CELPIP General is acceptable. Don’t take General-LS)
  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System (Only IELTS General is acceptable. Don’t take IELTS Academic)
  • TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français
  • TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français

You only need to take one of the tests per language. If you present multiple test results under the same language, the officer considers the latest test results. They won’t combine the results.

The following table shows the minimum scores under each ability of the tests for the Agri-Food immigration applicants.

Test Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing
CELPIP English 4 4 4 4
IELTS General English 4.0 4.5 3.5 4.0
TEF Canada French 181 145 121 181
TCF Canada French 4 331 342 4

 

The figures above are minimums. You need to meet the minimum under each ability (i.e. speaking, listening, reading, and writing). Even if your score falls under the minimum for one of the abilities, you may not apply.

Minimum education credentials for Agri-Food immigration

You need to hold a Canadian high school diploma. Of course, if you completed your education outside Canada, then it must be equivalent to a Canadian secondary school diploma or higher. Consequently, you need to refer to one of the following organizations to assess your foreign education credentials:

Minimum work experience for Agri-Food immigration

You must show you have at least one year of work experience. However, your work experience must meet all of the following:

  • Non-seasonal
  • Full-time (i.e. at least 1,560 hours in one year)
  • Occurred in the past three years
  • Relevant to the job offer you receive in Canada
  • Was in Canada and as a Temporary Foreign Worker with a valid work permit

Unfortunately, self-employed or voluntary jobs are not acceptable.

Settlement funds for Agri-Food immigration

If you are working in Canada with a valid work permit, you do not need to show settlement funds. However, if you are outside Canada or out of work, you need to show settlement funds. The amount you show must meet the LICO table. Read the following article for more information:

 

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Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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Al Parsai

Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches immigration courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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