Agri-Food Pilot

The Agri-Food Pilot is designed to help address labour shortages in specific agriculture and food-related industries. 

First, the program was designed for three years on May 15, 2020, and then the government extended the program until May 14, 2025.  

The pilot program’s main target is the meat processing, year-round mushroom and greenhouse crop production and livestock raising industries. 

To qualify for the pilot program, candidates must have Canadian elligible work experience and a job offer from a Canadian employer. 

As of August 18, 2023, the applicant’s family members who have received an acknowledgement of receipt letter can apply for an open work permit, and the government accepts union reference letters as proof of work experience. 

 

To apply for permanent residence under the Pilot program, which provides an opportunity to become permanent residency for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and certain occupations, proceed as follows: 

  • appropriate Canadian work experience in one or more of the eligible industries and occupations
  • A full-time, non-seasonal job offer from a Canadian employer in one of the eligible sectors and occupations (outside Quebec).
  • meet or exceed language requirements
  • meet or exceed training requirements
  • have settlement funds (if any)
  • maintain temporary resident status (if already in Canada)

 

Which industries are eligible? 

Industries are classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which specifies industry codes on the NAICS website. 

If you want to apply to this program, your employer must be under one of these industry codes for your job offer. 

Eligible industries under the pilot are: 

  • meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116) 
  • greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114) 
  • animal production, excluding aquaculture 
  • cattle ranching and farming (NAICS 1121) 
  • hog and pig farming (NAICS 1122) 
  • poultry and egg production (NAICS 1123) 
  • sheep and goat farming (NAICS 1124) 
  • other animal production (NAICS 1129) 

 

Eligible occupations for each eligible industry are listed below. 

 

Eligible occupations for meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116); 

  • NOC 63201 – Butchers – retail and wholesale 
  • NOC 65202 – Meat cutters and fishmongers – retail and wholesale 
  • NOC 94141 – Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers 
  • NOC 82030 – Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors 
  • NOC 84120 – Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators 
  • NOC 85100 – Livestock labourers 
  • NOC 95106 – Labourers in food and beverage processing 

Eligible occupations for greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114): 

  • NOC 82030 – Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors 
  • NOC 84120 – Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators 
  • NOC 85100 – Livestock labourers 
  • NOC 85101 – Harvesting labourers 

Eligible occupations for animal production, excluding aquaculture (NAICS 1121, 1122, 1123, 1124 and 1129); 

  • NOC 82030 – Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors 
  • NOC 84120 – Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators 
  • NOC 85100 – Livestock labourers 
  • NOC 85101 – Harvesting labourers 

 

The requirements for Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program Candidates: 

– 12 months of full-time, non-seasonal Canadian work experience (at least 1,560 hours in the past 3 years) in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in an eligible occupation 

– Canadian Language Benchmark level 4 in English or French in reading, writing, speaking and listening 

– Education at the high school level or greater (Canadian equivalency) 

– Must have a genuine job offer which is for full-time, non-seasonal work in Canada (outside of Quebec) at or above the prevailing wage 

– If they are not currently working in Canada, they must provide settlement funds for themselves and their dependents. 

Find more information about the eligibility 

 

There is an annual application limit for this program. The government will process a maximum limit of 2,750 applications each year. There are no longer annual limits for individual occupations. However, starting on January 1 of each year, the government will process applications on a first-come, first-served basis. If the applicant’s application is rejected because of the annual limit, the applicant’s application fee will be refunded. 

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