In the 2019 budget, the Federal government committed to introducing an Agri-Food Immigration Pilot to help fill labour shortages in agricultural industries. The three-year pilot is set to open to new applications in early 2020.
The Agri-Food pilot offers a pathway to permanent residence for agricultural workers in Canada. In recent years, Canadian agriculture and agri-food industries have struggled to fill labour shortages and workers have had to rely on short-term, seasonal work permits in order to find employment. The pilot aims to attract and retain workers by offering a pathway to permanent residence in Canada, allowing workers and their families to work and live in Canada for as long as they like.
A maximum of 2,750 principal applicants and their families will be accepted per year. This represents a total of 16,500 possible new permanent residents over the 3-year duration of the pilot.
Agricultural employers participating in the pilot will be eligible for a 2-year Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
Agri-Food Pilot Program Requirements
To be eligible to participate in the pilot, candidates must meet the following criteria:
- Work experience: 12 months of full-time, non-seasonal Canadian work experience in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in an eligible occupation in processing meat products, raising livestock, or growing mushrooms or greenhouse crops
- Language: A Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 in English or French
- Education: Canadian equivalency of high-school level or greater
- Job offer: an indeterminate job offer for full-time, non-seasonal work in Canada, outside of Quebec, at or above the prevailing wage
We can expect further details on how individuals may apply for permanent residence in early 2020.