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Canada Agri-Food Pilot Program Set to Start in January 2024

Robert Cannon

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Canada Agri-Food Pilot Program

As the clock approaches the new year, an exciting opportunity awaits those aspiring to cultivate their dreams in Canada. The eagerly anticipated Canada Agri-Food Pilot Program is poised to accept new applications starting January 1, 2024, opening a pathway to permanent residency for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and vocations.

Annual Quota and Program Extension

The Agri-Food Pilot Program boasts an annual quota of up to 2,750 applications, proof of Canada’s commitment to welcoming skilled individuals into the agri-food sector. Notably, initially introduced as a three-year experiment in 2020, the pilot has been extended until May 14, 2025, opening a more extended window of opportunities for prospective applicants.

2023 Modifications and Eligibility

 In 2023, the Canada Agri-Food Pilot Program underwent transformative changes to facilitate eligible candidates further. The introduction of Canadian open work permits for family members of applicants is a significant stride, in fostering family unity. Additionally, the pilot now accepts union reference letters, providing flexibility in proving an applicant’s work experience.

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Applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria, including:

  • A minimum of one year’s cumulative, non-seasonal, full-time experience in eligible agri-food occupations.
  • A job offer for a full-time, permanent, non-seasonal position and a Canadian high school diploma are among the key prerequisites.
  • Applicants can showcase their worth through various acceptable proofs of work experience, such as employer or union reference letters, letters of employment, T4 documents, or paystubs.

Eligible Occupations in the Agri-Food Pilot Program

The Canada Agri-Food Pilot Program opens its doors to a range of eligible occupations, including butchers, farm supervisors, livestock laborers, and more. These roles span various segments such as meat product manufacturing, greenhouse and floriculture production, and animal production, excluding aquaculture.

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:
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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

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

How to Apply for the Canadian Agri-Food Pilot Program?

For those ready to embark on this enriching journey, the application process is simplified through the official IRCC website. Prospective applicants can access the complete application guide and take the first step toward reaping the benefits of the Agri-Food Pilot. As the Canada Agri-Food Program welcomes new applications on January 1, 2024, it not only signifies an immigration opportunity but also a chance to contribute to the thriving agri-food sector.

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