IRCC Brings New Changes to Canada Agri-Food Pilot Program
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IRCC Brings New Changes to Canada Agri-Food Pilot Program

Austin Campbell

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IRCC Brings New Changes to Canada Agri-Food Pilot Program

The Canada Agri-Food Pilot program has recently undergone significant changes, ushering in a new era for those seeking permanent residency. As of February 10, 2024, two pivotal adjustments have been introduced, reshaping the path for prospective candidates.

Changes to Canada Agri-Food Pilot Program (Effective February 10, 2024)

  1. Flexibility for In-Canada Applicants – Individuals residing in Canada during the application process now have the option to fulfill either the job offer or educational requirement. This change enhances the adaptability of the program to diverse candidate profiles.
  2. Recognition of Open Work Permit Experience – Vulnerable foreign workers now benefit from the recognition of work experience gained under an open work permit. This modification by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) acknowledges the valuable contributions of these workers.

Extended Pilot Duration

In a move to sustain the momentum of the program initially introduced as a three-year pilot in 2020, the Canadian government extended its duration until May 14, 2025, in May 2023. This extension provides continuity and stability for those aspiring to make Canada their permanent home.

Previous Changes (August 2023)

To enrich the program further, Canada implemented noteworthy changes in August 2023:

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  • Open Work Permits for Family Members: Family members of Agri-Food pilot applicants can now apply for open work permits, fostering family unity.
  • Acceptance of Union Reference Letters: In a progressive move, union reference letters are now accepted as proof of work experience, offering candidates more flexibility.

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Eligibility Criteria for Canada Agri-Food Pilot

To be eligible for permanent residency under the program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Work Experience – Accumulate at least one year of cumulative, non-seasonal, full-time experience (1,560 hours over 52 weeks) in specific Agri-Food jobs.
  • LMIA-Based Work Visa – The work experience must be obtained through a minimum 12-month LMIA-based work visa.
  • Job Offer – Secure an offer for a full-time, permanent, non-seasonal position in a qualifying occupation within Agri-Food industries.
  • Educational Qualification – Possess education equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma.
  • Settlement Funds – Demonstrate adequate settlement funds to support themselves or their family if they are not moving with them.
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Agri-Food Pilot Language Scores

Applicants need to achieve the minimum scores on language proficiency exams, including CELPIP, IELTS GT, TEF Canada, or TCF Canada, in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Language TestsReadingWritingListeningSpeaking
CELPIP4444
IELTS GT3.54.04.54.0
TEF Canada121-150181-225145-180181-225
TCF Canada342-3744-5331-3684-5

Occupations Eligible for the Program

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

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
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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

What sets the Agri-Food Pilot apart is its accessibility. Applicants need only achieve a CLB level 4 in English/French, the lowest level in language exams such as IELTS, CELPIP, TEF, or TCF. This, coupled with a high school diploma, makes the program more inclusive.

For those who studied outside Canada, an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report is required, affirming the completion of a foreign credential at the secondary school level or above.

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In conclusion, the Agri-Food Pilot Program continues to evolve, offering a promising avenue for individuals seeking permanent residency in Canada. These recent changes not only enhance flexibility for applicants but also underline Canada’s commitment to attracting skilled workers in the agri-food sector.

Note to Readers: Your journey to Canadian permanent residency through the program is a unique opportunity. Stay informed, connect with experts, and embark on this exciting chapter with confidence.

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