The IRCC has announced an extension of the Agri-Food Immigration pilot and the decision to lift annual occupational caps for program participants.
On Monday, the IRCC announced an update to the Agril-Food Pilot. The program which was set to end on May 14th, 2023 has been extended to May 2025. The pilot was launched in 2020 to help facilitate the transition of experienced workers in the agricultural and food industries to permanent residence in Canada. The goal was to help reduce labour shortages in meat processing, greenhouse production and livestock-raising industries.
The annual occupational caps will also be lifted. Originally the cap was set at a maximum of 2,750 applications a year. The IRCC stated that removing these limits would allow for more eligible candidates to apply.
By the end of the year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) intend to introduce these new changes to the pilot in stages:
These changes are a significant step in meeting labour market needs of difficult-to-fill roles in meat processing, mushroom, greenhouse crop production and livestock-raising industries by helping to fill roles will full-time, year-round employees. The new changes will also provide wider support to applicants and their family members and expand the pathway for permanent residence for experienced workers in these industries.
To be eligible for this program, candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements:
The occupations and industries eligible under the pilot include:
Meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116):
For greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114):
For animal production, excluding aquaculture (NAICS 1121, 1122, 1123, 1124 and 1129):
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.
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