Canada Agri-Food-Pilot

Agri-Food Pilot—Canada’s Looking For Permanent Workers for Its Agri-Food Industries

Every eighth worker in Canada is employed either in agriculture or in any of the numerous agri-food industries operating in the country. Canada’s demographic challenges mean these labor-intensive industries are in desperate need for young and efficient workers.

This is probably why Canada has setup a pilot immigration program specifically to attract skilled workers in agri-food occupations to Canada. And is it wise to plan your future on the basis of an immigration pilot?

Well, the BC PNP and Atlantic immigration pilots were very popular and successful and now have become permanent programs. Canada exports more than $65 billion worth of agricultural and agri-food products, which means this program too is likely to be a huge success with employers and foreign workers alike in the years ahead.

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About the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot

The program covers NOC codes under three different industries

    • Meat product manufacturing industry—4 NOC codes
    • Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production industries—3 NOC codes
    • Animal production industry—2 NOC codes
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In terms of the annual cap, maximum applications have been allotted to positions of retail butchers and industrial butchers followed by

    • Food processing laborers,
    • Harvesting laborers, and
    • General farmworkers.

Qualifying for the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot

The Agri-Food pilot has been designed specifically to focus on non-seasonal labor requirements of the industry. This is why qualifying conditions include non-seasonal work experience and a job offer for a non-seasonal position.

You must have at least one year of work experience in the past three years in the industry in which you are trying to qualify under this program. Further, the job offer must be for a full-time and permanent non-seasonal position with wages that’s either equal to or higher than the prevailing wage for the position in Canada.

Once you fulfill these two conditions, then meeting other language, finance, and educational eligibility conditions should not be very difficult.

You must have CLB/NCLC 4 or higher proficiency in English or French, a degree equivalent to or higher than a Canadian high school diploma, and enough settlement funds for yourself and your family members as per the applicable LICO requirement.

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One important point related to the settlement funds is that you need enough funds for yourself and your family members even if they are not accompanying you to Canada.

Agri-Food Pilot—the Right Program for You?

You don’t need Canada work experience to qualify under the Agri-food pilot. If you are a seasonal worker, then the simplest way to qualify for this program is to convert your position into a non-seasonal one.

You must have at least 1,560 hours of experience in the NOC code position over the past three years. If you fulfill this condition, then the only other major requirement would be the job offer in Canada.

Also, this is an experience-centric program where on-ground work experience counts more than a degree related to the position. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should ignore the option of boosting your educational qualifications.

A two-year course study course in Canada related to an industry that is covered under this program can make it a lot easier for you to secure the required job offer from the Canadian employer.

This means you can use this program as a strategic immigration tool and boost your prospects of qualifying for direct permanent residence even before you start studying in the country.

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The Temporary Foreign Worker Factor

For a very long time, agriculture and food-based industries in Canada have relied on temporary and seasonal workers from foreign countries. This program specifically seeks to discourage seasonal employment.

This is why even those individuals working in Canada’s farming and meat industries as temporary workers too can apply under this program. This means you don’t need to feel discouraged if you are not yet eligible under this program.

You just need to find a good job related to your position in Canada, enter the country as a temporary foreign worker, gain non-seasonal work experience and then apply for permanent residence.

Canada Skilled Immigration—beyond White-Collar Positions

All the positions covered under this program are either NOC B, C, or D positions, which means you don’t have to be a white-collar manager or desk worker to qualify for Canadian permanent residence.

Canada needs different types of skilled and semi-skilled workers and the right immigration professional can help you quickly make your dream of a life in Canada come true.

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