Agri-Food Pilot begins accepting applications May 15

News release

May 15, 2020—Ottawa—The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that effective today, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will begin accepting applications to the Agri-Food Pilot.

The 3-year pilot will test an industry-specific approach to help employers in the meat processing, mushroom and greenhouse production, and livestock-raising industries fill ongoing labour needs for full-time, year-round employees. It will provide a pathway to permanent residence for many temporary foreign workers already in Canada.

A total of 2,750 applications will be accepted annually throughout the pilot, which applies primarily to people who are already in Canada. Existing travel restrictions continue to apply.

Canada is committed to attracting the best talent from around the world through the Temporary Foreign Workers Program to fill skills shortages, drive local economies, and create and support middle-class jobs in communities across the country that will benefit all Canadians.

The Agri-Food Pilot complements Canada’s existing suite of economic immigration programs, which includes the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, the caregivers pilots, the Global Skills Strategy, a revitalized Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program.

The success of our Canadian farmers and food processors depends on their ability to recruit and retain the workforce that they need. This pilot will help to ensure that employers in the agriculture and agri-food sector have much needed skills and labour so we can strengthen Canada’s food security, grow our economy and improve living standards for all of Canada.

Quotes

“It’s very important that we support our farmers and food processors to make sure they have the workers they need to help strengthen Canada’s food security. Attracting and retaining talented workers is essential to help grow our economy and improve the living standards of all Canadians. The Agri-Food Pilot will attract applicants for permanent residence who have worked in Canada, who can economically establish in Canada, and who support the labour needs of farmers and processors.”

—The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“This pilot provides an important path to permanent residency to these experienced workers, whom we rely on to feed our country and help grow our economy. Today’s announcement builds on all the work we have done to ensure our farmers and food producers can count on the help of workers, while ensuring their safety.”

—The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick facts

  • The agriculture and agri-food industry is an important contributor to Canada’s economic growth and vitality, supporting 1 in 8 jobs across the country. In 2019, agricultural exports hit a new record, reaching $67 billion.

  • The Agri-Food Pilot will accept applications from May 15, 2020, to May 14, 2023.

  • The occupations and industries eligible under the pilot include:

    • meat product manufacturing
      • retail butchers
      • industrial butchers
      • farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
      • food processing labourers
    • greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production
      • farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
      • general farm workers
      • harvesting labourers
    • animal production, excluding aquaculture
      • farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
      • general farm workers
  • Since Quebec establishes its own economic immigration selection under the Canada-Quebec Accord, the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot does not apply there.

Contacts

Contacts for media only

Kevin Lemkay
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-954-1064

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-952-1650
IRCC.COMMMediaRelations-RelationsmediasCOMM.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

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