AGRI-FOOD PILOT PROGRAM 2020
“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 Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
As of May 15, 2020, the Canadian immigration services; have launched the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot which addresses the labor needs of the Canadian Agri-food industry. Currently, 1 out of 8 jobs in Canada is related to the agri-food industry. The program endeavors to attract talent from around the world which may fill up Canada’s skill shortage in the agri-food industry, boost the economy, and create middle-class jobs around Canada. It also aims to thrive Canada’s food security by providing necessary skills and labor in the Agri-food sector. This immigration program is specifically designed for the labour of certain agri-food industries and will provide a pathway for eventual permanent residence. Temporary visa holders who are already working in these fields can now apply for permanent residence under this pilot. Under this pilot labor of the following food industry will be eligible to apply for immigration:
- Meat processing industry
- Mushroom and greenhouse production
- Livestock industry
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), principal applicants along with their families will be admitted into Canada for the next three years and 2,750 applications will be accepted every year. As per the IRCC media release applications are being accepted starting May 15, 2020, until May 14, 2023.
The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot is not applicable for the province of Quebec however, employers of Quebec can benefit from the two-year Labor-Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which is a part of this pilot. To be eligible the occupation must be listed under the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
“Attracting and retaining talented workers is essential to help grow our economy and improve the living standards of all Canadians,” -Marco Mendicino, Canadian minister of immigration.
There is always a labour shortage in the farming and food processing industry and to cater to the needs of Canadian employers in the farming and food processing industry is the prime objective of the Canadian government whilst introducing this new pilot program.
This new pilot program will ensure the availability of a trained workforce for Canadian employers and thus support the Canadian economy.
This is a 03 years pilot with a specific quota on each industry as below:
No. of Applications
Farm Supervisor or Specialized Livestock Workers
Food Processing Labourers
General Farm Workers
* Industrial Butchers and Retail Butchers have a combined application limit of 1470 per year.
Eligibility Requirements for the Agri-Food Pilot Program:
To be eligible for the Agri-Food immigration pilot, applicants must:
- Have related and eligible work experience
- Have a valid job offer in the required field
- Meet language requirements
- Meet educational requirements
- Have adequate financial resources to settle in Canada
- Have a maintained temporary resident status in the case already residing in Canada.
Occupations and industries eligible under the Agri-Food Pilot:
The following occupations and industries are eligible under the pilot program:
Meat product manufacturing:
- Retail butchers
- Industrial butchers
- Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
- Food processing labor.
Greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture production, including mushroom production:
- Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
- General farmworkers
- Harvesting labour
Animal production excluding aquaculture:
- Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
- General farmworkers.
Eligible industries for AGRI-FOOD PILOT
For the agri-food program the list of eligible industries are as follows:
- Industry code NAICS 3116 i.e. related to meat product manufacturing or related occupations
- Industry code NAICS 1114 i.e. related to the greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture production, also includes mushroom production
- Industry codes NAICS 1121, 1122, 1123, 1124, 1129 related to cattle ranching and farming, hog, and pig farming, poultry and egg production, sheep and goat farming, and other animal production, respectively.
What is relevant work experience for Agri-Food Pilot Program?
Relevant Canadian work experience includes:
- 1 year of non-seasonal full-time work in the past three years which must equal 1,560 hours.
- Work in one or more eligible occupations listed under one of the eligible industries.
- Through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program; A Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) with a duration of at least 12 months is submitted by the applicant’s employer.
What counts as working Hours for Agri-Food Pilot Program?
The following count as working hours for the agri-food pilot program:
- All hours worked full time legally in Canada. This can be in different eligible occupations and can also be from multiple employers.
- All working hours must have been completed within the last 03 years and at least 30 hours of full-time work per week with at least 1560 hours over the period of complete 12 months in total. (Note working more hours will not cut short the complete 12 months requirements)
The following do NOT count as working hours:
- Hours completed as volunteer work or unpaid internships.
- Hours during self-employment.
- Part-time and seasonal work hours
- Hours that are not authorized by the IRCC by not having legal status or work authorization.
What kind of job offer is needed for Agri-Food Pilot Program?
To apply for the pilot program the applicant must have a valid and eligible job offer meeting the following requirements:
- The job is listed under the eligible occupation list under one of the eligible industries.
- The job must be full time (a minimum of 30 hours of paid work per week)
- The job is non-seasonal and consistent throughout the year.
- The job is permanent.
- All unionized positions must have wages determined by the applicable collective agreement.
- All non-unionized positions must have wages that meet or exceed the Job Banks prevailing median wage for the particular occupation according to the provincial rate.
- The job offer must be in Canada however, except in the province of Quebec.
Language Requirements for Agri-Food Pilot Program:
All applicants must meet language requirements to be eligible for the pilot program, which is as follows:
- Approved test results to show ability in reading, writing, speaking and listening in English/French in the form of Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) or Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadians (NCLC) Level 4.
- The test results must not be older than 2 years.
Educational Requirements for Agri-Food Pilot Program:
All applicants must meet educational requirements for an agri-food pilot, such as:
- Have a Canadian high school diploma or
- Have an educational credential assessment (ECA) report from a designated institute or professional body indicating that the applicant has completed a foreign credential at a secondary school level.
- The ECA report must be less than 5 years old at the time of the application.
- The ECA must have been issued on/after the date the organization was designated.
Financial Requirements or Proof of Funds for Agri-Food Pilot Program:
All applicants wishing to apply through the Agri-Food pilot must show proof of funds to settle in Canada. The proof of funds must indicate the ability to support any family members who will come to Canada with the applicant. Proof of funds can be any of the following:
- Bank account statements
- Documentation showing the applicant's investments such as stocks, bonds, treasury bills, debenture, or real property ownership.
- Documentation guaranteeing payment of set amounts to the applicant such as cheques, bank drafts, money orders, traveler's cheques, etc.
It is important to note that all evidence in the form of financial documents must have contact information, Official letterheads, and the applicant’s name. In case of account information, the account number, details of account including current balance, and average balance of the last 6 months must be included.
All financial proof depends upon the size of the family that is dependent upon the applicant. The size of the family includes spouses, dependent children, and dependent children of the spouse. The finances must be enough to support all members irrespective of whether they will be traveling to Canada or not. An average requirement of funds for 2020 is as follow:
Number of family members Funds required
(including those you support who aren’t immigrating with you) (in CAD)
Additional family members $3,492
How to apply for Permanent Residence under the Agri-Food Pilot Program:
To file for permanent residence the applicant must make sure they have a valid job offer and work experience under the Agri-Food Pilot. The following steps must be followed to apply for permanent residence:
- Get the application package
- Pay application fees
- Submit the application
After an applicant has successfully filled out the application and applied, he/she will need to give their biometrics and photos.
1. Get the application package:
The applicant will be required to download the application package. Once downloaded the applicant can fill out the application and click the validate button. After the application has been correctly filled and the applicant has clicked the validate button, they will require to print a hard copy which includes all barcodes. The application needs to have bar codes or else it would be void. Signatures and dates would be required where asked. The application package has a document checklist and guide. Once done the applicant can make sure he/she has completed the application and attached all required documentation with the document checklist. It is always advisable to print and keep a hard copy of the whole application package with you for your record in case you need it in the future. All information must be completely valid and truthful as fraudulent information can lead to rejection of the application Apart from the permanent residence application the employer and employee will have to fill out the following forms for the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot:
Forms for the employer to fill out in Agri-Food Pilot Program:
- The Offer of Employment to a Foreign National – Agri-Food Immigration Pilot [IMM 0115]
(The employer must fill out the form and give it to the applicant while submitting their application.)
Forms for the principal applicant to fill out under the Agri-Food Pilot Program:
- Generic Application Form [IMM 0008]
- Schedule A – Background/Declaration [IMM 5669]
- Schedule 1 – Agri-Food Immigration Pilot [IMM 0114]
- Additional Family Information [IMM 5406]
- Supplementary Information – Your travels [IMM 5562]
Forms for the principal applicant to fill out (if applicable):
- Additional Dependants/Declaration [IMM 0008 DEP]
- Separation Declaration for Minors Travelling to Canada [IMM 5604]
- Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union [IMM 5409]
- Use of a Representative [IMM 5476]
2. pay application fees:
Once all the application forms are filled out the next immediate step is to pay the application fees. All fees will be paid online. Applicants will have to pay the following fees:
- Processing Fees & Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF): For the agri-food pilot program, the fees are $825 for the Immigration Application Fee and $500 for the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF). You can only pay online the total fee of $1,325. Similarly, the dependent spouse/partner needed to pay the fees of $825 as the application processing fee and $500 for the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF), and the dependent children's application fee is $225 per child.
- Biometric Fees: For all sorts of Canadian immigration and visa applications the applicant needed to do biometrics. Biometrics are required for all those applicants who are in between 14 and 79 years of age. The applicants needed to undergo the process of fingerprints and photos (biometrics) if they have not done the biometrics in the last 10 years for their temporary resident application but the applicant must have to do the biometrics for their permanent residence application regardless if they have done biometrics for their temporary residence application in the past. Paying the biometrics fee upfront can save processing time and cut short unnecessary delays. So, we highly recommend paying the biometric fee upfront at the time of submission of the application. The biometric fee is as follows:
- One person – $85
- Per Family (2 or more people) - $170 (max) for 02 or more persons applying at the same time as a single application.
This biometric fee covers the cost of obtaining fingerprints and a digital photo which is required for the biometrics. Once the fees are paid, the applicant will receive a letter of confirmation that needs to be shown when giving biometrics. Once the biometrics letter has been issued the applicants have normally 30 days to complete their biometrics process, from the date of issuance of the biometrics letter.
- Other Fees (Third-Party Fees): There may be other expenses of fees associated with the application that the applicant has to bear like fees third- party fees for performing the medical exams, obtaining the police certificates, and fees towards the language tests.
3. Submit the application:
Once all the forms are properly filled and signed along with the required documents for the application as per the document checklist then the applicant can apply at:
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Centralized Intake Office
PO BOX 8700
Medical & Police certificates requirement for Agri-Food Pilot Program:
All applicants must have medical test reports through designated medical doctors along with police certificates for themselves and their families. If an applicant(s) has a history of disease they may be inadmissible. Similarly, if the applicant(s) pose a criminal threat to Canada they may be inadmissible.
Ours is a Certified Immigration Law Firm & Canadian Immigration Consultant in Mississauga, Ontario. We have been dealing with Canadian Immigration & Visa Services for years and offer a FREE Consultation/Assessment. So, if you wish to apply through the Agri-Food Pilot don’t wait any longer and contact us.