What is the Agri-Food Pilot?
The Canadian Agri-Food Pilot is a temporary scheme (running until May 2023) for non-seasonal workers who have work experience in eligible agricultural or food manufacturing occupations.
The Agri-Food Pilot is intended for those who plan to stay in Canada long-term as those who meet all the requirements for it can apply for permanent residence in Canada.
To be eligible for the Agri-Food Pilot, foreign citizens must have eligible work experience in Canada and must hold a job offer. They also have to satisfy educational and language requirements.
Our immigration lawyers can help you determine whether you qualify to apply for the Agri-Food Pilot.
- What is the Agri-Food Pilot?
- Which occupations are eligible for the Agri-Food Pilot?
- What is the minimum work experience requirement for the Agri-Food Pilot?
- What is the job offer requirement for the Agri-Food Pilot?
- What is the minimum education requirement for the Agri-Food Pilot?
- How to apply for Canadian permanent residence?
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Which occupations are eligible for the Agri-Food Pilot?
To be able to apply for the Agri-Food Pilot, the job offer the applicant has in Canada must be in one of the following industries:
- Meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116)
- Greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114)
- Animal production, excluding aquaculture: cattle ranching and farming (NAICS 1121), hog and pig farming (NAICS 1122), poultry and egg production (NAICS 1123), sheep and goat farming (NAICS 1124), other animal production (NAICS 1129)
The industries are classified using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
Within these industries, the eligible occupations include:
- For meat product manufacturing: retail butchers (NOC B 6331), industrial butchers (NOC C 9462), farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (NOC B 8252), food processing labourers (NOC D 9617)
- For greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture production, including mushroom production: farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (NOC B 8252), general farm workers (NOC C 8431), harvesting labourers (NOC D 8611)
- For animal production, excluding aquaculture: farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (NOC B 8252), general farm workers (NOC C 8431)
The eligible occupations are classified using the National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes.
What is the minimum work experience requirement for the Agri-Food Pilot?
To be eligible for the Agri-Food Pilot, applicants must:
- Have at least 1 year of non-seasonal, full-time work (1,560 hours or more) completed in the 3 years preceding the application
- Have work experience in 1 or more of the eligible occupations
- Have gained work experience in Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (the employer must submit a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) with a minimum 12-month duration when hiring the applicant)
Those who currently hold an open work permit but who previously had a work permit obtained through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program might also be eligible to apply for the Agri-Food Pilot. However, the work experience they gained while working in Canada with an open work permit does not count.
Only hours applicants worked in full-time jobs count towards the minimum work experience requirement.
The following types of work do not count towards the work experience requirement:
- Unpaid internships
- Part-time positions
- Seasonal positions
- Work not authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizen Canada (IRCC)
Those who want to apply for the Agri-Food Pilot must hold a genuine job offer in Canada. Their job offer must meet the following requirements:
- Be in an eligible occupation and industry
- Be for a full-time position (for at least 30 hours per week)
- Be for a non-seasonal position
- Be for permanent employment
- Have the wage determined by the applicable collective agreement (for unionized positions)
- Have the wage that meets or exceeds the Job Bank’s prevailing wage for the occupation in the province of employment or at the national level (for non-unionized positions)
- Be for a job outside of Quebec
If you have a job offer in Canada and you are not sure whether it meets the requirements for the Agri-Food Pilot, contact our lawyers. They will assess your situation and tell you in detail whether you qualify to apply for the scheme.
What is the minimum education requirement for the Agri-Food Pilot?
To be eligible for the Agri-Food Pilot, applicants must have one of the following:
- A diploma from a Canadian high school
- An educational credential assessment (ECA) report from a designated organisation or professional body confirming that they completed a foreign credential at the secondary school level or higher (the report must have been obtained less than 5 years before the application and it must have been issued on or after the date the organisation was designated)
Applicants for the Agri-Food Pilot can only get ECA from one of the following designated organisations:
- Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- World Education Services
- International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- International Credential Evaluation Service.
How to apply for Canadian permanent residence?
Those who meet all the eligibility requirements for the Agri-Food Pilot can apply for permanent residence in Canada.
To do it, they need to complete the following forms:
- Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
- Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
- Schedule 1 – Agri-Food Pilot (IMM 0114)
- Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
- Supplementary Information – Your travels (IMM 5562)
- Document Checklist (IMM 0116)
Some applicants might also have to complete the following forms:
- 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)
Whether they have to fill out these forms as well depends on the individual circumstances of each applicant.
Applicants must also get an Offer of Employment to a Foreign National – Agri-Food Pilot (IMM 0115) form from the employer in Canada.
After filling in all the relevant forms, applicants must pay the fee for their permanent residence application.
Once they do that, they must post their application and all the supporting documents for processing.
The process of applying for the Agri-Food Pilot can be complex as there are many requirements that foreign nationals must meet. Luckily, our lawyers have expert knowledge of Canadian immigration law and can guide you through each step.
If you hire one of our lawyers, they will assess whether you qualify for the Agri-Food Pilot and will help you gather supporting documents that prove your eligibility. They will also answer any questions you might have, making sure you understand what is required from you.
By hiring an immigration lawyer you can make your case as strong as possible and maximise the chances of your application having a positive outcome.
Call us today on 0333 305 9375 to find out more about how our team can help.
Last modified on July 17th, 2023 at 11:15 am
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After you submit your application for the Agri-Food Pilot, IRCC will review it to check if you correctly completed all the forms. They will also verify whether you meet the requirements for the scheme.
If you are between 14 and 79 years old, you will receive a letter from IRCC asking you to attend an appointment during which you will give your biometrics information.
If your existing work permit in Canada is due to expire before your Agri-Food Pilot application is processed, you might be able to get an open work permit. It gives you the right to keep working in Canada while waiting for your permanent residency.
Applicants for the Agri-Food Pilot must pay the following fees:
- $CAN850 for the processing fee
- $CAN515 for the right of permanent residence fee
- $CAN850 for the processing fee for the spouse or partner
- $CAN515 for the right of permanent residence fee for the spouse or partner
- $CAN230 for each dependent child included in the application
Those who must give their biometrics information must also pay an additional fee of $CAN85.
As for the processing time, IRCC typically reviews applications for permanent residency within 5 to 8 months. The waiting time can be longer if a lot of people apply around the same time.