Agri-Food Pilot Program was launched in 2020 to assist employers in the meat processing, mushroom, greenhouse crop production, and livestock-raising industries in hiring foreign workers to fill ongoing labour shortages with full-time, year-round employees. The Agri-Food Pilot which will now run until May 14, 2025, enables eligible workers in the industry to apply for permanent residency after gaining 12 months of full-time work experience. 

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has announced the removal of the annual occupational caps or the limits for how many candidates can apply for a specific occupation under the pilot. Removing these limits will provide an opportunity for more eligible candidates to apply.  

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has planned to introduce changes to the Agri-Food Pilot program in stages by the end of this year. The changes include: 

  • Expanding access to open work permits for the family members of all participants in the Agri-Food Pilot program, regardless of their job skill level. 
  • Allowing unions to vouch for a candidate’s work experience as an alternative to employer reference letters. 
  • Providing applicants residing in Canada with the choice to fulfill either the job offer requirement, including the median wage requirement for the job offer, or the education requirement, including educational credential assessment verification. 
  • Accepting work experience obtained under an open work permit for vulnerable workers will allow more workers to meet the program’s eligibility criteria. 

If you require additional information about the Agri-Food Pilot Program, please contact us to speak with one of our lawyers.


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