IRCC has extended Agri-Food Pilot Until May 14, 2025

by Rajneesh Kumar Published on 09/May/2023

The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on 8 May 2023 has announced to extend the Agri-Food Pilot until May 14, 2025. The pilot, which was introduced first by IRCC in May 2020, facilitate the experienced workers in the agricultural & food industries transition to Canadian Permanent Residency (PR) Visa. 

This measure aims to support the agri-food sector's labour market needs and enhancing Canada's food supply system. By allowing Canadian farmers and food processors to hire and retain a skilled staff, this Pilot is likely to play a key role in the success of the agri-food industry in the country.

About the pilot

This Agri-Food Pilot helps address the labour requirements of the Canadian agri-food sector. It provides a pathway to PR visa for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and with specific occupations. 

Agri-Food Pilot process

To apply for PR under the Agri-Food Pilot, you need

  • eligible Canadian work experience in one or more of the eligible industries and occupations
  • a full-time, non-seasonal employment offer from a Canadian employer in one of the eligible industries and occupations (outside of Quebec)
  • to meet or exceed the language requirements
  • to meet or exceed the educational requirements
  • to have settlement funds (if applicable)
  • to maintain temporary resident status (if already in Canada)

To progressively support employers and the candidates, Canada's Minister for Immigration, Sean Fraser, recently announced some changes to the Agri-Food Pilot. One of the main changes is the removal of annual occupational caps, which earlier limited the number of candidates who could apply for a specific occupation under this pilot. By eradicating these limits, more eligible candidates will have a chance to apply for the program.

Projected Changes

Moreover, the IRCC is planning to announce new changes to the pilot in phases by the end of this year. These changes include giving open work permit access to family members of all contestants, allowing unions to attest to an applicant's work experience in place of employer reference letters, and giving candidates living in Canada the option to either fulfil the job offer requirement or the education requirement.

Another momentous change will be the acceptance of work experience acquired under an open work permit for vulnerable workers, providing more workers with a change to qualify for the program. These changes show the Canadian government's pledge to support the agri-food sector's labour market need and uniting Canada's food supply system.

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