July 12 2019 – Canada is launching a new Agri-Food Immigration Pilot to address labour shortages in the agriculture industry, the federal government announced on Friday July 12.
The three-year pilot is the first industry-specific immigration stream to be launched by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
It will see a maximum of 2,750 candidates, plus their family members, allowed to submit applications each year.
Over three years, this could total 16,500 new permanent residents, according to a statement from Canada’s immigration ministry.
IRCC says the pilot is designed to meet labour needs, specifically in meat processing and mushroom production.
“This pilot is another example of how immigration is helping to grow local economies and creating jobs for Canadians,” said Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.
Employers in the agri-food sector who are part of the pilot will be eligible for a two-year Labour Market Impact Assessment.
Temporary foreign workers will be able to apply under the pilot in early 2020.
Agri-Food Immigration Pilot: Eligible Occupations
- Meat processing
- retail butcher
- industrial butcher
- food processing labourer
- Harvesting labourer for year-round mushroom production and greenhouse crop production
- General farm worker for year-round mushroom production, greenhouse crop production, or livestock raising
- Farm supervisor and specialized livestock worker for meat processing, year-round mushroom production, greenhouse crop production or livestock raising.
Agri-Food Immigration Pilot: Candidate Requirements
- 12 months of full-time, non-seasonal Canadian work experience in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, in an eligible occupation in processing meat products, raising livestock, or growing mushrooms or greenhouse crops.
- Canadian Language Benchmark level 4 in English or French.
- Education at high school level or greater (Canadian equivalency).
- Indeterminate job offer for full-time, non-seasonal work in Canada, outside of Quebec, at or above the prevailing wage.
Details on how individuals may apply for permanent residence through this pilot will be available in early 2020.
To complement the pilot, Employment and Social Development Canada is introducing changes that will benefit meat processor employers who are supporting temporary foreign workers in transitioning to permanent residence:
- A two-year Labour Market Impact Assessment will be issued to eligible meat processor employers, including employers who are using the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot or other existing pathways to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers in the same occupations and industries that are eligible for the pilot.
- To be eligible, meat processors will be required to outline their plans to support their temporary foreign worker in obtaining permanent residency. Furthermore, unionized meat processors will require a letter of support from their union.
- Non-unionized meat processors will have to meet additional requirements to ensure the labour market and migrant workers are protected. A tri-partite working group will be formed immediately to develop these requirements.
- Adjustments will also be made to the way the limit on low-wage temporary foreign workers is calculated, taking into account efforts made by employers to help workers obtain permanent residence.
- Employers who have a recent history of recruiting workers who have made the transition to permanent residence could be eligible to be excluded from the limit calculation, a number of workers roughly equal to the number who are likely to achieve permanent residence in the near term.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
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