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Canada Agri-Food Pilot

The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot is a pathway to permanent residency for non-seasonal workers who have experience in an eligible agri-food industry.

For more information about obtaining permanent residency in Canada, how to apply for it and what you need to be eligible, reach out to one of our immigration lawyers on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online today.

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    What is the Agri-Food Pilot?

    The Agri-Food Pilot is a Canadian permanent residency scheme for experienced, non-seasonal workers who have work experience in an eligible agricultural or food manufacturing occupation.

    In order to be eligible for the Agri-Food Pilot program, you must:

    • Have eligible work experience
    • Have an eligible job offer
    • Meet or pass the language requirements
    • Meet or pass the educational requirements
    • Prove you have enough money to settle in Canada (if applicable)
    • Have maintained your temporary resident status (if already in Canada)

    The Agri-Food Pilot is a temporary scheme and will run until May 2023.

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    What Are the Eligible Industries and Occupations for the Agri-Food Pilot?

    Eligible Industries for the Agri-Food Pilot

    Eligible industries are classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Specific industry definitions can be found by searching the industry codes on the NAICS website.

    The industry code must be included by your prospective employer in your job offer.

    The eligible industries for the Agri-Food Pilot are:

    • 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)

    Eligible Occupations for the Agri-Food Pilot

    Occupations are classified by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes. You can see the specific for each occupation by searching the NOC page of the Canadian government website.

    The eligible occupations are listed below, along with their corresponding industries.

    For meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116):

    • NOC B 6331 – Retail butchers
    • NOC C 9462 – Industrial butchers
    • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
    • NOC D 9617 – Food processing labourers

    For greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114):

    • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
    • NOC C 8431 – General farm workers
    • NOC D 8611 – Harvesting labourers

    For animal production, excluding aquaculture (NAICS 1121, 1122, 1123, 1124 and 1129):

    • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
    • NOC C 8431 – General farm workers

    What Are the Requirements For Work Experience for the Canadian Agri-Food Pilot?

    To be eligible for the Agri-Food Pilot, you must have eligible work experience in Canada.

    This work experience must be:

    • A minimum of 1 year of non-seasonal, full-time work in the past 3 years from the date of application (at least 1,560 hours)
    • In 1 or more of the eligible occupations listed under 1 of the eligible industries
    • Through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
      • A Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) with a minimum 12-month duration must have been submitted by your employer when hiring you

    Note that if you currently have an open work permit but you used to have a work permit through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, you may have eligible work experience. However, any work experience you gained while holding an open work permit does not count.

    You must only count the hours worked in full-time jobs. This may have been in different eligible occupations and with different employers.

    You cannot count the following towards your work experience requirement:

    • Hours you weren’t paid for (volunteering or unpaid internships)
    • Hours worked when you were self-employed
    • Hours worked in part-time or seasonal positions
    • Hours where your work was not authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizen Canada (IRCC)

    What Are the Requirements For Job Offers?

    You must have a genuine job offer to be eligible for the Agri-Food Pilot.

    The job offer must meet all of the following requirements:

    • The job must be in an eligible occupation listed under 1 of the eligible industries
    • The job must be full time
      • This means you work at least 30 paid hours per week
    • The job must be non-seasonal
      • In general, this means you have consistent and regularly scheduled paid employment throughout the year
    • Your employment must be permanent
      • This generally means that there is no set end date
    • For unionized positions, the wage must be determined by the applicable collective agreement
    • For non-unionized positions, the wage must meet or exceed the Job Bank’s prevailing (median) wage for the occupation listed on your job offer in the province of employment (or at the national level if no provincial rate is available)
    • The job offer must be for a job in Canada outside of Quebec

    What Are the Minimum Language Requirements for the Agri-Food Pilot?

    To be eligible for the Agri-Food Pilot, you must prove that you have at least a level 4 score in either the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC).

    This must be for all four key skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).

    If English is your main language, you may take either of the following tests to prove your language ability:

    • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
    • International English Language Testing System (ILETS)

    Meanwhile, if French is your main language, you may take either of the following to prove your language ability:

    • TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français
    • TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français

    What Are the Minimum Education Requirements for the Agri-Food Pilot?

    To be eligible for the Agri-Food Pilot, you must have either:

    • A Canadian high school diploma, or
    • An educational credential assessment (ECA) report from a designated organization or professional body showing that you completed a foreign credential at the secondary school level or above
      • The ECA report must be less than 5 years old on the date of your application
      • The original ECA report must have been issued on or after the date the organization was designated

    Note that you may only get an ECA from one of the following designated organizations:

    • 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

    Get in touch with our immigration lawyers to receive assistance with your Agri-Food Pilot application today. Contact Us

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      What Are the Minimum Financial Requirements for the Agri-Food Pilot?

      You must prove that you have enough funds to support yourself and your family in Canada, unless you’re already working in Canada with a valid work permit when you apply.

      The amount of funds you will need will depend on the size of your family. Your family must include:

      • Yourself
      • Your spouse or partner
      • Your dependent children
      • Your spouse’s dependent children

      Your spouse and dependent children must be included even if they’re permanent residents or Canadian citizens or if they’re not coming to Canada with you.

      The table below shows examples of the minimum amount you need to immigrate to Canada. Note that this table is for 2020. The minimum amounts are updated every year, so it’s important to double-check that you have the minimum required funds for the year you’re applying.

      Number of family members (including those you support who aren’t immigrating with you) Funds you need (in $CAN)
      1 13,213
      2 16,449
      3 20,222
      4 24,553
      5 27,847
      6 31,407
      7 34,967
      For each additional family member 3,560

      How to Apply for Permanent Residence

      Once you’ve determined that you fully meet the eligibility requirements for the Agri-Food Pilot, you can apply for permanent residence.

      To apply for permanent residence, you will need to fill in 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)

      You may also have to fill out the following forms if they apply to you:

      • 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)

      The employer must also fill out an Offer of Employment to a Foreign National – Agri-Food Pilot (IMM 0115) form and give it to you to submit with your application.

      After filling in your forms, you will then need to pay the fees for the application online.

      After you’ve completed all the forms and paid the fees, you must then post your application (including all of your supporting documents) to the IRCC Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

      What Documents Do I Need to Include With My Application?

      You must include the following supporting documents with your application:

      • Copies of valid passports or travel documents you, your spouse or partner, and dependent children
      • Proof of language proficiency
      • Proof of education, with an Educational Credential Assessment, if necessary
      • Proof of collective agreement
        • This is only applicable if the wage offered on the job offer form is determined by a collective agreement
      • Proof of previous relevant work experience (see FAQ for more details)
      • Proof of funds (see FAQ for more details)
      • Proof that you have valid temporary resident status (only if you’re applying from inside Canada)
      • Identity and civil status documents for you and your spouse or partner, such as:
        • Birth certificates
        • Marriage certificates
        • Evidence of cohabitation for at least 12 continuous months (if applicable)
      • Children’s information (if applicable)
      • Police certificate
      • Two photos each for every member of your family
      • A receipt payment for application fees

      What Are the Fees and Processing Times for the Agri-Food Pilot?

      The fees for the Agri-Food Pilot are as follows:

      Type of fee Fee (in $CAN)
      Your application (includes processing fee of $850 and right of permanent residence fee of $515) 1,365
      Include your spouse or partner (includes processing fee of $850 and right of permanent residence fee of $515) 1,365
      Include a dependent child 230 (per child)

      You may also have to pay a biometrics fee of $CAN 85 if you’re required to give your biometrics information.

      Applications for permanent residency typically take around 5-8 months to process, though this may take longer depending on how busy IRCC are and the volume of applications they are processing at any given time.

      What Happens After I Apply?

      After you submit your application, IRCC will check to see that you have filled it in completely and correctly, met all the requirements and include all the necessary supporting documents.

      If you’re between 14 and 79 years old, you will need to give your biometrics information in the form of your fingerprints and photograph after you apply. You will receive a letter from IRCC with details of where and how to do this.

      You and your family members must get a medical exam before you settle in Canada.

      If your existing work permit is due to expire while your application is being processed, you may be eligible for a bridging open work permit. This type of permit lets you keep working while you wait for a final decision on your permanent residence application.

      If your application is refused, you will be sent a letter detailing the reason or reasons why.

      To be reconsidered for the Agri-Food Pilot, you must fill out and submit a new application. You must ensure that you still meet the eligibility criteria and that you’re eligible to be considered.

      What Happens After My Application is Approved?

      If your application is approved, you will be sent the following:

      • A confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)
      • A permanent resident visa (if you’re from a country that requires a visa)

      You should check to ensure that the information on your COPR is correct and the same as what’s displayed on your passport. Note also that the COPR must be used before it expires, as it cannot be extended.

      If you’re already in Canada, you will need to attend a short interview with an officer. This can either be at one of IRCC’s offices in Canada or at a Canadian port of entry.

      During the interview, the officer will:

      • Ensure all your documents are valid
      • Ask you a few questions to make sure you still meet the terms to immigrate to Canada
      • Confirm your Canadian mailing address so IRCC can send you your permanent resident card

      If you’re outside Canada, you will meet with a Canada Border Services Agency officer when you arrive. The officer will:

      • Ensure you’re entering Canada before or on the expiry date shown on your COPR
      • Ensure that you’re the same person who was approved to travel to Canada
      • Ask to see your passport and other travel documents
      • Ask you a few questions to make sure you still meet the terms to immigrate to Canada

      You won’t be allowed into Canada if you:

      • Give false or incomplete information
      • Don’t convince the officer that you meet the conditions to enter Canada
      • Are found to be inadmissible to Canada

      If you are admissible and there are no problems when you arrive, the officer will allow you to enter Canada as a permanent resident and also confirm your Canadian mailing address, where your permanent resident card will be mailed to you.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      The Agri-Food Pilot is an excellent way for experienced workers in the agricultural and food manufacturing sectors to obtain permanent resident status in Canada. However, it can be challenging to go through the process on your own, navigating the requirements and different applications.

      If you’re an agri-food worker and looking to apply for permanent residency under this scheme, Total Law can help.

      We are expert immigration lawyers specialising in the field of Canadian immigration. Whether you require assistance in completing your application and assembling your evidence, help in knowing how to submit it or what fees you need to pay when you apply, we can help advise you every step of the way.

      For more information and to speak to one of our immigration caseworkers, call us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online today.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                As part of your application, you must show that you have at least 12 months’ worth of authorized, full-time work in Canada for one or more of the eligible occupations and industries.

                To do this, you will need to submit the following documents:

                • A copy of your most recent Canadian work permit (if applicable)
                • A copy of all work permits held for declared work (if applicable)
                • Employer reference letters for the periods of work identified in the application. These letters must include:
                  • The specific period of your employment
                  • The title held during the employment
                  • Description of your main responsibilities and duties
                  • Description of the employer’s principal business activities
                  • The corresponding occupation code (NOC)
                  • The corresponding industry code (NAICS)
                  • The applicant’s total annual salary and benefits
                  • The number of hours worked per week
                  • The employer’s name, signature, full address, telephone number, and email address (if applicable)
                • Copies of your T4 tax information slips and Notice of Assessment
                • Work contracts
                • Pay stubs

                As part of your application, you must show proof that you have enough funds to support yourself and your family to settle in Canada.

                The funds must be entirely your own and must not be borrowed from another person.

                To demonstrate proof, you must get official letters from any bank or financial institution where you keep funds.

                The letter(s) must:

                • Be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead
                • Include their contact information (address, telephone number, and email address)
                • Include your name
                • List outstanding debts such as credit card debts and loans
                • Include, for each current bank and investment account, the:
                  • Account number
                  • Date the account was opened
                  • Current balance of the account
                  • Average balance for the past 6 months

                Your proof can be in the form of one or more of the following:

                • Bank account statements
                • Documents that show real property or other investments (such as stocks, bonds, debentures, or treasury bills)
                • Documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of money payable to you (such as banker’s drafts, cheques, traveller’s cheques or money orders)

                It should normally take around 2-3 months to receive your permanent resident card.

                If you haven’t received your card after 180 days, you should contact IRCC directly.