Agri-Food Immigration Pilot is Now Open for Applications
Posted on 17/05/2020
As we informed you last year, the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot is indeed proceeding and is now open after a longer than anticipated delay due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Given that food supply chains are such an important part of Canada’s economy, it is understandable that IRCC would be anxious to start up the program, and we now have the go-ahead. Let’s review the principal features of the pilot program which is set to last 3 years, and which will issue up to 2,750 invitations to principal applicants each year over the period of the pilot.
Eligibility under the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot
To qualify for the Agri-Food pilot you must:
- Have worked for at least 1 year, (1,560 hours), in a full-time non-seasonal job with a valid work permit in one of the following combinations of NOC (National Occupational Classification) jobs and NAICS (North American Industry Classification System):
|NOC Codes||Industry Categories (NAICS Code)|
|6311: Butchers Meat Cutters Fish Mongers||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||3116|
|8252: Ag. Service Contractors
|8431: General Farm Workers||1114||1121||1122||1123||1124||1129||N/A|
|8611: Harvesting Labourers||1114||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|9642: Industrial butchers Meat Cutters Poultry Preparers||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||3116|
|9617: Labourers Food & Beverages||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||3116|
Here’s how to use this table. Find your job in the Right-Hand column and then see which industry classifications apply. For example, If you’re a harvesting labourer (8611) then the only job you can apply under (in other words receive a job offer) is from an employer whose company is in NAICS 1114 which is Greenhouse, Nursery & Floricultural production. However, if you’re a Farm supervisor, Agricultural Services Contractor, or Livestock specialist (8252) then your employer can be in any of the NAICS categories – in other words in any of the columns in the table. Here are the NAICS categories that eligible employers must fall under:
- NAICS – 1114 Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production
- NAICS – 1121 Cattle ranching and farming
- NAICS – 1122 Hog and pig farming
- NAICS – 1123 Poultry and egg production
- NAICS – 1124 Sheep and goat farming
- NAICS – 1129 Other animal production
- NAICS – 3116 Meat product manufacturing
Further work eligibility requirements are:
- Your work permit must be based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) of at least 12 months duration.
- You have performed the actions and most of the main duties listed in your NOC occupational description.
- Your work must have been paid work. Voluntary work does not qualify.
- Self-employment or unauthorized work will not qualify either.
To qualify, your job offer must:
- Be from an employer whose main business activities are in one of the eligible NAICS areas listed above.
- Be in one of the eligible NOC occupations listed in the RH column of the above table.
- Be in one of the eligible combinations in the table above – that is, for an occupation that has an NAICS code listed in the table. If there is an N/A, then that combination of employer and occupation is NOT eligible.
- Be full-time and non-seasonal and have NO end date.
- Be for genuine employment.
- Be OUTSIDE the province of Quebec.
- Be at the prevailing wage as established by:
- Provincial authorities, OR
- Federal authorities, OR
- Collect bargaining agreements
If you are in Canada during the application process, you must maintain your legal temporary resident status (based on a work visa and/or visitor visa normally).
You may have to meet occupational standards that may involve educational credentials. If you obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (a sort of certification of your foreign educational credentials against Canadian educational standards) this does not necessarily guarantee that they will be sufficient for you occupation’s requirements.
- High-School (Secondary School) diploma, and/or Post-secondary certificate or degree equivalent to a Canadian degree/certificate.
- Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to assess your foreign educational credentials
- Your ECA report should show that your credentials are equivalent to and valid for Canadian standards.
- Your ECA report must be less than 5 years old on the day IRCC receives your application.
- You must have a CLB (Canadian Languages Benchmark) level of at least 4 in each of the following: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This is equivalent to the following IELTS scores:
- You must take a language test with a designated language testing organization like CELPIP or IELTS and submit the original test results with your application.
- Previous test results must not be more than 2 years old on the day your application is received.
Funds Required to Settle in Canada
The following types of documents are normally provided as proof you have sufficient funds to settle in Canada (with your immediate family if they are accompanying you):
- Current Bank Statements or Certification Letter
- Deposit Statements
- Proof of Savings Balance
The following table sets out the required funds for settling in Canada. You should have proof of at least these amounts, the specific levels of which depend on how many family members will be coming with you to Canada:
|Number of Family Members||Required Funds to Settle in Canada|
|For each additional family member||$3,492|
- Go here to see if you need to give biometrics (facial/eye digital photographs and digital images of your fingerprints).
- If you need to give them, pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application online ($85 for an individual and $170 for a family applying together) which will also be when you pay the rest of the fees for your online application.
- Remember to print the receipt before exiting the site!
- you will receive a Biometrics Instruction Letter (BIL) which will give you a list of biometric service points to choose from and where you will give you biometrics.
- Remember to bring your BIL with you when going to give biometrics.
|Nature of fee||Amount in Canadian$|
|Right of Permanent Resident Fee||$500|
|Spouse Processing fee||$825|
|Spouse Right of Permanent Resident Fee||$500|
|Dependent Child Processing fee||$225 per child|
Remember to pay your fees online you will need the following:
- A valid email address and an internet connection
- A printer
- A valid Credit Card or Canadian Debit Card
As the applicant you will need to fill out at least some (depending on your situation) of the following forms:
- IMM 0008 – Generic Application Form for Canada
- IMM 0008 DEP – Additional Dependents Declaration
- IMM 5669 – Schedule A Background/Declaration
- IMM 0115 – Offer of Employment to a Foreign National (Declaration of Employee Section)
- IMM 0114 – Agri-Food Immigration Pilot
- IMM 5406 – Additional Family Information
- IMM 5562 – Supplementary Information – your travels
- IMM 5604 – Separation Declaration for Minors Travelling to Canada
- IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union
- IMM 0116 – Document Checklist – Agri-Food
- IMM 5476 – Use of a Representative
Your employer will have to fill out the following form:
- IMM 0115 – Offer of Employment to a Foreign National
If you are mailing your paper application, place the application and fee receipts in a 23cm by 30.5 cm envelope and mail to:
Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program
Centralized Intake Office
PO Box 8700
Please ensure that the address is in the centre of the envelope.
After you Apply
- If your application is rejected, you will receive a letter saying so. You can apply again by submitting a new application, but as always you must meet the eligibility criteria and there must still be space under the annual occupational caps.
- If your application is approved, you will be mailed a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), and a permanent resident visa, unless you are from a country that does not require a visa to enter Canada. Please make sure all the information on both is accurate and matches the information on your passport. You must move to Canada before the expiry date on your COPR. A COPR cannot be extended.
- If you are already in Canada when you are accepted, you should make an appointment at your nearest IRCC office, which you can search for here. You can alternatively go to the nearest port of entry (border crossing) and present your COPR, your visa (if you have one), and proof of sufficient funds to settle in Canada.