Canada extends the Agri-Food Pilot Program

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, has announced that the Agri-Food Pilot will be extended until May 14, 2025, providing experienced workers in the agricultural and food industries with the opportunity to transition to permanent residency in Canada.

To support employers and candidates, the occupational caps or limits for the number of candidates that can apply for a specific occupation under the pilot will be removed. These changes will allow more eligible candidates to apply. In stages, IRCC will introduce new changes to the pilot by the end of the year, including expanding open work permit access to family members of all participants in the Agri-Food Pilot, allowing unions to attest to a candidate’s work experience, accepting work experience gained under an open work permit for vulnerable workers, and giving applicants the option to either meet the job offer requirement or the education requirement.

The changes will help meet the ongoing labour needs of employers in the meat processing, mushroom, greenhouse crop production, and livestock-raising industries by filling the positions with full-time, year-round employees. These changes also aim to reduce barriers and vulnerability for candidates, expand the pathway to permanent residency for experienced workers, and provide wider support to applicants and their family members.

The Agri-Food Pilot works in conjunction with Canada’s existing economic immigration programs, such as the Atlantic Immigration Program, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, the Global Skills Strategy, Express Entry, and the Provincial Nominee Program. The pilot program will continue to support the skills and labor required in the agriculture and agri-food sector while promoting these workers’ settlement in Canada and contributing to the country’s economy.

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