Pilot program launched to give temporary workers permanent residency

The Canadian government has opened up the application process for a pilot program to give temporary foreign workers who work in year-round roles in the agriculture industry a pathway to permanent residency.

The three-year Agri-Food Immigration Pilot program, originally announced in July 2019, is aimed at helping employers in meat processing, mushroom and greenhouse production, as well as livestock-raising industries with filling needs for full-time, year-round employees.

The government says it’s prepared to accept up to 2,750 applications, with the application window running from May 15, 2020 to May 14, 2023.

“Attracting and retaining talented workers is essential to help grow our economy and improve the living standards of all Canadians. The Agri-Food Pilot will attract applicants for permanent residence who have worked in Canada, who can economically establish in Canada, and who support the labour needs of farmers and processors,” says Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, in a statement issued Friday.

To be eligible, an individual must have worked for at least one year of non-seasonal work under the Temporary Foreign Worker program in one of the eligible occupations.

The list of roles and industries eligible under the pilot include:

  • meat product manufacturing
  • retail butchers
  • industrial butchers
  • farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • food processing labourers
  • greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production
  • farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • general farm workers
  • harvesting labourers
  • animal production, excluding aquaculture
  • farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • general farm workers

Since Quebec has its own economic immigration process, the program does not apply in Quebec.

You can find more on applying to the Agri-Food Pilot program and its criteria, here.

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