About the pilot

The Agri-Food Pilot helps address the labour needs of the Canadian agri-food sector.

The pilot provides a pathway to permanent residence for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and occupations. It will run until May 2023.

Who can apply:

To apply for permanent residence under the Agri-Food Pilot, you need

  • eligible Canadian work experience in one or more of the eligible industries and occupations
  • a full-time, non-seasonal job offer from a Canadian employer in one of the eligible industries and occupations(outside of Quebec)
  • to meet or exceed the language requirements
  • to meet or exceed the educational requirements
  • to have settlement funds (if applicable)
  • to maintain temporary resident status (if already in Canada)

Eligible Canadian work experience:

You must have eligible Canadian work experience.

Your Canadian work experience must be

  • a minimum of 1 year of non-seasonal, full-time work in the past 3 years (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 Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) with a minimum 12-month duration must have been submitted by your employer when hiring you. If you’re not sure, you can ask your former or current employer about the duration.

Open work permits

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.

How to calculate your hours of work experience

  • Do count the hours worked in full-time jobs
    • The hours can be in different eligible occupations and with different employers.
    • The hours must have been worked over a total period of at least 12 months (Note: working more than 30 hours per week does not shorten this period).
  • Don’t count
    • 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 IRCC

Eligible industries:

Industries are classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). You can see specific industry definitions by searching the industry codes below on the NAICS website.

Your employer needs to include the industry code in your job offer.

Eligible industries under the 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:

Occupations are classified by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code. You can see the duties for each occupation by searching the National Occupational Classification website.

Eligible jobs for each eligible industry are listed below.

For meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116), eligible jobs are

  • 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), eligible jobs are

  • 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), eligible jobs are

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

Application limits by eligible occupation

There are annual limits on the number of applications that will be processed for each eligible occupation.

Starting on January 1 of each year, applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. This pilot will last for 3 years.

Annual limits

Eligible occupationNumber of applications accepted per year
Farm supervisor or specialized livestock worker (NOC B 8252)50
Industrial butcher (NOC C 9462) or retail butcher (NOC B 6331)1470
Food processing labourer (NOC D 9617)730
General farm worker (NOC C 8431)200
Harvesting labourer (NOC D 8611)300

Language requirements:

You must prove your ability in English or French.

The minimum language requirements are Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) Level 4 in :

  • reading
  • writing
  • speaking
  • listening

You must submit your results from an approved language test. These results must be less than 2 years old when you apply.

Educational requirements:

You must have at least

  • 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.

How to get an educational credential assessment

Settlement funds:

You must prove that you have enough money to settle in Canada. You’ll need to prove that you have enough funds to support yourself and any family members you may have, even if they’re not coming to Canada with you.

If you’re already working in Canada with a valid work permit when you apply, you don’t need to provide proof of settlement funds.

Document requirements

For 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 1 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)

Family size

The amount of money you need to support your family depends on the size of your family.

To calculate the size of your family, you must include

  • yourself
  • your spouse or partner
  • your dependent children
  • your spouse’s dependent children

Include your spouse and dependent children even if they’re

  • permanent residents or Canadian citizens
  • not coming to Canada with you

The table below shows the minimum amount you need to immigrate to Canada in 2020. The minimum amounts are updated every year.

Number of family members
(including those you support who aren’t immigrating with you)
Funds you need
(in Canadian dollars)
For each additional family member$3,586