Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Canada announces extension to the Agri-Food Pilot, facilitating access to permanent residence for workers and their families

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The changes made to the Pilot will also help reunify families with access to open work permits expand eligibility and workers rights

Canada’s government is aware of the significance of bolstering the country’s food supply system and supporting the labor market requirements of the agri-food sector. The ability of Canadian food processors and farmers to find and keep skilled workers is one key to their success.

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, the Honourable Sean Fraser, made the announcement today that the Agri-Food Pilot will now run until May 14, 2025. The pilot, which will go live in May 2020, helps skilled workers in the agricultural and food industries settle permanently in Canada.

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The Minister also announced the removal of the annual occupational caps, or limits on the number of candidates who could apply for a particular job under the pilot, to help both employers and candidates. More qualified applicants will be able to apply if these restrictions are lifted. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plans to gradually implement new pilot changes by the end of the year, including

  • expanding open work permit access to family members of all participants in the Agri-Food Pilot—regardless of the participant’s job skill level
  • allowing unions to attest to a candidate’s work experience, as an alternative to employer reference letters
  • giving applicants residing in Canada the option to either meet the job offer requirement, including the median wage requirement for the job offer, or the education requirement, including educational credential assessment verification
  • accepting work experience gained under an open work permit for vulnerable workers, giving more workers an opportunity to qualify

By providing employers in the meat processing, mushroom, greenhouse crop, and livestock-raising industries with full-time, year-round employees, these changes are a significant step toward meeting the long-standing needs of the labor market. They likewise offer more extensive help to candidates and their relatives, diminish boundaries and weakness for applicants, and extend the pathway to long-lasting home for experienced specialists in these businesses.

The Agri-Food Pilot supplements Canada’s current set-up of financial migration programs, which incorporates the Atlantic Movement Program, the Country and Northern Movement Pilot, the parental figures pilots, the Worldwide Abilities Procedure, Express Section, and the Common Chosen one Program. It provides these workers with the opportunity to settle in Canada and contribute to our economy while continuing to promote the skills and labor required in the agriculture and agri-food sector.

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