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Canada’s Agri-food Pilot Program to Implement Two New Changes

Effective August 18, 2023, two new changes to the Canada Agri-food Pilot will come into force.

Canada launched the three-year Agri-food pilot program to meet labor shortages in the agri-food sector in 2020. Immigration minister, Sean Fraser, announced a two-year extension of the Agri-food Pilot program in May 2023. The program will be in operation until May 14, 2025.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada announced the following two changes to the Canada Agri-food Pilot program, coming into effect on August 18, 2023:

  1. Expanding access to Open Work permits to family members of all Agri-food pilot participants.
  2. IRCC will also accept union reference letters as proof of the applicant’s work experience instead of employer reference letters

Besides helping Canada address labor market shortages, these changes will enhance access to the Canada Agri-food pilot program. There will be more opportunities for workers and their families because of these new changes.

These are eligible occupations under the Agri-food pilot program:

  • Butchers – NOC 63201
  • Meat cutters and fishmongers – NOC 65202
  • Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers, and related workers – NOC 94141
  • Agri service contractors and farm supervisors – NOC 82030
  • Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators – NOC 84120
  • Livestock laborers – NOC 85100
  • Laborers in food and beverage processing – NOC 95106

 Candidates with a minimum of one year of full-time experience in the last three years in eligible occupations of the Agri-food sector are eligible for the Agri-food pilot program. The minimum education requirement for the Agri-food Pilot program is a high school diploma and access to settlement funds for self and family.

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