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Canada's New Agri-Food Immigration Pilot for Permanent Residence

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Immigration, Immigration Law, Economic Immigration, Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Temporary Foreign Workers

Canada's New Agri-Food Immigration Pilot for Permanent Residence

Canada Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced a new economic immigration program to help local community's agri-food labour needs that will provide an additional 2,700 permanent residency opportunities for temporary foreign workers. The goal of the pilot is to attract experienced, non-seasonal workers who can "economically establish in Canada" and who support the ongoing labour needs of the agri-food sector.

'Agri-food' combines the words agriculture and food to describe activities related to food production.

The 3-year Agri-Food Immigration Pilot program will launch in 2020 and will focus on attracting meat processing and mushroom production workers including retail butchers, industrial butchers, food processing labourers, harvesting labourers, general farm workers, and farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers. Farmworkers have had limited opportunities for permanent residence in Canada.

A maximum of 2,750 principal applicants, plus family members, will be accepted for processing in any given year. This represents a total of approximately 16,500 possible new permanent residents over the 3-year duration of the pilot, according to the New Agri-Food Immigration Pilot press release:

“The success of our Canadian farmers and food processors depends on their ability to recruit and retain the workforce they need to capture opportunities at home and abroad. This pilot will help to ensure that employers in the agriculture and agri-food sector have the people they need to get the job done, to help drive our economy and to feed the world.”

– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau,
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Canada's food workers’ union welcomes the Canadian Agri-food pilot:

The agri-food pilot will better protect migrants by requiring participating employers to collaborate with unions in order to receive a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for a 2-year period. In particular, unionized employers will require a letter of support from the union to qualify for the announced LMIA, and non-unionized employers will engage with the union in a discussion about worker protections through a tri-partite working group.

The occupations and industries eligible under the pilot include:

  • meat processing
    • retail butcher
    • industrial butcher
    • food processing labourer
  • harvesting labourer for year-round mushroom production and greenhouse crop production
  • general farm worker for year-round mushroom production, greenhouse crop production, or livestock raising
  • farm supervisor and specialized livestock worker for meat processing, year-round mushroom production, greenhouse crop production or livestock raising.

Information on how to apply for permanent residence through the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot will be available in early 2020.

Economic Immigration Programs

The agriculture and agri-food industry is vital to Canada’s economic growth and provides 1 in 8 jobs; agricultural exports hit a new record in 2018, reaching $66.2 billion. The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot is part of Canada’s economic immigration strategy to help temporary foreign workers become permanent residents, which includes the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, the Global Skills Strategy, a revitalized Express Entry and an expanded Provincial Nominee Program.

Please contact Ackah Law if you to learn more about qualifications and opportunities to move to Canada under IRCC's economic immigration programs.


Evelyn Ackah

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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It is one thing to earn a living; it is another thing to make a difference in the world.

This is our formal thank you note to Evelyn Ackah and the Ackah Law Team for all the effort they put into helping us navigate and finally resolve the hurdle that was Canadian Immigration back in the spring of 2012.

A friend referred us to Evelyn; he assured us that Evelyn would take good care of us. Our friend was confident we were in good hands and said Evelyn would do her very best to help us and she did! At the time we did not know that his referral would go far beyond finding us help. Slowly we realized that it would become our own personal story of how we received grace and were reminded of the power in paying it forward

We wrote a detailed page of our dilemma, explaining how we came to be in the position we were in (overwhelmed with the hurdle that was Canadian Immigration and the uncertainty that we faced as a young family in Calgary). Evelyn agreed to take on our file with her team. They found the time to personally call us and listened intently and understood the details of what we were dealing with. They gave us their time, an honest opinion and provided clear direction which proved to be invaluable advice. Months went by but in time, we received word from Ackah Law that the Immigration office had finally reviewed our file and a decision had been made allowing our family to finally put the immigration matter to rest. We were finally able to focus again to live our lives without fear or pending doom.

Looking back now, even the sun appeared to shine a little brighter that day. At first we didn’t know whether to bake them a cake, drive out to meet their team, find their offices and personally thank them with a mighty hug or simply cry out to the heavens in thankful relief. Instead we emailed them to express our heartfelt thank-you and we hoped that they would know deep in their hearts just how grateful we were for all of their help.

Even though we relied on emails and phone conversations to communicate with them that year, we will always remember their constant professionalism, their kindness and understanding at a time that brought us so much pain not to mention fear. As if all their hard work wasn’t enough, Evelyn then then casually mentions that all their work was done pro-bono! We were thoroughly humbled!

To this day we are still eager to share how wonderful they all are as human beings but even more than that, we continue to pay it forward in honour of them, their service to us and their continued dedication in helping others.

Eternally thankful

– The Brummunds

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