Changes to Agri-Food Pilot

The Agri-Food Pilot provides a pathway to permanent residence for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and with specific occupations in the agri-food sector that have a labour shortage. Agricultural employers participating in the pilot will be eligible for a 2-year Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). While waiting for a final decision of permanent residence, applicants can apply for a work permit and family members can apply for an open work permit (subject to certain requirements), so they are able to accompany the applicant.

Initial Release of Agri-Food Pilot Program

The Agri-Food Pilot Program was first introduced on May 15, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak and was implemented as a 3-year pilot that would run from May 15, 2020 until May 15, 2023 to help employers in the meat processing, mushroom and greenhouse production, and livestock-raising industries fill ongoing labour needs for full-time, year-round employees. On May 8, 2023, IRCC extended the pilot until May 14, 2025, in order to support the labour market needs of the agri-food sector, including Canadian farmers and food processors.

New Changes as of February 10, 2024

As of February 10, 2024, Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have made changes to the program:

  • applicants who reside in Canada when they submit their application may now choose to meet eitherthe job offer requirement or the educational requirement
  • we now count work experience gained under an open work permit for vulnerable foreign workers towards the work experience requirement

Agri-Food Pilot Program Requirements

To be eligible to participate in the pilot, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Work experience: 12 months of full-time, non-seasonal Canadian work experience in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in an eligible occupation in processing meat products, raising livestock, or growing mushrooms or greenhouse crops
  • Language: A Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 in English or French
  • Education: Canadian equivalency of high-school level or greater
  • Job offer: an indeterminate job offer for full-time, non-seasonal work in Canada, outside of Quebec, at or above the prevailing wage

Who Can Apply?

Job Offer

If you reside in Canada when you apply, you may choose to meet either the job offer requirement or the educational requirement.

If you reside outside of Canada when you apply, you must meet both the job offer and the educational requirement.


If you or your family members have any questions about the Canadian Agri-Food Pilot Program, please do not hesitate to contact us at The Poonah Immigration Law Firm. You can reach us by emailing or by calling us at 678-978-5848.