Updates to Canada’s Agri-Food Pilot Program for February 2024

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  • February 14, 2024

Canada’s Agri-Food Pilot program, designed for individuals seeking permanent residency (PR), has introduced two significant changes effective February 10, 2024.

Firstly, applicants residing in Canada at the time of application now have the option to fulfill either the job offer requirement or the educational requirement.

Secondly, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) now recognizes work experience acquired under an open work permit for vulnerable foreign workers, counting it towards the work experience criteria.

This extension builds upon previous modifications made in August 2023, which included provisions for open work permits for family members of Agri-Food pilot applicants and the acceptance of union reference letters in lieu of employer reference letters as proof of work experience.


The eligibility criteria for the Canada Agri-Food Pilot program include:

  1. Accumulation of at least one year of cumulative, non-seasonal, full-time experience over the past three years (equivalent to at least 1,560 hours over 52 weeks) in qualifying agri-food jobs.
  2. Receipt of an offer for a full-time, permanent, non-seasonal position in a qualifying occupation within the agri-food industries.
  3. Education equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma.
  4. Adequate settlement funds to support oneself and, if applicable, family members upon arrival in Canada.
  5. Valid status as a temporary resident in Canada if already present in the country.
  6. Attainment of the required minimum score on designated language proficiency exams.

The eligible occupations under the Agri-Food Pilot program include:

  1. Meat product manufacturing (NAICS 3116)
  2. Greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114)
  3. Animal production, excluding aquaculture (NAICS 1121, 1122, 1123, 1124, and 1129)

What sets the Agri-Food Pilot program apart is its accessible language proficiency requirement of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4, equivalent to a low level of proficiency in English/French. Additionally, only a high school diploma is required for education qualification, although applicants with foreign credentials must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from a recognized organization or professional body.

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