Saturday, May 18, 2024

First round of Express Entry applications for food and farm workers opens this week

Immigration Minister Marc Miller and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, today announced that the first round of invitations for agriculture and agri-food occupations through category-based selection in Express Entry will start this week.

“Food security is top of mind for all Canadians, and our country is the fifth-largest exporter of agri-food and seafood on the planet,” Miller said in a statement. “This is an exciting step toward welcoming more skilled farm and food workers to our country.”

This focus on agriculture and agri-food sector workers —including agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors, and retail and wholesale butchers — is expected to help the sector attract the skilled talent it needs across the country.

The agriculture and agri-food industry is an important contributor to the country’s economic growth vitality. In 2022, Canada exported nearly $92.8 billion in agriculture and food products, including raw agricultural materials, fish and seafood, and processed foods.

This May, Ottawa announced category-based selection, a new process to welcome skilled newcomers with work experience in priority jobs as permanent residents. The categories were determined following extensive consultations with provincial and territorial partners, stakeholders and the public, as well as a review of labour market needs.

The Agri-Food Pilot, launched in 2020, provides a pathway to permanent residence for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and occupations. IRCC has recently announced several changes to the Agri-Food Pilot, including an extension by two years until May 2025.

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