MARC Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on Wednesday announced that the first round of invitations for agriculture and agri-food occupations through category-based selection in Express Entry will occur this week.
This focus on candidates with experience in the agriculture and agri-food sector—including agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors, and retail and wholesale butchers—will help the sector attract the skilled talent it needs across the country.
Canada’s Express Entry system is now tailored to provide a streamlined and efficient pathway for individuals with expertise in critical fields. By prioritizing the invitation of skilled newcomers with work experience in agriculture and agri-food jobs, Canada aims to meet increasing demand for talent and fill key positions that contribute to the advancement of the nation’s farming and food processing operations.
Through category-based selection and the Agri-Food Pilot, Canada reaffirms its commitment to attract top global talent and help meet the need for agriculture and agri-food workers to support the economy. These category-based selection rounds will continue throughout the year, alongside general and program-specific invitation rounds.
Miller said: “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. That is why addressing labour shortages is crucial to maintain the sector’s ability to produce and process food at this scale for Canadians and export markets around the world. This is an exciting step toward welcoming more skilled farm and food workers to our country.”
MacAulay said: “Our agriculture and agri-food sector is an important engine of economic growth and requires a skilled and reliable workforce to continue to feed our growing population. Canada’s Express Entry system is an important tool that attracts workers with the skills our world-class agricultural sector needs.”
- The agriculture and agri-food industry is an important contributor to Canada’s economic growth and vitality. In 2022, Canada exported nearly $92.8 billion in agriculture and food products, including raw agricultural materials, fish and seafood, and processed foods.
- Express Entry is Canada’s flagship application management system for those seeking to immigrate permanently through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.
- In June 2022, the Government of Canada made changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow for the selection of immigrants based on key attributes that support economic priorities, such as specific work experience or knowledge of French.
- On May 31, 2023, Sean Fraser, former Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced the launch of 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. A complete list of eligible jobs for the new categories is available on our website.
- 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.
- Under the Canada–Québec Accord, Quebec establishes its own immigration levels. From 2018 to 2022, admissions under the federal high skilled programs—including the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Program—accounted for 34% to 40% of overall French-speaking admissions outside Quebec.