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The province of Quebec has launched a new immigration pilot program for workers in food processing who want to become permanent residents.

The pilot program targets food processing workers who are currently employed in Quebec and who have proven abilities in French. The program is accepting applications from March 24, 2021, until March 31, 2021.

The Quebec immigration pilot program for food processing workers is one of three new immigration pilot programs Quebec launched that target specific occupations. These pilot programs are designed to help Quebec meet crucial demand in its labour force.

The Quebec immigration pilot program for food processing workers will accept 600 applicants in 2021, not including accompanying family members. Successful applicants will be able to apply for Canadian permanent resident status along with their accompanying family members.

Eligibility requirements — Quebec’s immigration pilot for food processing workers

This pilot program targets people residing in Quebec who are currently working in eligible occupations (see below) in the food processing sector. Applicants must prove intermediate oral knowledge of the French language. In addition, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Education: Hold a diploma which is deemed to be equivalent to a Quebec secondary school diploma, vocational training diploma or higher.
  • Work experience: Have at least 24 months of work experience in the food or beverage manufacturing industries gained within the 36 months prior to applying.
  • Quebec employment: Must hold current employment in Quebec in an eligible occupation (see below). This employment must be full-time and for a period covering at least the next 12 months.

Eligible occupations (including NOC codes) for the pilot program for food processing workers include:

  • industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers (NOC 9462);
  • labourers in food and beverage processing (NOC 9617);
  • labourers in fish and seafood processing (NOC 9618);
  • specialized cleaners (NOC 6732);
  • process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing (NOC 9461);
  • general farm workers (NOC 8431), but only where it covers the position of chicken catcher;
  • fish and seafood plant workers (NOC 9463);

Application procedure — Quebec’s immigration pilot for food processing workers

In order to apply for the immigration pilot program for food processing workers, candidates must begin by submitting an application using Quebec’s online immigration platform, Arrima. Full details about what needs to be included with the application and how to apply are outlined on Quebec’s immigration website.

It should be noted that Canadian permanent residence applications submitted through Quebec programs typically follow a two-stage process. First, applicants must apply to the Quebec government for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ). After receiving a CSQ, applicants may submit a subsequent application at the federal level for their permanent resident status.

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