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This article was updated more than 6 months ago. Some information may be outdated.

Canada will hold its first-ever agriculture Express Entry draw this week.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller made the announcement on Sept. 27, just a day after Canada held an all-program draw inviting Express Entry candidates to apply for Canadian immigration.

The agriculture Express Entry draw is among the new category-based selection draws being unrolled in 2023. It will target candidates with work experience in certain agriculture occupations, including the following:

Occupation2021 NOC code2021 TEER category
Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services820312
Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors820302
Butchers- retail and wholesale632013

“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,” Minister Miller said in a media release. “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.”

Canada’s minister of agriculture echoed the sentiment, as he made the announcement alongside Minister Miller.

“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,” Lawrence MacAulay, the minister of agriculture, said in the release. “Canada’s Express Entry system is an important tool that attracts workers with the skills our world-class agricultural sector needs.”

Canada’s category-based Express Entry draws

Following the agriculture Express Entry draw, Canada will have held category-based draws under all categories available in 2023.

For context, category-based selection began in June 2023 with a healthcare draw. From there, Canada had its first STEM draw on July 5, it’s first French draw on July 7, and its first and only Trades and Transport draws on August 3 and September 20, respectively.

Canada has also only held one STEM draw so far, which is surprising considering previous reports that Canada would invite more Express Entry candidates in STEM than those eligible for other categories.

According to the same report, agriculture workers will make up only 1-2 percent of those who receive Invitations to Apply (ITAs) through category-based selection.

How to be eligible for agriculture Express Entry draws

Firstly, you must be eligible for an Express Entry program such as:

Once you have been deemed eligible for at least one of these programs, you will be among the Express Entry pool of candidates. You will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on your work experience, education, age, and official language ability, among other factors.

Check your CRS score with Moving2Canada’s CRS Score Calculator.

Your CRS score will determine whether you get selected in a given draw. Canada invites the highest-scoring candidates from the pool to apply for Canadian permanent residence. In all-program draws only your CRS score matters (unless your score is equal to the minimum CRS cutoff for that draw, in which case the date of submission also matters as per the tie-breaker rule).

However, in category-based draws you have to meet the requirements of that category. For agriculture Express Entry draws, you need to have at least six months of fulltime work experience within the past three years in one of the eligible occupations.

How does Canada decide Express Entry categories?

Category-based Express Entry draws are new as of this year. The law that made them possible was passed in June 2022. The purpose of category-based selection is to allow Canada to select Express Entry candidates with certain attributes that support the country’s economic goals. For example, knowledge of French, and work experience in sectors that have worker shortages.

Former immigration minister Sean Fraser officially launched category-based selection in May, 2023. The categories were determined after consultations with provincial and territorial partners, stakeholders, the public, as well as a review of labour market needs.

About Canada’s agriculture industry

Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry is an important contributor to the country’s economic growth.

To illustrate this point, consider that Canada exported nearly $92.8 billion in agriculture and food products in 2022. These exports included raw agricultural materials, fish and seafood, and processed foods.

Yet, labour shortages exist in the agriculture and agrifood industry. Without these workers, Canada would not be able to meet its demans for agriculture and agri-food products.

In addition to agriculture Express Entry draws, workers in the agri-food sector may be able to immigrate to Canada through the Agri-food Pilot, which has been extended until 2025 and may become a permanent program, eventually.

Click here for more information on agriculture jobs in Canada.

If you’re interested in moving to Canada but not sure which program you may be eligible for, check your eligibility for more than 20 Canadian immigration programs by taking Moving2Canada’s free Canada Immigration Quiz.

Want to be the first to find out about the latest Canadian immigration news? Create a free Moving2Canada account and sign up for our newsletter!

About the author

Shelby Thevenot

Shelby Thevenot

They/Them
Canadian Immigration Writer
Shelby is a journalist, freelance writer, and expert news analyst with more than five years of experience in writing about Canadian immigration.
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Citation "Canada to hold first-ever agriculture Express Entry draw." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation

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