Work In Canada

How to Work in Canada as a Fisherman

Do you want to immigrate to Canada in the seafood processing industry? Canada desperately needs skilled foreign workers to meet the high demand in this sector.

In a recent address to the nation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $62.5 million Canadian Seafood Industry Stabilization Fund to protect workers in the seafood industry by making necessary adjustments to COVID-19 health and safety requirements. This would also allow for the purchase of necessary equipment such as freezers and storage rooms for food preservation.

The seafood sector is one of Canada’s top food export industries by revenue, providing employment for about 72,000 people. But demand for fish workers is increasing as the need to save the struggling economy continues.

To expedite visa processing for foreign workers seeking to immigrate to Canada in certain in-demand sectors, the Canadian government has temporarily removed the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Normally, a Canadian employer must advertise a job opening in Canada locally for at least three months before deciding to hire international workers. This applies to workers in the following sectors:

  • Agricultural sectors
  • Fish and Seafood industry;
  • Meat processing sectors; and
  • Logistics industry, specifically long haul truck drivers.

How Do I migrate to Canada as a Fish and Seafood Labourer?

Canada’s thriving fishing industry is one of the country’s most important exports. This is mainly because the country has the longest coastline in the world and has numerous lakes and rivers that contain high-quality freshwater fish.

There are several ways to migrate to Canada through the fishing and seafood industry. This depends on a number of factors including your job description, work experience, and whether or not you have a job offer in Canada.

Below are some of the best ways to migrate to Canada, depending on your qualifications.

1. Express Entry Route

The Express Entry system was introduced in 2015 to expedite the visa application process for Canada. This system administers three federal economic programs, namely the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Trades Worker Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

Individuals with a National Occupation Classification (NOC) A or B and skill level 0 are eligible to apply for immigration to Canada through the Express Entry system. These generally include management, professional and technical occupations. Below are occupations that qualify for application through Express Entry in the seafood industry.

Eligible Express Entry Occupations in Fish and Seafood Industry
NOC Code Occupation
2222 Agricultural and fish products inspectors
2224 Conservation and fishery officers
6331 Fishmongers – retail and wholesale
8261 Fishing masters and officers
8262 Fishermen/women
9213 Supervisors, food and beverage processing

Perhaps the best part about applying through the Express Entry system is the fact that you do not need a job offer, but must meet certain criteria related to your age, education, qualifications and ability to settle in Canada. All Express Entry applicants participate in draws, which are usually held every two weeks. They are ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and the applicants with the highest CRS scores receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada.

2. The Atlantic Immigration Route

Canada’s Atlantic provinces have a thriving fishing industry that employs thousands of skilled workers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. To qualify for immigration to Canada under this Atlantic immigration pilot, you must meet the following Atlantic High-Skilled Stream requirements:

  • Have at least 1 year of relevant work experience in the past 3 years;
  • Have a Canadian high school or post-secondary certificate/diploma/degree or a foreign post-secondary qualification of Canadian standards;
  • Meet minimum language requirements of at least CLB level 4;
  • proof of funds to support yourself and your family during your stay in Canada;
  • Have a valid full-time non-seasonal job offer in Canada.

Didn’t find your occupation in the list of most in-demand occupations above? No need to worry. There is another way to migrate to Canada.

3. Provincial Nominee Program Route

If your occupation was not previously listed on the highly qualified NOC list, you may be eligible for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Anyone can apply for permanent residency through the PNP, regardless of the type or level of your qualifications. The only catch is that you need a valid, non-seasonal job offer for at least one year to qualify for immigration to Canada through a PNP. Below are some occupations at skill levels C and D that are eligible for the PNP:

Eligible PNP Occupations in Fish and Seafood Industry
NOC Code Occupation
8441 Fishing vessel deckhands
8613 Aquaculture and marine harvest labourers
9463 Fish and seafood plant workers
9465 Testers and graders, food and beverage processing
9618 Labourers in fish and seafood processing


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