Immigrate to Canada as a Butcher

October 4, 2023


  • Shireen Fisher

Canada has a total area of 9,985 million km². As the second-largest country in the world, there is inevitably not only a vast terrain on which to farm but also plenty of agricultural enterprises that supply the Canadian meat industry. The thriving Canadian agricultural industry has created a high demand for workers in the meat-processing industry.

With its robust economy and welcoming immigration policies, this bountiful land offers many opportunities. This article will explore the various pathways for butchers to immigrate to Canada and establish a successful career in this thriving industry.

Pathways to Canadian Permanent Residency For Butchers

The Great White North has over 80 immigration programs and visas for foreign nationals who want to live and work here. Below are the most popular options for butchers who want to immigrate to Canada.

Express Entry

The Express Entry system is one of the fastest ways to immigrate to Canada. It manages three Canadian federal economic immigration programs and has become integral to helping Canadian employers recruit skilled international workers. As a butcher, you can apply to the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

Canadian immigration hopefuls tend to opt for Express Entry mainly because of the processing time of just six months. Candidates are ranked according to factors such as their age, language skills, education, and work experience according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and will receive a CRS score. Once you have an active online Express Entry profile, you will be entered into bi-weekly draw pools, from which the highest-scoring candidates will be chosen to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Express Entry Update For Newcomers With Work Experience in Agriculture and Agri-food

As an experienced butcher who wants to immigrate to Canada, you will be pleased to learn that Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made some changes to its Express Entry system in May 2023. It was announced that they will address labor shortages through category-based selection. During this process, eligible foreign nationals with specific work experience or proficiency in French will be invited to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency.

In September 2023, the IRCC and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced that the initial round of invitations for agriculture and agri-food occupations through this selection process, with a focus on applicants with experience in the agriculture and agri-food sector, such as agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors, and retail and wholesale butchers.


The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows you to immigrate to Canada if you have the skills, education, and experience in a profession that is in demand or can contribute to the province's or territory's economic success. 11 of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories have PNPs with specific requirements that must be met to be considered eligible. If you are successful in your application, you will receive a provincial nomination, which is worth 600 extra CRS points, which could all but guarantee that you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residency.

Agri-food Pilot

Canada's Agri-Food Immigration Pilot is similar to the Rural immigration Pilot but more industry-specific rather than community-specific. You can apply if you have experience in the meat processing sector. You will need a non-seasonal job offer and meet other minimum requirements to be eligible to apply for permanent residence through this Canadian immigration pilot.

In May 2023, the IRCC announced its extension of the Agri-Food Pilot. The Pilot will now run until May 14, 2025. The update also includes the removal of the annual limits to the number of candidates allowed to apply.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven program designed to assist smaller regions with recruiting skilled and experienced international workers. As an experienced butcher, you can immigrate to Canada if you have a valid job offer in one of the participating communities, specifically in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. You will be required to show that you intend to live in the community, have a qualifying job offer from a designated community organization, have sufficient and relevant work experience, meet the minimum language and educational requirements, and have sufficient funds to support yourself and your loved ones who will be immigrating to Canada with you.

Below is a list of the participating communities for this pilot:

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) was implemented to help skilled and semiskilled international workers gain Canadian Permanent Residency in one of the Great White North's four Atlantic provinces. So, if you are a butcher who wants to settle in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia. You must meet the minimum requirements of having a valid job offer, necessary language skills, and settlement funds, along with some other set criteria, to apply to immigrate to Canada via the AIP.

Butcher Salaries in Canada

The salary you earn as a butcher in Canada depends on your skill level and experience. According to, the average salary for your occupation is around 36,368 CAD per year or 18.65 CAD per hour. If you are starting your career as a butcher, you can expect to earn around 32,370 CAD per year. The most experienced butchers earn as much as 45,260 CAD per year.

Job Prospects for Butchers in Canada

Canada's meat processing sector requires skilled, year-round labor to ensure meat products reach butchers and stores. Since the country needs workers to fill gaps left by its retired population, you will find plenty of opportunities across this land of maple leaves.

As a butcher who wants to work in Canada, you must match your skill set to the right National Occupational Classification (NOC) code. The relevant codes for butchers are as follows:

Job Title NOC Code
Butchers - retail and wholesale 63201
Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers, and related workers 94141

Which Canadian Provinces Have the Greatest Demand for Butchers?

According to Canada's Job Bank, there will be a total of 5,700 job openings over the next ten years for butchers who fall under the Butchers, meat cutters, and fishmongers - retail and wholesale category. While there will likely be opportunities across Canada, you will find that prospects look good in:

  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Ontario
  • Saskatchewan

Job Bank predicts that there will be 6,000 job openings over the next ten years for the Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers, and related workers category. While there will likely be opportunities across Canada, you will find that prospects look good in:

  • Alberta
  • Manitoba
  • Ontario
  • Quebec


Can I Work as a Butcher in Canada While I Wait For My AIP Application For Canadian Permanent Residency to be Processed?

Yes, you can. If you meet the requirements to apply for permanent residence, there's a good chance that you may qualify to apply for a temporary work permit. This will allow you to work in Canada while your permanent residency application is still in the processing stage.

Which Canadian Provinces and Territories Participate in the PNP?

The following provinces and territories participate in Canada's PNP: