New path to Canadian permanent residency for farm workers


New path to Canadian permanent residency for farm workers

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

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Dear Mr Brown,

I want to know why farm workers cannot obtain permanent residence without marrying someone in Canada.

— DW

Dear DW:

Currently, participants of the seasonal agricultural programme in Canada are only given limited-term work permits and do not have a pathway to permanent residency.

Over the last several years, industries such as meat cutting and processing, and mushroom farming, have relied on seasonal temporary foreign workers due to labour shortages, even though the work is not seasonal.

Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program

The Government of Canada has announced a new Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Program to attract workers from the agri-food sector to fill skill shortages, particularly in meat processing and mushroom production, to address export targets.

A study by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council released last month found that farmers across Canada lost $2.9 billion in sales due to unfilled job vacancies.

The agriculture and agri-food industry supports one in eight jobs across Canada with agricultural exports reaching Can$66.2 billion.

Permanent residency

This new pilot aims to attract and retain workers by providing them with an opportunity to become permanent residents.

Temporary foreign workers, who are eligible for this new pilot, will be able to apply for permanent residency after 12 months, and, if they are approved, will also be allowed to bring their families to Canada.

Employers in the agri-food sector who intend to be part of the pilot will be eligible for a two-year Labour Market Impact Assessment. A maximum of 2,750 principal applicants, plus family members, will be accepted for processing in any given year

Temporary foreign workers will be able to apply under this pilot in early 2020.

I think this is an excellent initiative that will provide opportunities for the workers and develop the economy of Canada.

Please visit for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programmes, including Express Entry, The Study & Work programme, Visas or Appeals, etc.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to

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