Skip links
how to immigrate to canada as a farmer

How to immigrate to Canada as a Farmer

Canada is known for its vast agricultural lands and thriving agricultural sector. It’s the fifth largest agricultural exporter in the world. Canada is the top exporter of flax seed, canola, peas, beans, lentils, and durum wheat, and it produces 85% of the world’s maple syrup. With a well-established agricultural industry and a welcoming environment for immigrants, Canada offers various pathways for farmers to settle and thrive in the country. If you have a desire for farming and looking to live and move to Canada, this article is the ultimate guide on how to immigrate to Canada as a farmer. 

Table of Contents

Is There Really a Demand for General farm workers and Operators in Canada?

Yes, The Agricultural Sector in Canada is currently facing a crisis in labour and according to RBC’s report, immediate action is required to help foreign workers with experience in agriculture immigrate to Canada because 40% of farm workers will be retiring by 2033. In order to combat this crisis, permanent residency status needed to be provided to over 24,000 general farm workers and 30,000 operators over the next decade so as to work in the existing farms, own farms or greenhouses and improve the productivity of the agricultural sector

In 2021, 60,992 foreign workers were employed in the Agriculture and Agri-foods sector in Canada, this shows a need to fill the looming labour shortage currently present in the country in this sector. 

Ways to Immigrate to Canada as a Farm Worker

There are many programs provided by the Canadian government to enable foreign workers to move to Canada. Here are a few pathways under the agricultural stream

1. Agri-Food Pilot

Agri Food Immigration Pilot is a pathway to permanent residence for agricultural workers in Canada. Originally started in 2020, Agri-food Pilot was made to fill labour shortages and allow experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and with specific occupations to live and stay in Canada with their families as permanent residents. The pilot program will be running until May 14 2025, and each year a maximum of 2750 applications will be processed. For individual applications,  annual limits are no longer used.

Candidates require Canadian work experience and a job offer from a Canadian employer to qualify for the pilot.

Specific Eligible Industries for the Agri-Food Pilot Program:

  • Meat product manufacturing
  • Greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture production, -mushroom production
  • Animal production (Livestock raising). Aquaculture is not included.

What are the Eligibility requirements for the Pilot Program

  • Have 1 year of full-time, non-seasonal Canadian work experience in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in an eligible occupation in meat processing, greenhouse crop production, mushroom production and raising livestock.
  • A valid job offer LMIA for full-time, non-seasonal employment in Canada (outside of Quebec), at or above the prevailing wage
  • A Canadian Benchmark level of 4 or above in English or French
  • Have a foreign equivalent high school diploma or greater
  • to have settlement funds (if applicable)
  • to maintain temporary resident status (if already in Canada)

2. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers (TFW) when Canadians and permanent residents are not available.

These employers can hire Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) from participating countries for a maximum period of 8 months, between January 1 and December 15, provided they are able to offer the workers a minimum of 240 hours of work within a period of 6 weeks or less.

To qualify for the SAWP, employers must meet 3 criteria:

  1. the TFWs hired must be citizens from Mexico or participating Caribbean countries
  2. production must be in specific commodity sectors
  3. the activity must be related to on-farm primary agriculture

3. Provincial Nominee Program

PNP is considered one of the best pathway programs to immigrate to Canada. Every province in Canada as it’s own Provincial Nominee Program with the exception of Quebec and Nunavut. Foreign are invited to Canada to meet the labour market and economic needs of these provinces, Here are the 3 best provincial Nominee programs for farm worker in Canada:

  • Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

Saskatchewan is renowned for its expansive plains and rich soil, which make it the perfect place for farming. Crops grown in the province include wheat, canola, and lentils. A significant portion of Saskatchewan’s economy is derived on the beef, pork, and dairy industries.  In SINP under the Farm Owner and Operator Category, an individual can start or buy a farm and operate it in Saskatchewan. If the principal applicant is successful, foreign farmers and their families accompanying them will receive permanent resident status. To be eligible for the Farm Owner and Operator Category under SINP an individual must:

  • Have at least  3 years of experience in farm ownership, farm management and practical farming experience
  • Have considerable capital (money, assets) to invest in a farming operation of at least $500,000 CAD or $300,000 CAD for Young Farmer Stream
  • Plan to buy and run a farm in Saskatchewan.
  • Plan a Mandatory exploratory visit to Saskatchewan for at least 5 working days.
  • Sign a Performance Agreement to purchase and actively operate a farm in Saskatchewan, which is Refundable. You will also need to make a “good faith” deposit of $75,000 (CAD) in trust. The cash deposit will be returned when you have met the terms of the Performance Agreement. If you do not meet the terms within two years of being in Saskatchewan, the deposit will be paid to the Province.
  • have a practical, well-thought-out proposal for a commercial Saskatchewan farming opportunity – Farm Proposal Viability.

If you are a young farmer you can immigrate to Canada under this Farm Owners and Operators – Young Farmer Stream Category – specifically for people under the age of 40 who want to establish their lives and farming operations in rural areas of Saskatchewan.

  • Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP)

The province of Alberta is known to have more than 300 lakes, numerous sizable cattle ranches and employment opportunities in crop production, livestock farming, and agribusiness. Over 75% of the crops farmed in the province are made up of wheat, barley, and canola, making it one of the top destinations for farmers looking to move to Canada. In AAIP under the Farm Stream, entrepreneurs who have the financial resources and farm management experience to establish a new or purchase an existing farm in Alberta can relocate to Canada. To be eligible for the Farm Stream under the AINP, an individual must have

  • Equity of at least $500,000 CAD
  • Proof of farm management skills
  • A proposed business plan for your farming venture
  • Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)

Manitoba is a breathtakingly gorgeous province in the middle of Canada, bordering the United States to the south and Hudson Bay to the north. From lakes, rivers, mountains, and forests to the northern Arctic tundra, it has a diverse terrain. The majority of the agriculture is located in the province’s south, where the weather is a little more pleasant for most of the year.  In MPNP under the Farm Investor Pathway (FIP), individuals with proven farm business experience, sufficient available capital to invest, and who intend to establish and operate a farm operation in rural Manitoba can relocate and settle in Canada. The Farm Investor Pathway replaces the previous Farm Strategic Recruitment Initiative. To be eligible for the Farm Investor Pathway under MPNP an individual must :

  •  Have a minimum of 3 years of farm ownership and operation experience, supported by verifiable documents
  • Invest a minimum of $300,000 CAD, and have a minimum net worth of $500,000 CAD.
  • Establish a farming business in rural Manitoba
  • Conduct a farm business research visit to Manitoba
  •  Demonstrate adaptability, specifically relating to practical farming skills, technical knowledge and experience in technological based farming practices that will transfer directly to Manitoba’s current primary farm production industry.
  • A farm business entity should have ongoing and recurring business activities in rural Manitoba

4. Express Entry

Express Entry System organizes and processes applications for people who wish to immigrate to Canada and acquire Canadian permanent residence. The system manages three Canadian immigration programs: Federal Skilled Workers (FSW), Federal Skilled Trade (FST) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Candidates are required to create an Express Entry Profile in order to enter the pool for the draws which takes place every two weeks. In the pool, candidates are ranked against each other according to a point-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The candidates with the highest ranking scores in the Express Entry draw will be considered for an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence

Recently, Express Entry System introduced Category Based Draws in which specific occupations were chosen by the IRCC to meet the labour shortages currently in Canada. One of the Categories is the Agriculture and Agri-food Occupations, which target people in having the following occupations:

  • Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services
  • Agriculture service contractors and farm supervisors
  • Butchers – retail and wholesale

To be eligible for the Agriculture and Agri-food Occupations, an individual must:

How do i apply for farm jobs in Canada?

Foreigners can apply for Canadian agricultural industry jobs by searching in some of the reputable job search engines like Job Bank, Canada Jobs, Indeed and Monster. Finding jobs in these engines helps workers in the agricultural industry gain a firm understanding of the in-demand jobs in Canada’s farm and agricultural sector today.

What are the Easiest Provinces to Migrate to Canada as a Farm Worker?

The easiest provinces are Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan because they provide a dedicated provincial nominee program (PNP)  for farmers and those interested in working in the agriculture sector in Canada.

Hello! Do you have any questions about immigration?Contact us today to see how can help you.

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.

Get the Latest News & Updates

Sign up for the PDE Consulting newsletter to get the latest immigration news and updates to help you succeed in Canada.