Farm, Agriculture & Agri-Business IMMIGRATION Lawyers Canada
Canada may be one of the most affordable and potentially profitable places in the world to farm. Per acre land values remain very manageable in many regions of Canada. Acquiring significant acreage is possible. Existing operating farm business purchases are available due to some Canadian farmers not having family who wish to continue farming operations. Government aid for farmers means that quota systems and income support result in sustainable agriculture, but not at the price of creating uncompetitive enterprises. Demand for newer innovative farming techniques means that foreign farmers might have a competitive advantage in bringing in farming knowledge from elsewhere.
CANADIAN PERMANENT RESIDENCY PROGRAMS FOR FOREIGN FARMERS
In addition to a limited offering of Federal government immigration programs, Canadian provinces run provincial nominee immigration programs (PNP) that could be suitable for immigrant farmers. Some of the programs explicitly target famers in special immigration streams, while other business or skilled-worker programs are broad enough that a farmer could qualify even though the program isn't farm-specific. These provincial programs can open and close quickly, with programs are constantly being created or eliminated, so it is important to obtain up to date knowledge on available programs at the time you are actually ready to start the immigration process.
Some provincial immigration programs stress farming experience in Canada, while other programs only need farming experience anywhere in the world. Many of the programs require a moderate financial investment sufficient to acquire a Canadian farm. Some programs have minimum formal agriculture education requirements, while others put greater stress on relevant farm work and farm management experience.
The goals of the permanent residence immigration programs are to ensure that those who come to Canada to farm will not fail in their farming endeavours because of lack of experience, lack of education, or lack of financial resources to sustain an operation past the start up stage. Certainly the Canadian climate, agriculture products produced in Canada, and market supply chains will be quite different from what most foreign farmers are used to, thus the greater the cushion (experience/education/finances) to fall back on, the greater the likely success rate in adapting to Canadian farming conditions.
OBTAINING WORK PERMITS FOR FARM WORKERS TO HELP CANADIAN FARMERS
All Canadian farmers know that farm labour shortages are endemic throughout Canada. While Canada has established the Caribbean and Mexican Seasonal Agriculture Workers Program, that only covers a few countries, is by its very nature seasonal, and does not meet the needs of all Canadian farmers. Other established programs for temporary foreign farm workers may exist, but often don't meet the unique needs of particular farming operations.
Our immigration law firm concentrates on assisting individual farms and groups of farmers in obtaining help outside the organized group foreign farm worker systems, including securing help of higher skills levels like farm managers, help for longer term durations, and help from countries possibly with specialized agriculture expertise that do not fall within the existing foreign worker agreements Canada has signed.
The usual route for securing such help is to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which includes demonstrating advertising that failed to attract qualified Canadians (advertising is already a requirement for other established farm worker programs). Because of the very technical requirements of the LMIA approval process, and later compliance process, our clients often find that using legal counsel is required rather than trying to do it themselves.
While there can never be guaranteed success, or guarantee is to maximize your prospects of success, whether you're a farmer seeking to come to Canada, or a farmer in Canada seeking foreign agriculture worker help.
The firm's Managing Lawyer Gordon S. Campbell resides on a farm and also practices farm, agriculture and agri-business law throughout Ontario. The firm's farm immigration practice ranges across Canada.