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Ploughing the way to Canada – Nova Scotia’s New Agricultural Stream

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The province of Nova Scotia recently announced the introduction of a new stream to their Provincial Nominee Program. Immigrants who have farming experience are now able to apply under the Agri-Food Sector stream. The aim of this new program is to create additional jobs and strengthen the economy of Nova Scotia by attracting skilled immigrants to the province. Currently, Nova Scotia has almost 30% of its land dedicated to agricultural purposes. It is estimated that there is over 1.6 million hectare of land available in Nova Scotia for farming and pasture, which is good news for young farmers wishing to immigrate to Canada.

There are certain criteria that an applicant must meet if he/she wishes to apply under the Agri-Food Sector Stream:

i.  Education and language

An applicant must demonstrate that he/she has completed the equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma and have at least 12 years of education. An applicant must also provide evidence that he/she has sufficient English or French language proficiency in order to be employable and functional in Nova Scotia.

ii. Agricultural work experience

At least 3 years of experience in farm ownership, farm management or practical farming experience is required for this stream. An applicant must also provide a detailed agri-business plan. The purpose of this plan is to show that an applicant can evaluate various scenarios that may arise while owning and operating a business and that he/she has adequate knowledge and experience in the chosen area of business.

iii. Investment

An applicant is required to have a personal net worth of at least $150,000, of which $100,000 needs to be invested in a new or existing farming business. These investments can be in the form of capital assets, such as machinery or land, or in the form of working capital. A farming business that the applicant wishes to purchase or invest in, must make an annual revenue of at least $10,000.

Once it has been determined that an applicant is qualified under the Agri-Food Stream, he/she will be required to visit Nova Scotia for at least one week (5 working days) to meet with Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture representatives. The purpose of this initial visit is to explore farming venues in the area and to allow the applicant to research what farming opportunities are available to him/her. Additional visits may be required. An interview with a nominee officer will then be required to determine if an applicant may qualify for this program.

After the initial visit is complete and if a nominee officer believes an applicant may qualify for the program, the applicant is required to submit an application for nomination, which is decided by the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. If the application is approved, a nomination by the Province of Nova Scotia is awarded and the applicant may proceed to apply for a permanent resident visa, issued by the Government of Canada.

To learn more about Nova Scotia and other immigration programs available in the province, please visit the Nova Scotia Nominee Program information page.