Some temporary foreign workers now in the country will become eligible to apply for permanent residence status, the first step towards citizenship.
The policy change was announced as part of new immigration targets.
Canada will welcome 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, up from a previous target of 351,000; 411,000 in 2022, up from 361,000; and 421,000 in 2023, the government said.
The new plan assumes that international travel will return to normal next year.
Normally temporary foreign workers must return to their home countries when their visas expire. There are between 50,000 and 60,000 of them working in agriculture.
International students at Canadian colleges and universities may also be eligible to apply for permanent-resident status.
And asylum claimants who have found work and established ties to their communities may be eligible to apply.
Every year thousands of people fleeing intolerable conditions in their home countries make their way to Canada and apply for asylum.
Usually they have to wait two years until their applications for official refugee status can be heard, and in the wake of COVID-19, that has become even longer.
Many of these people find work in agriculture, such as at meat-packing plants.
My wife and I have been thrilled to help one such family from Honduras where their lives were threatened by thugs. She is now working at Conestoga Meats.