Hire a temporary foreign agricultural worker

Temporary foreign workers (TFW) can help employers meet their labour needs when Canadians and permanent residents are not available. These workers often bring new skills and knowledge to help the country's economy grow.

The agricultural sector incorporates occupations that reflect a variety of skill levels. In an effort to balance the temporary employment needs of employers with the protection of workers, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has a variety of streams that employers can use to apply to hire TFWs.

Employers can hire temporary foreign agricultural workers under 4 streams; however, each stream has specific criteria that must be met.

  1. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)
    • TFWs must be from Mexico or certain Caribbean countries
    • production must be included on the National Commodities List
    • activities must be related to on-farm primary agriculture
    • positions can be in lower or higher-skilled occupations
  2. Agricultural Stream
    • TFWs can be from any country 
    • production must be included on the National Commodities List
    • activities must be related to on-farm primary agriculture
    • positions can be in lower or higher-skilled occupations

    Note: Under the Agricultural Stream, TFWs hired in higher-skilled positions such as: management, professional and technical occupations are eligible for permanent residency as long as they meet all of the immigration requirements set by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or the Provincial Nominee Program.

  3. Stream for Low-wage Positions
    • production is not included on the National Commodity List
    • employers can hire TFWs for any low-wage agricultural position
  4. Stream for High-wage Positions
    • production is not included on the National Commodity List
    • employers can hire TFWs for any high-wage agricultural position

Regardless of the stream that is chosen, employers must ensure that they meet all of the requirements for the particular stream.

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