The agricultural stream allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers for positions in a variety of agicultural industries for up to two years. The stream has been divided into four sub-streams. Each stream has its own specific set of criteria which must be satisfied in order for an employer to be successful.

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)

  • TFWs must be from Mexico or specified Caribbean countries
  • Agicultural production must be included on the National Commodities List
  • Job duties must be related to on-farm primary agriculture
  • Positions can be in either high or low skilled occupations

Agricultural Stream

  • TFWs can be from any country
  • Agricultural production must be included on the National Commodities List
  • Job duties must be related to on-farm primary agriculture
  • Positions can be in either high or low skilled occupations

Stream for Low-Wage Positions

  • Agicultural production does not need to be included on the National Commodity List
  • Employers can hire TFWs for any low-wage agricultural position

Stream for High-Wage Positions

  • Agicultural production does not need to be included on the National Commodity List
  • Employers can hire TFWs for any high-wage agricultural position

National Commodity List (NCL): 

To apply under the Agricultural Stream, the farm operator must select only one commodity, or production stream, per application. Workers brought in under the program are then only allowed to work within that one commodity list. Such as: apiary products, fruits, vegetables (including canning/processing of these products if grown on the farm), mushrooms, flowers, nursery-grown trees including Christmas trees, greenhouses/nurseries, pedigreed canola seed, sod, tobacco, bovine, dairy, duck, horse, mink, poultry, sheep, and swine.

Wages:

In order to hire TFW employer must make sure that they are able to offer the federally regulated wage to the TFW. The wage range is classified according to the level of skill required for the farm operations as follows:

Supervisor = Higher-skilled occupation
Technician/worker = One or more years of work experience, lower-skilled occupation
Labourer = No work experience, lower-skilled occupation

 Specific Program Requirement:

 When hiring a TFW with the primary agricultural stream the employer is exempt from an LMIA application processing fee. However, the employer is responsible for several other pre-requites such as:

  1. Housing:
  • On farm or off-site housing for lower-skilled workers:

Employer can deduct a maximum of $30 per week.

  • Off-site housing for higher-skilled workers:

Employer must ensure that the rent does not cost more than 30% of the TFW’s gross monthly earnings.

  1. Housing Inspection

It is mandatory that the employer must provide a valid on-farm or off-site housing that has been inspected by the appropriate provincial/territorial/municipal body or by an authorized private inspector with appropriate certification.

  1. Transportation:

Hiring TFWP in the agricultural stream the employer is responsible to pay the round-trip transportation costs (for example plane, train, boat, car, bus) of the temporary foreign worker to the work location in Canada along with day-to-day transportation to the TFW to the workplace.

Employers must keep all the records (for example invoices, receipts, copies of flight itineraries, tickets, boarding passes) for paid transportation , for a minimum of 6 years.

  1. Health and Workplace Safety:

From the moment the TFW arrives in Canada the Canadian employer is responsible to pay for the TFW’s private health insurance as well as workplace safety and includes:

  • Free protective equipment
  • Appropriate formal and informal training
  • Supervision where required by law

 

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