Apply for Canada Work Permit Visa – Agricultural Workers (2024)

Canada Work Permit

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers (TFW) when Canadians and permanent residents are not available.

Apply to travel, study, work or immigrate to Canada. Apply for citizenship, a permanent resident card or refugee protection.

These employers can hire TFWs from participating countries for a maximum period of 8 months, between January 1 and December 15, provided they are able to offer the workers a minimum of 240 hours of work within a period of 6 weeks or less.

Also Read: How to Apply for UK Work Visa – Health Care Worker’s (2024)

Role of participating foreign governments

The SAWP operates according to bilateral agreements between Canada and the participating countries. The agreements outline the role of these foreign governments, which is to:

  • recruit and select the TFWs
  • make sure workers have the necessary documents
  • maintain a pool of qualified workers, and
  • appoint representatives to assist workers in Canada

These governments also ensure that the men and women selected to work temporarily in Canada meet all the requirements of the SAWP. These requirements include being:

  • experienced in farming
  • at least 18 years of age
  • a citizen of one of the participating countries, and
  • able to satisfy the:
    • Canadian immigration laws, and
    • laws of the worker’s home country

National commodity list

  • 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
  • Seed corn
  • Grains
  • Oil seeds
  • Maple syrup
  • Sod
  • Tobacco
  • Bovine
  • Dairy
  • Duck
  • Horse
  • Mink
  • Poultry
  • Sheep
  • Swine

Recruitment fees

There may be a variety of fees and costs incurred in the process of recruiting temporary foreign workers (TFWs), including but not limited to:

  • cost of using a third-party representative
  • advertising fees
  • fees paid by a foreign national for assistance with finding or securing employment
  • fees paid by an employer for assistance or advice in the hiring of foreign nationals

As an employer, you must confirm and ensure that you or anybody recruiting on your behalf doesn’t charge or recover any recruitment fees, directly or indirectly, from the TFWs. Failure to do so will result in a negative LMIA decision.


Employers must always arrange and pay for the round-trip transportation of the TFW. Transportation includes travel to and from their place of work in Canada and their country of residence. The transportation modes for TFWs can plane, train, boat, car, bus, etc. Employers can recover some of these costs through payroll deductions in all provinces except British Columbia. The employment contract entitled “Contract for the employment in Canada of seasonal agricultural workers” specifies the maximum amount that employers can deduct.

Employers must keep records of all transportation costs paid for a minimum of 6 years. Records may include invoices, receipts, flight itineraries, tickets, etc. Employers can use these documents as evidence when they apply for an LMIA or for an inspection.

Day-to-day transportation

Employers must provide to the TFWs free roundtrip transportation. Employers need to ensure transportation between on-site or off-site accommodation and the workplace.


Employers must provide TFWs with adequate, suitable and affordable housing as defined by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Housing may be located on the farm or off-site. Employers must ensure that the occupancy rate for each unit doesn’t exceed the maximum allowable occupancy rate. Employers must also ensure that sufficient accommodation is available for all TFWs. They also need to guarantee the number of accommodation places per approved housing from the date of arrival to the date of departure.

Housing inspection

Employers must provide proof of inspection of the off-site or on-farm accommodation. The appropriate provincial, territorial or municipal authority must conduct the inspection. An authorized private inspector with appropriate certifications may also conduct the inspections. 

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