Agricultural workers – Work temporarily in Canada

To work in Canada as an agricultural worker, you must be eligible for a work permit. You also need to meet certain requirements.

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program

If you are hired through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), you can work for any SAWP employer in Canada.

Who can apply

You can qualify for the program if:

  • you’re a citizen of a country that takes part in the program,
  • your government recruited you, and
  • you’ll be working for SAWP employers in Canada.

Participating countries

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Montserrat
  • St. Kitts-Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago

How to apply

Each foreign government has its own process to recruit and select workers. Your government will make sure that you have all of the needed documents and that you are eligible for the program.

Paying your fees

If you’ll be working in Canada before January 1, 2017, your employer will pay your fees directly to Service Canada.

If you’ll start working in Canada on or after January 1, 2017, you must pay your work permit processing fees to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Working for different employers

You may be asked to work on more than one farm while you’re in Canada. You don’t need a new work permit for each employer.

Note: You can’t be asked to work for a different employer without your consent.

Other agricultural workers

Your work permit will be employer-specific. This means that you can only work for the employer named on your work permit.

Before you apply

Your employer must get a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). An LMIA is a document from Service Canada that allows an employer to hire a foreign worker through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Your employer must give you:

How to apply

Get the forms and documents you need to apply for a work permit.

Working for different employers

If you plan to work for other employers (not listed on your work permit), you must apply for a new work permit. We recommend you do this as soon as possible after you enter Canada.

You can only work for one employer at a time, and you can’t work for a different employer until you receive your new work permit(s).

To apply for your new permit(s), follow these steps:

  1. Get the application package.
  2. Complete a separate application on paper for each new employer.
  3. Send all of your applications and supporting documents in the same envelope.
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