Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)

Immigration Firm in Scarborough, Toronto

What is the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program?

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program allows employers to temporarily fill the labour shortages of Canada’s agricultural industry for a maximum period of 8 months, between January 1 and December 15 of each year. For eligible foreign workers, they will be issued an Employer Specific Work Permit to work in the agricultural sector in Canada. It was introduced in 1966 and expanded through several bilateral conventions with participating countries where applicants can find temporary work in Canada. The program requires a Labour Market Assessment (LMIA).

The following are the other streams to hire a temporary foreign agricultural worker:

  • Temporary foreign worker can be from any country 
  • Production must be included on the National Commodities List
  • Production is not included on the National Commodities List
  • Temporary foreign worker can be hired for any high-wage agricultural position
  • Production is not included on the National Commodities List
  • Temporary foreign worker can be hired for a low-wage agricultural position


What are the requirements of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)?


For Employers

  • Employment must be in the specific commodity sectors
  • The job must be primarily related to on farming and agriculture
  • Positive LMIA

For Foreign Workers

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Citizens of the participating countries
  • Able to satisfy the laws of Canada and their country of origin

Mexico, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda

Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago

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


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