The demand for agricultural workers in Canada is extremely high, with many employers unable to get local workers to meet even basic levels of staffing. As a result, employers are searching for foreign workers to fill the roles, either temporarily or on an ongoing basis.
Agriculture jobs are a great way to earn money abroad if local opportunities are limited or may not be as well paying as Canadian positions. Working in agriculture is also a great way to get Canadian experience which can be put forward into future immigration or visa applications for Canada
Below, we will review more information about Canada’s agriculture jobs for foreign workers and how they can apply and get employment in Canada.
What Agricultural Work Permits Are Available?
While anybody that is legally allowed to work in Canada or that has a valid work permit for any employer can apply for agricultural jobs, there are two specific Canadian visa programs that agricultural workers can apply under, the temporary foreign worker program (TFWP) and the seasonal agricultural worker program (SAWP)
Both programs only allow employers to hire foreign workers in occupations and activities that relate to primary agriculture.
For a job to be considered primary agriculture, it must fit certain conditions. So it’s essential that employees are willing to work in these conditions before applying.
- The work must be in a farm, nursery, or greenhouse.
- The work can only be specific types of agricultural work:
- Operating agricultural machinery
- Care and handling of animals (excluding fish) where animal products will be taken for commercial sale.
- Care and handling of plants where they will be used for commercial sale.
- The job must also be specifically listed as a required job for foreign workers.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Temporary foreign workers can stay in Canada for two years under the agricultural stream of the program. Employees will only be able to work for one employer and would need a new visa to change employers.
The average salary for agricultural workers in Canada is around $22,568 CAD though that can vary based on the employer. However, employers must pay a similar wage as a Canadian worker would get paid.
Employers are also responsible for certain costs once the employee has been offered a job and gets approval for their temporary foreign worker program visa; these include:
- Employers must pay for two-way travel to the work location. This can include transportation within Canada, and this can also include two-way airfare from the employee’s country to Canada and back home.
- Employers must provide transportation between an employee’s residence and the job site.
- Employers must also provide reasonable accommodation for the employee; this means no overcrowding and reasonable costs reimbursed for the lodging.
- Health insurance is paid for the employee for their entire duration of work.
You must have a job offer from an employer before you apply. There are many websites and even job fairs locally that will assist you in finding a position. As well, the government of Canada lists already-approved jobs that you can apply for; just go to their website.
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
Seasonal agricultural workers can only stay in Canada for eight months but can reapply each year. There are stricter requirements for the seasonal agricultural worker program, and not all countries are included in the program.
You can not extend your stay, so you must leave the country every year and then reapply to come back. However, while in Canada, you receive full benefits as any regular worker would and must be paid the same as any Canadian worker.
To apply for this program, you must:
- Be a citizen of one of the participating countries.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- You were recruited through your government, so you can’t just apply yourself.
- You can only work for employers that are part of the seasonal agricultural worker program.
This program is handled between governments, and the application process differs per country, so ensure you check locally or use a work visa company to help you through the process.
Once your application is approved, you will be able to work for any employer within the program, though you are not required to work for any employers you don’t want and aren’t forced to move around if you don’t want to.
Temporary Foreign Workers Can Immigrate To Canada
There are many benefits to being a temporary foreign worker in Canada, you receive equal pay and benefits as any other Canadian worker, have the opportunity to gain experience in another country, as well as visit Canada for a working holiday.
One of the best and new benefits available to temporary foreign workers is that it can now lead to permanent immigration to Canada. Previously, as a foreign worker, you had to leave and look to reapply once your visa expired, which didn’t make for a stable working environment.
There are currently 2,750 positions available per year for this new program, with more expected to be added once the program is proven to be a success in the agricultural industry. It allows you to apply once you’ve worked in Canada for at least one year. Then, if you’re approved, it’s a pathway for you and your family to permanently immigrate to Canada.
There are additional requirements above what you’d need to be a temporary foreign worker, which includes:
- You must have at least one year of experience in Canada in the agricultural sector, which is why the agricultural option for temporary foreign workers is perfect.
- You must have a full-time job offer from a Canadian employer; it can no longer just be a seasonal job.
- There are language requirements to prove you have appropriate English or French language skills.
- You need to have the equivalent of a Canadian high school diploma.
- You either need to still be in Canada working when you apply for permanent residency, or you must prove that you have enough money to settle yourself and your family in Canada. So it’s best to apply after your first year in Canada while you still have one year left on your work permit.
Working in Canada can open up many opportunities, but the process can be complex, especially if you come from a non-English-speaking country. So it’s often easier to get the help of an immigration professional that can guide you through the entire process, especially if your goal is permanent residence in Canada.
Jobs Title: Agriculture JObs
Company: Agriculture Company in Canada
Time: Full time
Address: RASC, Toronto Centre c/o Ontario Science Centre 770 Don Mills Rd, Toronto, ON M3C 1T3 Canada
Salary: CAD 3000 to CAD 8000