VISA Process

Canada Seasonal Work VISA 2024: Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)

Canada is facing skilled worker shortages at its peak these days and Canadian agricultural sector is no exception to it. Therefore Canadian IRCC has recently announced to provide seasonal work visas to foreign skilled workers of agricultural field under Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) program and i think this is a wonderful opportunity for all those international job seekers who got work experience or qualification in agricultural fields.

My article is a comprehensive guide for foreign skilled workers interested to find work opportunities in Canada for a specific season and in this regard SAWP would be an ideal option for them and my article covers all of its information about what this SAWP with its application process, eligibility criteria, list of eligible countries and associated fees.

What is SAWP Seasonal Work VISA for Canada?

SAWP is a Canadian government immigration program to address labor shortages in the agricultural sector during peak seasons which enables Canadian agricultural employers to hire foreign workers for seasonal agricultural work.

Who Can Apply for SAWP Canada program?

To participate in SAWP as a foreign worker, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Reside in a Participating Country: SAWP is open to foreign workers from specific countries that have bilateral agreements with Canada. These countries typically include Mexico, Jamaica, Guatemala, and others. Ensure your home country is part of the SAWP program.
  2. Possess Relevant Agricultural Skills and Experience: Foreign workers should have the necessary skills and experience required for the specific agricultural job they are applying for. Employers seek workers who can contribute effectively to their agricultural operations in Canada.
  3. Meet Health and Safety Requirements: Foreign workers must undergo medical examinations to ensure they are fit for agricultural work in Canada. Meeting these health and safety requirements is essential for participation.

Overview of Agricultural Sector in Canada for Seasonal Work VISA:

The Canadian Seasonal Work Visa Program is designed to provide temporary work opportunities to foreign nationals for specific agricultural commodities and these commodities are crucial to Canada’s agricultural industry, whereas the SWAP program seeks to address labor shortages during peak seasons. Here is a comprehensive LMIA approved NOC list or approved occupation list under this seasonal work visa program:

Agricultural Occupations NOC list for Canada
NOC Numbers Occupations
82030  Farm/livestock Supervisors
80021  Horticulture managers
85101  Harvesting (Fruit and vegetable Pickers)
80020 Agricultural farm/livestock managers
82031  Ground Maintenance
85100  Livestock Labourers – Farm laborers
85103  Nursery workers
84120  Machinery Operator or workers

How to Apply for Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)?

The official “Canada jobs central” website offers a multitude of job opportunities for Canadian citizens as well as for international workers including seasonal job positions, which are updated regularly. So now if you are interested to apply for these Canadian seasonal jobs then follow these 6 steps:

1) You need to open Canadian job central portal

2) Now hover your mouse cursor to “Advanced” option.

3) Look for this option after scrolling down on page: Canadians and international candidates

4) Now move up the page and select “Job title” field, enter NOC code “82030” or any other eligible occupation code from the ones i provided you above and press enter.

5) Now new seasonal jobs in Canada available to foreign workers will be populated on the page

6) Now select any job, read its eligibility, and submit your application

This was the simplest process to find and apply for any seasonal LMIA approved work opportunity in Canada and on the contrary, if you wish to apply via recruitment agency then need to go through the following procedures when applying for any Canadian seasonal work opportunity via an agent:

  • Apply directly as explained above or Contact a Recruiter or Agency: Foreign workers often apply to SAWP through licensed recruitment agencies or agents who specialize in the program. These recruiters can assist with the application process and guide you through the required steps.
  • Gather Required Documents: Prepare the necessary documents, which typically include your passport, birth certificate, educational certificates, and any relevant work experience or references.
  • Undergo Medical Examinations: As part of the application process, foreign workers are required to undergo medical examinations to ensure they are in good health and fit for agricultural work in Canada. You will receive specific instructions regarding these exams.
  • Attend an Interview: In some cases, you may be required to attend an interview at the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country. Be prepared to discuss your qualifications and your understanding of the SAWP program.
  • Pay Application Fees: Foreign workers are responsible for covering certain fees associated with the SAWP application, including work permit processing fees. These fees may vary depending on your country of residence and can change over time which is given as below:

Application fee & Duration of Canadian Seasonal Agriculture VISA

If you are applying for Canadian seasonal agricultural work visa program then foreign skilled workers applying for the Canada Seasonal Work Visa will receive a work permit that will be valid for three years.

Additionally, you will also be required to bear application fees of Canadian seasoanl work visa program which is CAD $150. And for applicants who are required to provide biometrics, there is an additional charge of CAD $85.

Which Agricultural Work is Available in Canada?

  1. Apiary Products: Workers can engage in beekeeping activities and the production of honey and other bee-related products.
  2. Fruits and Vegetables: This category includes the cultivation, harvesting, and processing (such as canning) of fruits and vegetables grown on farms.
  3. Mushrooms: Opportunities are available for those interested in mushroom cultivation.
  4. Flowers: Workers can participate in the production and cultivation of various types of flowers.
  5. Nursery-Grown Trees: This category encompasses the growth of nursery trees, including Christmas trees, and work within greenhouses and nurseries.
  6. Pedigreed Canola Seed: Those involved in the production of high-quality canola seeds can apply for this program.
  7. Seed Corn: Opportunities exist for individuals engaged in seed corn production.
  8. Grains: Workers can be involved in the cultivation and harvesting of various grains.
  9. Oil Seeds: This category includes the production of oil seeds such as sunflower seeds, soybeans, and canola.
  10. Maple Syrup: Workers have the chance to participate in maple syrup production.
  11. Sod: Sod farming and related activities fall under this category.
  12. Tobacco: Those interested in tobacco cultivation and related work can apply for this program.
  13. Livestock:
    • Bovine: Workers can be involved in cattle farming.
    • Dairy: Opportunities are available in the dairy farming sector.
    • Duck: Activities related to duck farming can be pursued.
    • Horse: This category includes work related to horse farming.
    • Mink: Opportunities exist for individuals involved in mink farming.
    • Poultry: Workers can engage in poultry farming.
    • Sheep: Sheep farming and related activities are included.
    • Swine: Those interested in swine farming can participate.

Can You Switch Farm in Canada if you are on SAWP?

As a skilled agricultural worker in Canada, you can work on different farms with different employers without needing a new work permit for each job change however, it’s essential to remember:

  1. Your Consent Matters: You won’t be asked to work for a different employer on another farm without your agreement. Your decisions about where you work are respected.
  2. Stay on Your Work Permit: If you have an employer-specific work permit, make sure you work only for the employer listed on it. The job should align with your permit’s details.
  3. Employer’s LMIA: Before working for multiple employers, ensure that your current employer(s) have a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in place. This assessment confirms the need for foreign workers and ensures compliance with Canadian employment standards.

Working with different employers in Canada offers flexibility and varied experiences in agriculture. Just be sure to adhere to your work permit’s conditions and make informed choices about your employment.

Got Qualification/expertise in Agricultural sector? Apply for SAWP!

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) offers foreign workers a unique opportunity to gain temporary employment in Canada’s agricultural sector during peak seasons. By understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, and associated fees, you can navigate SAWP successfully.

Collaborate with authorized recruitment agencies or agents to streamline the application process and ensure that you meet all requirements of this Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and keep in mind that SAWP is subject to changes and updates, so it’s advisable to refer to the official SAWP website or consult with authorized representatives for the latest information and guidance.

Engr Razia jee

Engr. Razia Jee is a distinguished senior engineer at Saudi Aramco, having achieved her MS and PhD through fully funded international scholarships. Beyond her technical contributions, she passionately mentors students on how to secure scholarships for studying abroad. With a commitment to fostering global education opportunities, Razia combines her extensive experience and insights to guide aspiring scholars towards achieving their academic and professional goals.

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