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What is Temporary Foreign Agricultural Worker Program?
Temporary Foreign Agricultural Worker Program helps in hiring a temporary foreign agricultural worker in occupations and activities related to primary agriculture, wherein primary agriculture is defined as following:
- Agricultural work that is performed within the boundaries of a farm, nursery or greenhouse
- Agricultural work that must involve at least one activity, such as:
- operation of agricultural machinery
- boarding, care, breeding, sanitation or other handling of animals, other than fish, for the purpose of obtaining raw animal products for market
- collection, handling and assessment of those raw products, or the planting, care, harvesting or preparation of crops, trees, sod or other plants for market
- Agricultural work that is consistent with one of these National Occupational Classification codes: 0821, 0822, 8252, 8255, 8431, 8432, and 8611
This program has further following Categories:
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers (TFW) from Mexico or participating Caribbean countries for a maximum period of 8 months, between January 1 to December 15. Employers who employ temporary foreign workers under this stream must offer offer the workers a minimum of 240 hours of work within a period of 6 weeks or less. Employers shall also meet following criteria:
- the temporary foreign workers must be citizens from Mexico or participating Caribbean countries.
- Production must be in specific commodity sectors
- the activity must be related to on farm Primary Agriculture
Participating Caribbean countries
The SAWP applies only to TFWs who are citizens from:
- Caribbean countries of:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St. Kitts-Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
National commodity list
- apiary products
- fruits, vegetables (including canning/processing of these products if grown on the farm)
- nursery-grown trees including Christmas trees, greenhouses/nurseries
- pedigreed canola seed
- seed corn
- oil seeds
- maple syrup
The Agricultural Stream allows employers to hire Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) for a maximum period of 24 months in following sector:
- production must be in specific commodity sectors, and
- the activity must be related to on-farm primary agriculture
- Under Agricultural Stream, following National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 0821, 0822, 8252, 8255, 8431, 8432 and 8611 are exempt from LMIA processing fee.
- Employers must submit a LMIA application to hire worker under Agricultural Stream
- Employers are required to pay up-front for transportation costs of TFW from residence country to Canada and back. Also, this cost can not be recovered back by the employer.
- Day-to-day transportation to TFWs must also be provided by the employer from foreign worker’s residence to work location.
- On-farm or off-farm housing must also be provided by the employer.
- For On-farm housing, a maximum of $30 per week on pro-rata basis can be deducted from the employee wage.
- For Off-farm housing, in case of lower-skilled workers, a maximum of $30 per week on pro-rata basis can be deducted from the employee wage.
- For Off-farm housing, in case of higher-skilled workers, rent cannot exceed 30% of the employee wage.
- Housing inspection must be ensured by the employer from appropriate authority.
- Employers are responsible for Temporary foreign workers private health insurance.
- Insurance shall be available from the very first day to the foreign worker.
- health insurance cost must be borne by the employer.
Wages, working conditions
- Same wage and working conditions must be provided to employer, as the same, which have been provided if a PR or Canadian Citizen would have been hired.
- Employers must advertise the vacancy of National Job Bank or its equivalent counter-parts in provinces.
- Employers must advertise for a minimum of 14 calendar days.
- Employers must advertise during the 3 month period prior to application of LMIA.
- General recruitment activities for the vacant job must be conducted by employer for a minimum of 14 calendar days.
- Burden of proof for meeting advertisement requirements rest on employer.
- Employers who are hiring a replacement worker under the Agriculture stream are not required to re-advertise the vacant position
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