Top 3 Canada Work Visa Programs for Farm Workers
June 13, 2023
Canada is known to have a robust agricultural industry, and with that comes the need for skilled farm workers. .
Canada’s agricultural industry is centered around its fertile prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Both agricultural and livestock thrive across the vast plain plateaus of these three central Canadian provinces.
To the west, Ontario anchors the remaining region of fertile Canadian land used to meet the food security needs of the growing nation, along with small pocket communities in the Atlantic provinces.
As the crops grown continues to diversify, so do the skilled farm labor needs of agricultural employers. In response to a domestic labor market shortage, they look to foreign lands to provide them with the skills and manpower needed to operate their farms.
Canada’s agricultural visa requirements will also be highlighted along with any vacancies available for prospective farm workers. If You’re Ready to Immigrate to Canada as a Farmworker, here are the top 3 Canada Work Visa Programs and their Canada farm worker visa requirements.
Several visa programs are available for those interested in working in Canada's agricultural sector.
Top 3 Canadian Visas for Farmworkers
The top 3 Canadian Visa for foreign farmworkers who want to apply to move to Canada include:
The Agri-Food Pilot
The Agri-Food Pilot (AFP) is a three-year immigration pilot program that began in May 2020. This program aims to attract experienced, non-seasonal workers to the agri-food sector to address labor shortages and help meet Canada's food security needs.
It is a great way for non-seasonal workers in specific industries and occupations to find a pathway to live and work in Canada permanently.
The list of occupations that are eligible for the Agri-Food Pilot, along with their National Occupational Classification (NOC) system code, includes:
- Harvesting laborers: NOC 85101
- Livestock laborers: NOC 85100
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is a community-driven program that aims to attract newcomers to settle in rural and northern communities across Canada. This program helps employers in these communities fill job vacancies, including those in the agricultural sector.
Unlike the SAWP, which falls under the Temporary Foreign Work Program, the RNIP will recommend that the Canadian government approves your getting permanent residency from the get-go. Specific communities are eligible for the RNIP.
The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) has been in operation since 1966. It is designed to meet the temporary labor requirements of Canadian agricultural employers who cannot find domestic workers to fill their seasonal job vacancies.
This program helps foreign workers from Mexico or certain Caribbean countries live and work in Canada. It is important to note that the SAWP is a temporary program, and workers are only allowed to work in Canada for a limited time each year.
The specified eligible countries that can apply are:
|List of Eligible Countries
|Antigua and Barbuda
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines
|Trinidad and Tobago
Canada Farm Worker Visa Requirements
This is the question that may have lingered in your mind when you as a farm worker considered Canada as your immigration destination. Applicants must meet certain requirements to be eligible for any of the Canada agriculture visa programs mentioned above. These requirements may vary depending on the program, but some common requirements include:
- A valid job offer from a Canadian employer in the agricultural sector
- Sufficient language skills in English or French per the standards outlined in the Canadian Language Benchmark
- Adequate funds to support themselves and their family members upon arrival in Canada
- A clean criminal record
- Meeting any additional program-specific requirements
Additional eligibility requirements that are specific to the program that you’re applying for include:
- Agri-Food Pilot
- A full-time, non-seasonal job offer from a Canadian employer in one of the eligible industries and occupations (outside of Quebec)
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
- A community recommendation from any one of the participating rural communities
- Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
- Must be a citizen or permanent resident of any one of the participating countries, be recruited by your government, and have a job offer from a SAWP employer
Once you have fulfilled the requirements to apply, here’s how to apply for a Canadian work visa.
Top Provinces for Farm Jobs in Canada
If you're interested in working in Canada's agricultural sector, it's important to know which provinces have the most job opportunities. Here are the top three provinces for farm jobs in Canada:
Saskatchewan is known for its vast prairies and fertile soil, making it an ideal location for farming. The province produces various crops, including wheat, canola, and lentils. Saskatchewan also has a strong livestock industry, with many job opportunities in the beef, pork, and dairy sectors.
So much so that general, nursery, and greenhouse farm workers have a dedicated immigration program (Saskatchewan Experience Category: Semi-skilled Agriculture Worker Program) that offers those who have been working in the province for at least six months the chance to apply for permanent residency. This is the perfect opportunity for temporary foreign workers to become Canadian permanent residents.
A general farm worker in Canada can earn an average base monthly salary of 8,774.1 CAD in Canada, according to Canada’s Job Bank.
Ontario is Canada's most populous province and has a diverse agricultural industry. The province is known for its fruit and vegetable production and dairy and poultry industries. Ontario also has a thriving greenhouse industry, which provides year-round job opportunities.
The province produces more than 90 percent of Canada’s soybeans, almost 50 percent of its corn, and almost all of its tobacco. Ontario offers permanent residency to farm workers through the Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Program to general, nursery, and greenhouse farm workers, as well as harvesting laborers, are eligible to apply.
A general farm worker in Canada can earn an average base annual salary of 5,320.8 CAD in Canada according to Canada’s Job Bank.
Alberta has a large and diverse agricultural industry, with job opportunities in crop production, livestock farming, and agribusiness. The province is known for its beef industry and has many large cattle ranches. Alberta also has a growing organic farming industry, which provides job opportunities in this niche sector.
The province mainly produces canola, wheat, barley, and livestock. These farms are mainly found in counties such as Woodlands, Lac Ste. Anne, Barrhead, and Westlock. Alberta is also leading the prairie provinces in industrial hemp production.
Canada's agricultural industry offers many job opportunities for skilled farm workers. By understanding the top Canada agriculture visa programs for farm workers, the requirements for these visas, and the top provinces for farm jobs in Canada, individuals can unlock opportunities to work in this dynamic and growing industry.
Alberta’s Opportunity Stream allows harvesting laborers to get permanent residency in Canada simply by getting a nomination from the local government.
A general farm worker in Canada can earn an average base monthly salary of 6,685.8 CAD in Canada according to Canada’s Job Bank.
To help guide you through the process of applying to immigrate to Canada as a farm worker and gain an understanding of farm jobs in Canada, we recommend that you consult with a certified Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).
Can a Farm Worker Apply for PR in Canada?
Yes, farm workers may be eligible to apply for permanent residency in Canada through various immigration programs, such as the Express Entry system or the Provincial Nominee Program, the two most commonly used immigration pathways to PR status in Canada. However, specific eligibility requirements may vary depending on the program.
How do I Apply for Farm Jobs in Canada?
There are several ways to apply for farm jobs in Canada, most of which can be broken down into the following easy-to-follow steps to finding a job in Canada.