How To Apply


Information For New Employer

[-]

Seasonal Workers for Canadian CompaniesThis page is intended to be an overview, a ‘helpful page’ for Employers who have never employed seasonal agricultural workers and are interested in making application under the Commonwealth Caribbean and Mexican Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program… I would suggest you take a moment to review the following procedures.

 

First Step:

Please familiarize yourself with the SAWP program, current wages, approved commodities, and advertising requirments at the following website:

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/foreign-workers/agricultural/seasonal-agricultural.html

Please print the following required forms to apply for SAWP workers from the forms section of this website:

1) LMIA Application Form
2) Caribbean or Mexico Employment Agreement (contract)

The process, including submitting your documents to F.A.R.M.S., Service Canada approval, and worker recruitment, can take up to 12-14 weeks.

Please call F.A.R.M.S.at 1-866-271-0862 if you have any questions regarding the forms. F.A.R.M.S. is your third party. 
Simcoe Service Canada (SC) will assess your LMIA application. If you have a question for Simcoe Service Canada, please call 1-800-367-5693.  This is the Call Centre number and you can ask for a Simcoe Service Canada officer at the Foreign Agricultural Unit to return your call.  Service Canada will discuss with you your labour needs including what efforts have been made towards the recruitment of Canadians and the steps required to place an order for seasonal labour. Some of those steps are seasonal housing and inspection requirements, payment of the required fees and CanAg Travel Services.

 

The Next Step:

Submit the completed application and all supporting documents directly to F.A.R.M.S. In turn F.A.R.M.S. will edit the application for completeness, perhaps need to discuss certain areas with you prior to forwarding it to Service Canada for approval.
Please note: Employers must have housing approved by the municipal health unit and advertising posted for 14 days before F.A.R.M.S. can send the LMIA application to Simcoe Service Canada.
Upon receipt of your application Service Canada will contact you directly to discuss your human resource planning, what efforts have been made towards the recruitment of Canadians, the housing you have available, and may request financial documents for your business.

The Employer: is requested to sign the Employer / Employee Agreement for Seasonal Agricultural Workers and by doing so is agreeing to abide by the terms, conditions and operating guidelines for the program. Some of those terms are:

  • The Employer agrees to pay to F.A.R.M.S. an administration fee of $45.00 (plus HST) per worker (Ontario employers). The fee is due and payable at the time F.A.R.M.S. receives your LMIA application. F.A.R.M.S. fee may be paid by cheque - OR - by credit card processing directly with F.A.R.M.S.
  • The Employer is required to provide free suitable housing; employer agrees to have the housing inspected annually by the Ministry of Health prior to the worker(s) arriving (first time employers must have housing approved before submitting LMIA application); employer will guarantee the worker a minimum of 240 hours of work; employer agrees to give the worker(s) a pay advance for food items until the first pay.
  • The Employer agrees to adhere to the payment policy of CanAg Travel and remit payment as due and stipulated on the invoice from CanAg Travel.

Country Selection:

There are five countries that have a government to government agreement with Canada to provide seasonal agricultural farm workers, these are: Barbados, Eastern Caribbean Islands, Jamaica, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago. It is the Employer’s choice to select the supply country that he/she wishes to request workers from. Please feel free to contact any of the countries and ask questions.

  • F.A.R.M.S. who will carry out the necessary administrative functions to ensure that your request is distributed to the appropriate government agent locally/abroad and to CanAg Travel Services who is the appointed travel agency for the program in Ontario. ONLY however, after the request is approved by SC.
  • The Employer will communicate any changes or cancellations, as applicable, directly to F.A.R.M.S. PRIOR to 14 business day penalty restriction.
  • The Employer will be contacted by CanAg Travel one week prior to the worker(s) arrival with the time and location of where the worker(s) can be picked up the date of arrival.
  • The Employer agrees to submit pay sheets to the supply country as per the guidelines for that country.

 

And Finally …………………………….

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call
 

F.A.R.M.S. 1-866-271-0862

OR

CANAG TRAVEL 1-800-387-5784


Application Process

[-]

F.A.R.M.S Appointment of Representative: 

F.A.R.M.S. role is viewed as that of a third party to administer the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program. A valid F.A.R.M.S. Appointment of Representative, completed and signed is required to be on file for each employer. This document provides authorization to F.A.R.M.S. to undertake on behalf of the employer the necessary steps to edit, process and disseminate order information locally and abroad. 

 

Application Process:

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications MUST be completed in full, signed and either mailed or faxed to F.A.R.M.S. The application goes through a clearance process and when complete with all attachments it is sent to Service Canada. F.A.R.M.S. is available to assist with completing the initial and subsequent applications. A separate application is required for each type of request and country. 

 

The Employment Contract:

Employers are required to submit the applicable Agreement for the Employment in Canada of Seasonal Agricultural Workers with each Labour Market Impact Assessment Application submitted.

 

Named Workers: 

At the end of each year a summary of all the workers employed in that season is sent to each employer. Employers are asked to use the summary to identify named workers. Where multiple start dates are requested place the job start date beside the worker name. Draw a line through the names not being requested for that date or who may be requested on a separate order. Send the summary of worker names to F.A.R.M.S. with the completed application.

 

NOTE: THE APPLICATION, BOTTOM OF PAGE 8, CONTAINS A ‘SUBSTITUTE CHECK BOX’ AND IF YOU DO NOT WANT A ‘SUBSTITUTE’ WORKER TO TRAVEL IN PLACE OF A NAMED WORKER THIS BOX MUST BE CHECKED. THIS IS AN EMPLOYER DECISION. EMPLOYERS MUST KEEP IN MIND THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COST OF UNUSED SEATS IF CANAG IS NOTIFIED OF ‘NO SUBSTITUTE’ WITHIN 14 DAYS OF THE FLIGHT DATE. 

 

F.A.R.M.S. Administration Fee:

Payment is required at the time of placing an application.

Administration Fee is $45.00 plus 13% HST per worker arrival or transfer. The fee can be paid by cheque or by credit card by contacting F.A.R.M.S. directly at 1-866-271-0862. 

DEADLINE TO PLACE AN LMIA

F.A.R.M.S. can appreciate and understand why employers question the need to place applicaitons so far in advance of the job start, however, this chart is very necessary guideline.  There is no way of knowing what delays in a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application may encounter from start to finish.  Please keep in mind your cooperation in meeting these deadlines will assist in ensuring sufficient time is being allotted to each part of the process on your behalf.

 

TIMEFRAME TO PLACE A REQUEST FOR SEASONAL WORKERS

REQUEST TO ARRIVE 

01 to 31 JANUARY              -  TIMEFRAME 05 –  26 SEPTEMBER          

01 to 28 FEBRUARY           -  TIMEFRAME   03 – 10 OCTOBER

01 to 15 MARCH                  -  TIMEFRAME  11  –  26 OCTOBER

16 to 31 MARCH                   -  TIMEFRAME  02  –  15 NOVEMBER   

01 to 30 APRIL                     -  TIMEFRAME  16 NOVEMBER - 30 NOVEMBER

01 to 31 MAY                        -  MUST be received  -  FEBRUARY 1st

 01 to 30 JUNE                       -  MUST be received  -  MARCH 1st

01 to 31 JULY                       -  MUST be received  -  APRIL 2nd

01 to 31 AUGUST                 -  MUST be received -  MAY 2nd

01 to 30 SEPTEMBER           -  MUST be received  -  JUNE 1st      

            

        

YOUR COOPERATION IN MEETING THESE DEADLINE REQUIREMENTS WILL BE OF GREAT ASSISTANCE IN FULFILLING YOUR LABOUR REQUEST. NOTE - PROCESSING OF APPLICATIONS IS DEPENDANT ON COMPLETENESS AND VOLUME RECEIVED, PARTICULARLY IN DECEMBER.


Changes To The Application

[-]

Types of Changes

Arrival Dates

It is appreciated that initial requests are placed as close to the job start date as can be determined from one season to the next. Certainly location of your farming operation and weather can influence the predicted job start date. A change to arrival date will be managed according to the length of notice you are providing and whether you are advancing or delaying the arrival.

Cancellation

As much notice as possible is necessary. If a cancellation is required within the 14 day penalty time frame you may be required to pay for the unused seat. Every attempt will be made to fill the seat for another employer however to do this the arrival time must coincide with the job start date for another employer. Each case can only be managed on an individual basis.

Name Change

Many employers keep in touch with their workers during the winter months it is definitely advisable to do this. Employers often find out about certain situations where a worker is not ready to travel as requested on the application. The employer in these cases may elect to place a change in worker names and the original named worker will arrive on a subsequent date.
Employers are requested to allow sufficient time (30 days) for the Foreign Ministry of Labour office to prepare for the change in worker names.

HOW TO PLACE a Cancellation - Change – Delay – Advancement

CONTACT F.A.R.M.S. or CanAg Travel directly to advise the type of change you wish to make against your LMIA application. The staff person handling the call will give you a five (5) digit confirmation number at the onset of taking the information on the change. The five digit number becomes the employer’s source of reference. A copy of the change will be sent to you.

 

Time Restrictions

14 DAY WINDOW (business days)
Fourteen business days prior to flight departure all seats are considered sold.

Employers are financially responsible for unused seats when a change is requested inside the 14 days from flight date.

Employers are cautioned to be very selective about requesting a change.

 

** Exception ** -

Arrivals between January 1 - 15 each year - no changes or cancellations are permitted after 30November.


Advertisement and Recruitment

[-]

ADVERTISEMENT and RECRUITMENT

The policy of the Canadian government under the Temporary Foreign Work Program is to ensure that all employment opportunities for seasonal agricultural work in Canada are first made available to qualified Canadian citizens and permanent residents, before recourse is made to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP).

IF ANY OF THE ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS IS MISSING FROM YOU AD, F.A.R.M.S. CANNOT SEND YOUR LMIA APPLICATION TO SERVICE CANADA. IT IS HELD UNTIL THE REQUIRED INFORMATION IS COMPLETE. AN ADDITIONAL 14 DAYS OF ADVERTISING MAY BE ASKED BY SERVICE CANADA IF INFORMATION IS MISSING.

ADVERTISING MUST INCLUDE:

1.   Company operating name - (name of business/farm on LMIA)

2.   Business address;

3.   Title of position - (e.g. General Farm Labourer, Harvester, Fruit Picker, etc. as indicated on LMIA - Vague titles such as “help wanted” will not be accepted)

4.   Job duties - (for each position, if advertising more than one vacancy); (should be similar to LMIA, for Job Bank, duties are found under Skills/Specific Skills)

5.   Terms of employment - (seasonal full-time OR temporary full time OR permanent full time OR start/end date with full time hours per week specified)

6.   Wage - (must include any incremental raises, performance pay or bonuses); (must be current minimum wage or SAWP wage and must match wage on LMIA)

  • a wage range can be used for the purposes of complying with the advertisements; however the minimum wage in the range must meet prevailing wage

7.   Benefits package being offered - (if applicable);

8.   Location of work - (local area, city or town); (e.g. Leamington, Kijiji -lo postal code and general area specified OK, general area must be close to farm location)

9.   Contact information - telephone number, cell phone number, email address, fax number, or mailing address; (any one is acceptable)

10. Skills requirements -

  • Education (must match LMIA, state “no education required” if not required)
  • Work experience (must match LMIA, state “no experience required” if not required, no experience on LMIA and “experience is an asset” on ads is acceptable)

  CONTACT F.A.R.M.S. IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE WITH JOB BANK

CRITICAL POINTS TO REMEMBER

2 Sources Required - Government Job Bank www.jobbank.gc.ca plus one other source (Kijiji or online job sites, newspaper, local stores or employment centers) 

Ads must be posted for a minimum of 14 calendar days during the 3 month period prior to submission of the LMIA application to Service Canada, however we suggest advertising at least 20-30 days before you submit the LMIA application to F.A.R.M.S. to allow enough time for online sites to post advertising - it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the ad is posted and visible to the public.

 Mandatory to send CLEAR copies of Job Bank ad, secondary ads, proof of duration and dates ad   appeared with LMIA.  Previews, pending or draft copies will NOT be accepted.

ONLINE ADS such as Kijiji or Indeed – ad MUST be printed and submitted at least 14 days after ad was posted to the public to show proof of duration.  An email from Kijiji stating that your ad is about to expire is also acceptable.

STORE/BULLETIN ADS - ads MUST include a signed, dated attestation from store or business manager/employee (also include printed name & title of employee) verifying start & end date of ad and if ad is still currently posted.

 


SAWP/AGRICULTURAL STREAM COMPARISON

[-]

Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP)

Agricultural Stream (Low Skill) Comparison

 

 

 

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)

 

 

Ag Stream (Low Skill)

 

1.

Who can Apply?

Any employer who is part of an approved agricultural commodity sector can apply for temporary foreign workers.

Each application is assessed individually by Service Canada.  Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has final authority.

2.

What countries participate?

Prescribed countries only:  Barbados, Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Employers can apply to any country. F.A.R.M.S. administers only for Barbados, Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, Guatemala and Honduras.

3.

Employment Contracts 

Agreements are standard and outline agreed upon responsibilities of the employer / employee.  The Source Country Government, employer, temporary foreign workers and the Canadian Government are parties to the agreement.

Agreement is not standard.  Each employer is responsible for the agreement according to program guidelines.  The agreement is between the employer and the temporary foreign worker. It is approved by Service Canada.

4.

Who is responsible to recruit workers?

Source countries are responsible to recruit temporary foreign workers and station a Government Agent (Liaison Office) in Canada.

Employer is responsible for the recruitment and selection of temporary foreign workers.

5.

Who sets the wage rates?

Employer must pay: a) the minimum wage in the province the worker is employed, b) the wage rate determined annually by ESDC, or c) the wage rate paid by the employer to the regular seasonal work force performing the same agricultural work, whichever is greatest.

Employers must satisfy Service Canada that wages are at the prevailing rate for persons performing the same job.

6.

Where do the names come from?

Employers can request named or unnamed temporary foreign workers.  Source Country has final decision.

Employers select temporary foreign workers and provide the worker name, birthdate, residence, and citizenship.

7.

What is the period of employment?

Temporary foreign workers work a maximum of 8 months between January 1 and December 15. Workers are guaranteed at least 240 hours of work.

Employer may be allowed to hire a temporary foreign worker, upon approval for the initial labour market opinion, for up to a maximum of 24 months. Employer can apply to Service Canada and IRCC to renew for another term while workers are still in Canada.

8.

Housing Requirements?

Inspected annually by the local Ministry of Health, approved accommodations are provided by employers with no cost to the temporary foreign workers.

Employers are not required to provide accommodations however they must demonstrate that suitable (Ministry of Health approved) and affordable accommodation is available. 

Accommodations provided by employers must be approved by the Ministry of Health.  Housing recovery based on guidelines as approved by Service Canada.

9.

Recoverable costs?

Caribbean and Mexico recoverable cost for airfare up to 50% of the established airfare each year to a maximum amount. Other recoverable cost (utility cost) deduction of $2.31 per worker per working day. 

There is no provision for a recovery of airfare costs.

 

10.

Non-Recoverable Costs?

F.A.R.M.S. Administration Fee is $45.00 plus HST per worker arrival/transfer.

F.A.R.M.S. Administration Fee is $50.00 plus HST per worker arrival.

11.

Medical Coverage?

Medical coverage provided through provincial health schemes and private coverage taken out by source country. 

Workers are covered from first day.

Employers are required to purchase comparable health coverage until employees are eligible for provincial health coverage

(3 month waiting period).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)

 

 

 

Ag Stream (Low Skill)

 

12.

Temporary Foreign Worker Taxes?

Standard deductions - Tax guide for SAWP workers in place.  Caribbean government agents provide tax filing, Mexican workers must choose their own tax provider.

Standard deductions – temporary foreign workers are responsible for their own tax filing.

13.

Contract Compliance?

Applicable Ministry of Labour standards apply.

Government agent monitors contract compliance.  Employer or Government agent can refer problematic cases to Service Canada Integrity branch.

Appropriate Ministry of Labour standards apply.  Problems must be worked out between the employer and employee.

14.

Breach of Contract?

Temporary foreign worker repatriation is possible according to agreement – replacement workers can be requested.

If temporary foreign worker returns to source country, goes AWOL or is not suitable, employer is responsible for cost of return airfare and must apply to ESDC with a new labour market opinion application for another temporary foreign worker.

15.

When can I get my temporary foreign worker?

Temporary foreign workers arrive within 4 - 6 weeks once LMIA is approved.

 

Processing of temporary foreign worker application will vary and is dependant upon meeting the confirmation requirements of Service Canada and processing standards of a Canadian Visa Office / IRCC.

16.

Who pays the Immigration Visa Fee?

Immigration Work Visa Application Processing Fee is paid by the temporary foreign worker.

Immigration Work Visa Application Processing Fee is paid by the temporary foreign worker.

17.

Can I transfer my temporary foreign worker to another farm?

Worker transfer requires approval of Foreign Government Liaison Officer, both sending and receiving employers, Service Canada (LMIA is required), and the temporary foreign worker. 

A temporary foreign worker can work for a new employer provided the worker agrees.  The employer applies and receives a positive LMIA from Service Canada.  The temporary foreign worker must then apply for a work permit specific to the new employer.  All of the preceding steps must be filled prior to a temporary foreign worker beginning employment with a new employer.

18.

What is the employer responsible for?

If Service Canada office at the airport cannot issue the SIN, employer must take worker to a Service Canada office.

Employer is responsible to ensure the temporary foreign worker receives OHIP coverage and receives proper medical attention. Arrangements to meet or have agent meet the temporary foreign worker at place of arrival in Canada and upon completion of employment, transport worker to place of departure at no cost to the worker.

Employer responsibilities include assisting the temporary foreign worker to obtain a Social Insurance Number, purchase comparable health coverage until employees are eligible for provincial health coverage, and receives proper medical attention. Arrangements to meet the temporary foreign worker at place of arrival and upon completion of employment to transport the temporary foreign worker to place of departure at no cost to the temporary foreign worker.

19.

Administrative Function?

Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services (F.A.R.M.S.) a not for profit organization facilitates and coordinates processing of orders. 

Service Canada administers this program.  The program was designed to allow the employer to manage the administration themselves. 

20.

Air Travel?

F.A.R.M.S. appoints CanAg Travel as the agent for the SAWP.  Airfare is paid by the employer and a portion can be recovered from employee as per the Employment Agreement

Employer arranges.  Employer is responsible for roundtrip airfare regardless of reason or time of departure.  There is no provision for recovery of costs.

         

 

Pears