Information For New Employer

This 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 requirements at the following website:

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 via LMIA Online to F.A.R.M.S., Service Canada approval, and worker recruitment, can take up to 12-14 weeks.

Please call 1-866-271-0862 if you have any questions regarding the forms. F.A.R.M.S. is your third party.
Service Canada (SC) will assess your LMIA application. If you have a question for Service Canada, please call 1-800-367-5693.  This is the Call Centre number.  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 via LMIA Online 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 Service Canada (Advertising requirements are currently waived until June 2024).
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:

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:

  • 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 credit card or cheque.
  • 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.
  • 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 15 business day penalty restriction.
  • 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.
  •  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
CANAG TRAVEL 1-800-387-5784