The Agricultural Stream helps Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers (TFW’s) for a period of 24 months.
To qualify under this stream, as an employer:
- Firstly, have production in specific commodity sectors, and
- Secondly, the activity should be related to on-farm primary agriculture.
Activities/duties in primary agriculture refer to the following:
- Firstly, the activity must be within farm, nursery, or greenhouse boundaries.
- Secondly, at least 1 activity must be like:
- Operating agricultural machinery.
- Working in animal husbandry to get raw animal products for the market.
- Also, must come under NOC codes: 0821, 0822, 8252, 8255, 8431, 8432, and 8611.
Terms for applying under the Agricultural Stream
Following are the factors that one must meet to qualify for hiring a TFW.
All temporary foreign workers under SAWP must get transportation by the employer. The employer must pay for the TFW’s round trip transportation. This includes travel tickets to the work location in Canada and back to the country of origin. Also, it needs to be paid up beforehand and can not be a part of the employment contract. Besides, the employer in no way can receive this cost from the TFW. Whenever applicable, the employer must provide for the travel expense of TFW from work location to its residence in Canada.
Provide affordable housing
A TFW must have affordable housing either on-site or off-site. The govt approves the number of workers an employer can keep in a residence. Also, the employer must have sufficient housing facilities for a worker’s stay from the date of arrival until the date of departure.
An employer can deduct a certain amount as per the housing facility it provides:
- On-farm housing
The employer can cut $30 (max) per week from the TFW’s wage. This cut also includes the adjustment of partial use of housing by the TFW. Or specify a lower rate as per the province/territory labour standards.
- Off-site housing – lower-skilled workers
Deduct $30 (max) per week from the TFW’s wage. This cut also includes the adjustment of partial use of housing by the TFW or specify a lower rate as per the province/territory labour standards.
- Off-site housing – higher-skilled workers
A cut up to 30% as rent from the TFW’s monthly income. If the employer is the leaseholder or owner of the housing and multiple TFW’s are living, then:
- The rent must be divided equally, and
- Must be as per the market rate.
Ensure health and workplace safety
The TFWP requires all foreign caregivers to have insurance cover. As per the law, employers need to make sure their workers have a govt insurance plan. However, in some provinces, the govt allows employers to choose private insurance plans for TFW’s.
A private insurance plan:
- Must offer equal or more coverage than govt insurance plans.
- Also, all employees must have the same insurance coverage.
Employers need to provide for workers safety while chemicals and pesticides are in use. They must provide for:
- Equipment that will protect workers from the harmful effects of chemicals and pesticides.
- Formal and informal training.
- Supervise the work of workers, wherever applicable by law.
TFW ‘s employment contract under the Agricultural Stream
Under the TFWP, the employer must have an employment contract that is signed by both the employer and the TFW. Because Canada govt at any time can verify the same.
Show proof of valid business and job offer
To hire a foreign worker, show proof of an active and legal business. Also, the job offer must be for a paid, regular, and continuous job. Also, the govt checks for:
- Any criminal record.
- If the employer can fulfil all the terms in the job offer.
- If the employer is giving a service or goods in Canada.
- Also, the job offer given must match the needs of the business.
Agricultural Stream: Wages for TFW
All TFW’s must be paid as per the current wage rate as per their high wage or low wage category. Further, this wage should be equal to or more than the current wage rate set by the govt.
Apply for LMIA
Once an employer meets all the terms of the Agricultural Stream, they must apply for an LMIA to hire a TFW. After that ESDC/SC will check the LMIA application to:
- Firstly, see if the employer meets the terms of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
- Secondly, check, past and current job offer made from the province/territory.
- Also, check if the job offer is valid.
- Have active involvement in the business relating to the job offer.
- Be able to meet the terms of the job offer.
- Give a job offer to TFW for the profile required by the business.
- The medium of language to do the job must be English or French. If applicable an employer should be able to prove the need for a different language for the job profile.
- Check the impact of the LMIA on the job market.
- Check for the past job offers made.
Furthermore, SC/ESDC will give a positive LMIA after verification. Also, from the date of issue, the positive LMIA will be valid for 6 months. After receiving the LMIA the employer must send a copy to the TFW. Because this will help the TFW to apply to IRCC for a Canada work permit.
TFW can apply for a work permit
After receiving a copy of LMIA, TFW needs to apply for a work permit to IRCC. IRCC will verify the work permit application and if the result is positive then will issue a work permit. Thus, it will allow the TFW to work under an Agricultural Stream employer as per the job terms. Further, the TFW’s work permit can be valid for a max period of 2 years.