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Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program

What is SAWP?

Working according to bilateral agreements between Canada and participating countries*, SAWP allows agricultural employers to hire temporary foreign workers on a seasonal basis in order to fill labour shortages. Employers can hire foreign workers from participating countries for a maximum of 8 months, between January 1 and December 15, provided they offer workers a minimum of 240 hours of work and within a period of 6 weeks or less.


To qualify for the SAWP, employers must meet 3 criteria:

  1. TFWs hired must be citizens from Mexico or participating Caribbean countries

  2. Production must be in specific commodity sectors

  3. The activity must be related to on farm primary agriculture

*Participating countries include: Mexico and the Caribbean countries of: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago

Image by Tim Mossholder

Role of Foreign Government

  • recruit and select the TFWs

  • make sure workers have the necessary documents

  • maintain a pool of qualified workers, and

  • appoint representatives to assist workers in Canada

At Work on the Farm

Employer Requirements

  • arrange and pay for round-trip transportation of the temporary foreign worker

  • provide workers free roundtrip transportation between housing and work location

  • provide TFW with adequate, suitable and affordable housing. (Housing may be located on the farm or off-site)

  • The Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program has a standard, non-modifiable contract. This contract must be provided to the worker prior to their first day of work

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