Labour Market Opinion (LMO) Programs
Labour Market Opinions > Low-Skill Agricultural Occupations
There are two programs that apply to employers seeking the admission of foreign workers for occupations on a farm in occupations related to primary agriculture. These are the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and the Agricultural Stream for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels of Formal Training.
The SAWP is limited to location (i.e., it is not supported in Newfoundland and the Territories) and allows for approval for a period of up to eight months between the dates of January 1 and December 15 annually. The program is only applicable to nationals of Mexico and certain Commonwealth nations of the Caribbean. The employer must commit to employment for a minimum of 240 hours within a six week period. The potential advantage of this program is that the approval can allow for transfer between multiple employers.
The Agricultural Stream is principally the same as the SAWP, but does not have restrictions regarding location or nationality, and allows for a approval for a period of up to 24 months. It also allows for the inclusion of occupations of any skill classification. There is no formal restriction on the number of hours of employment, but all LMO cases are governed by an overarching principle that the employment should allow for self-sufficiency of the foreign worker. Although the program is also specific to on-farm work in primary agriculture, it is limited to the following sectors: fruits, vegetables, greenhouses and nurseries; apiary products; tobacco; sod; flowers; Christmas trees; and the animal sector.
Although the fundamental requirements of the above programs are the same as the program for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels Of Formal Training, the SAWP does have additional requirements concerning the demonstration of a human resources plan by the employer prior to the start of work of the foreign worker.