Hire a temporary worker through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program – Recruitment and advertisement

4. Recruitment and advertisement

Employers are required to conduct recruitment efforts to hire Canadians and permanent residents, before offering a job to TFWs.


Due to economic impacts such as higher unemployment rates resulting from COVID-19, recruitment and advertisement requirements have been updated. Recruitment efforts are required to take place under the current labour market to ensure Canadians and Permanent Residents continue to be considered first for available jobs. This update applies to pending LMIAs received prior to June 15, 2020, and includes the following:

  • Any ads posted before March 15, 2020 may need to be re-posted for an additional two consecutive weeks.
  • If applicable, Service Canada will contact you regarding re-advertising requirements.
  • When re-advertising, employers must also meet all the minimum recruitment requirements described in the Advertisement section below.


Recruitment is the process of finding and selecting qualified employees. All employers are encouraged to conduct ongoing recruitment efforts, including advertising the job or contacting the underrepresented groups that face barriers to employment.

Employers do not need to use the services of a third-party representative in order to hire a TFW; however if they choose to do so, they must pay for all the fees associated with this service.

Note: Employers cannot deduct or recover these fees from the wage of the worker.

In addition, under the SAWP, the recruitment of TFWs is the responsibility of the government of the participating countries. As a result, employers cannot use the services of a private recruiter to select workers.


Effective June 10, 2020, the program is prioritizing certain occupations which are considered essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. The listed occupations have been prioritized across all provinces and territories (except the province of Quebec). For a list of occupations specific to the province of Quebec, please refer to Hiring in the Province of Quebec.

Important: Any Refusal to Process supersedes prioritization.

Until December 31, 2020, the program is prioritizing and waiving minimum recruitment requirements for the following occupations. For LMIAs received on or after January 1, 2021, these occupations will continue to be prioritized, but will be subject to the regular minimum recruitment requirements of the appropriate program stream:

  • 6331-Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers-retail and wholesale
  • 8252- Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • 8431- General Farm Workers
  • 8432- Nursery and Greenhouse Workers
  • 8611- Harvesting labourers
  • 9462- Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
  • 9463- Fish and seafood plant workers
  • 9617- Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
  • 9618- Labourers in fish and seafood processing

The program is prioritizing the following occupations and not waiving the minimum recruitment requirements:

  • 3012 - Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  • 3111 - Specialist physicians
  • 3112 - General practitioners and family physicians
  • 3124 - Allied primary health practitioners
  • 3131 - Pharmacists
  • 3211 - Medical laboratory technologists
  • 3212 - Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants
  • 3214 - Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • 3219 - Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)
  • 3233 - Licensed practical nurses
  • 3237 - Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
  • 3413 - Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
  • 3414 - Other assisting occupations in support of health services
  • 6731 - Light duty cleaners

Note: As of November 10, 2020, NOC 7511 (Transport truck drivers) will no longer be prioritized.


A job posting is an announcement of a vacancy in a public medium such as newspapers, job posting Internet site, bulletin boards, etc. It provides a broad exposure of the vacancy to Canadians and permanent residents in Canada who would be potential candidates for the position.

To meet the minimum advertising requirements, employers must advertise on the national Job Bank or its provincial/territorial counterpart in British Columbia, Quebec or Saskatchewan. The advertisement must be posted:

  • for a minimum of 14 calendar days starting from the first day the ad appears and is accessible to the general public;
  • during the 3 month period prior to the employer applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA);

Employers must also conduct recruitment activities consistent with the normal practice for the occupation for a minimum of 14 calendar days. To meet this requirement, employers can choose one or more of the following methods to advertise:

  • on recognized Internet employment sites;
  • in local and regional newspapers, newsletters;
  • in ethnic newspapers and Internet sites;
  • in local stores, places of worship, community resource centres;
  • in local and regional employment centres.

The advertisement must include the:

  • Company operating name;
  • Business address;
  • Title of position;
  • Job duties (for each position, if advertising more than one vacancy);
  • Terms of employment;
  • Wage (must include any incremental raises, performance pay or bonuses);
    • 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
  • Benefits package being offered (if applicable);
  • Location of work (local area, city or town);
  • Contact information: telephone number, cell phone number, email address, fax number, or mailing address;
  • Skills requirements:
    • Education
    • Work experience

Proof of advertisement

Employers must demonstrate that they meet the advertising requirements by providing proof of advertisement and the results of their efforts to recruit Canadians and permanent residents (for example copy of advertisement and information to support where, when and for how long the position was advertised).

Replacement or transfer of workers advertisement waiver


Employers using the SAWP stream are not required to re-advertise the vacant position when submitting an LMIA application for a replacement worker. This applies only if the position remains in the same Job Bank economic region and the same occupation as the ones stipulated in the previous positive LMIA.


Employer’s submitting transfer LMIA applications under the SAWP stream are not required to advertise if:

The employer possesses an initial positive LMIA for the current season and the Job Bank economic region and occupation remain the same as the initial positive LMIA.


The transferring employer (employer providing the workers) possesses a valid LMIA and the transfer takes place within the same Job Bank economic region and the occupation remains the same

Recruitment documentation retention

Records of the employers' efforts must be kept for a minimum of 6 years. This documentation can be requested at any time by ESDC/Service Canada, as the Department has the authority to conduct inspections to verify an employer's compliance with the conditions in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) (and confirmed in the LMIA letter and annexes) for a period of 6 years, beginning on the first day of the period of employment for which the work permit is issued to the TFW.

Note: Advertisement criteria vary slightly in the province of Quebec. For further information, consult Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers in Quebec.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: