Hire a temporary foreign worker through the Agricultural Stream - Overview

1. Overview

The Agricultural Stream allows employers to hire Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) for a maximum period of 24 months when Canadians and permanent residents are not available.

To qualify for this stream, employers must meet 2 criteria:

  1. production must be in specific commodity sectors; and
  2. the activity must be related to on-farm primary agriculture

Note: Employers hiring temporary foreign workers (TFW) under the Agricultural Stream in Quebec must consult the information provided by the ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (French only). There are some variations to the requirements and the process that must be followed in this province.

National commodity list

  • apiary products
  • fruits, vegetables (including canning/processing of these products if grown on the farm)
  • mushrooms
  • flowers
  • nursery-grown trees including Christmas trees, greenhouses/nurseries
  • pedigreed canola seed
  • sod
  • tobacco
  • bovine
  • dairy
  • duck
  • horse
  • mink
  • poultry
  • sheep
  • swine

Primary agriculture

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation, section 315.2, primary agriculture is defined as work that is performed within the boundaries of a farm, nursery or greenhouse and involves:

  • the operation of agricultural machinery;
  • the boarding, care, breeding, sanitation or other handling of animals, other than fish, for the purpose of obtaining animal products for market, or activities relating to the collection, handling and assessment of those products; or
  • the planting, care, harvesting or preparation of crops, trees, sod or other plants for market.

Excluded activities include:

  • the activities of agronomists or agricultural economists;
  • landscape architecture;
  • the preparation of vegetable fibres for textile use;
  • activities related to commercial hunting and trapping; or
  • veterinary activities.

Note: Under the Agricultural Stream, TFWs hired in higher-skilled positions such as: management, professional and technical occupations are eligible for permanent residency as long as they meet all of the immigration requirements set by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or the Provincial Nominee Program.

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