How to Work in Canada as a Farm Worker

If you’ve been wanting to work in Canada as a farm worker, then you’re on the right track.

Did you know that the Great White North calls for new agricultural job openings, totaling 15,200 vacancies for farmers from 2019 up to 2028?

This calls for 17,000 new job seekers, according to Canada Job Bank - suffice to say that the labour market will be maintaining a healthy balance between labour supply and demand from 2019, leading up to the 2028 period. This is highly favorable moving forward into 2028.

Farmers can see a promising, sustainable future for themselves and their families up in the North due to the long term demand for agricultural workers. In this article, we break down the current provinces in Canada that are in need of farm workers, the suitable programs for farmers, and how to apply to get you started on an adventure of a lifetime.

Easiest Provinces to Migrate in Canada as a Farm Worker

To work in Canada as a farm worker, you would have to target the right provinces and territories that are seeking to fill the labour shortage and the skills you have to offer. We will be presenting to you the job opportunities in each province or territory that will be marked by either “Fair”, “Limited”, “Undetermined” or “Good”.

Kindly note that the data below is not derived from Canadianvisa.org but rather, obtained directly from the official Canadian government website. The areas marked as “Undetermined” suggest that the Canadian government was unable to obtain the relevant data for that particular province.

The table below represents the job opportunities by province and territory for farm workers in Canada over the next three years:

Location         Job Prospects
Alberta       Fair
British Columbia       Limited
Manitoba       Fair
New Brunswick       Limited
Newfoundland and Labrador       Fair
Northwest Territories       Undetermined (no data on job prospects in this province)
Nova Scotia       Good
Nunavut       Undetermined (no data on job prospects in this province)
Ontario       Good
Prince Edward Island       Good
Quebec       Fair
Saskatchewan       Limited
Yukon Territory       Undetermined (no data on job prospects in this province)

Source: Canada Job Bank

As you can see in the above table, the provinces with a “Good” rating for the demand of farm workers are: Nova Scotia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island. Let’s dig a little deeper into these three provinces and what this means for agricultural workers who want to live and work in Canada.

jobs in Canada

The Current Demand for General Farm Workers (NOC 8431) in Nova Scotia

Below are some factors that help determine the availability of job opportunities in Nova Scotia:

  • Employment for general farm workers will birth many new positions.
  • Retirements will mean less available vacancies.
  • There are farmers who are unemployed with experience in this occupation.
  • The prediction of potential high employee turnover could generate more employment opportunities.
  • Work in this occupation is seasonable and due to the nature and circumstances of this occupation, working during summer months are more preferred.

According to Canada Job Bank, there are 73% full-time workers compared to 80% for all occupations, while part-time workers are at 27% compared to 20% for all occupations.

Like every other job, the availability of job opportunities in this occupation may vary. If you’re wanting to live and work in Canada as a farm worker, we encourage you to keep an open mind and try out various career options as a backup.

To ease your plight, we’ve made it easy to explore Canada’s top NOC C jobs in Canada or find out more about the 10 best careers in Canada that don’t require a degree here.

The Current Demand for General Farm Workers (NOC 8431) in Ontario

Below are some factors that help determine the availability of job opportunities in Ontario:

  • There’s a stable employment rate that’s being maintained.
  • There won’t be many vacancies available due to retirement.
  • There are a few farmers who are unemployed with experience in this occupation.

According to Canada Job Bank, there are 69% full-time workers compared to 79% for all occupations, while part-time workers are at 31% compared to 21% for all occupations in this province.

The Current Demand for General Farm Workers (NOC 8431) in Prince Edward Island

Below are some factors that help determine the availability of job opportunities in Prince Edward Island:

  • Growth for employment in this province will result in new vacancies.
  • There won’t be many vacancies available due to retirement.
  • There are farmers who are unemployed with experience in this occupation.
  • The prediction of potential high employee turnover could generate more employment opportunities.
  • The nature and seasonal circumstances of this occupation will vary, which will affect the availability of job opportunities.

As per the data on Canada Job Bank, there are 83% full-time workers compared to 83% for all occupations, while part-time workers are at 17% compared to 17% for all occupations in this province.

Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about this market over the next 10 years since farmers can expect a balanced labour supply and demand for general farm workers going forward.

Immigrate to Canada

Top Tip: When immigrating to another country, you want to have your sights set on various options that will enable you and your family to live comfortably. We highly advise individuals who want to live and work in Canada to conduct thorough research on the province or territory before deciding to settle. Be sure to research prospects such as job employment opportunities, cost of living and safety and security since different provinces have different types of challenges.

You may find some of our other resources helpful such as the top cheapest places to live in Canada, or find out about some of the top cheapest Canadian cities with the cheapest cost of living to give you that head start you need. For international students thinking of studying abroad, feel free to explore our article on the best places to live in Canada for students here.

What Skills Do I Need to Work in Canada as a Farm Worker?

There is no formal education required and the nature of the job allows for foreign workers to gain on-the-job training. However, below are the skills general farmers should have:

  • General farmers in Canada must be able to prove that they attended a Grower Pesticide Safety Course or an on-farming training session that was supervised and approved.
  • The foreign worker should have experience in operating various agricultural machinery such as seeders, sprayers, feeding systems and so on.
  • Having experience in agricultural farming (crop or livestock) may be highly favored.

How to Migrate to Canada as a Farm Worker

To immigrate successfully to Canada, you need to know which programs you can apply to in order to work in Canada as a farm worker.

The Agri-Food Pilot Program Explained

This is a pilot program, which means that the Canadian government has not made this a permanent program as of yet - the aim is to test the feasibility of the pilot for the long-term. Furthermore, the Agri-Food Pilot aims to fill the labour shortages and needs in the agri-food sector.

We’d like to note that this pilot is suitable for foreign nationals who are experienced non-seasonal workers and who want to apply for Canadian permanent residence (PR). Since this is currently a pilot, it will run until May 2023.

Eligibility to apply for permanent residence under the Agri-Food Pilot:

  • You must have Canadian work experience in occupations or industries the Canadian government deems as eligible.
  • You must have a non-seasonal job offer from a Canadian employer in one of the eligible industries outside of Quebec.
  • Applicants must meet the language requirements and if possible, exceed it.
  • Applicants must have the necessary settlement funds where needed.
  • Applicants should maintain temporary residence status if they’re in Canada already.
Educational Requirements under the Agri-Food Pilot:

  • You must have a Canadian high school diploma, or an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from a designated organization or professional body - this will serves as proof that you’ve completed a foreign credential at the secondary school level or above.
  • Note that your ECA report cannot be more than five years old based on the date of your application.
  • The original ECA report should be issued on or after the date the organization was designated.

Let’s take a look at some of the industries or occupations that are deemed as eligible in Canada, according to the official Canadian government website.

Meat Product Manufacturing (NAICS 3116) are:

  • NOC B 6331 – Retail butchers
  • NOC C 9462 – Industrial butchers
  • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • NOC D 9617 – Food processing labourers
Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production (NAICS 1114):

  • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • NOC C 8431 – General farm workers
  • NOC D 8611 – Harvesting labourers
Animal production, excluding aquaculture (NAICS 1121, 1122, 1123, 1124 and 1129):

  • NOC B 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • NOC C 8431 – General farm workers

Below are the annual limits which show the amount of applications that can be accepted for each occupation, as per the data on the official Canadian government website:

Occupation      Applications Processed Per Year
Retail butchers & Industrial butchers      1,470
Food processing labourers      730
Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers      50
General farm workers      200
Harvesting labourer      300

Source: Canada.ca

Canada Family Class Sponsorship

The Express Entry System Explained

The Express Entry system is an online points-driven system designed to manage immigration applications. The system consists of three highly accommodating programs, which are:

  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program

But what makes the Express Entry so popular? The system is user-friendly and is known to yield quick immigration results, making it a well-renowned system among other immigration programs.

Candidates must obtain up to 600 points under Express Entry - they’re also able to earn an additional 600 points if they, or their spouse or partner encompass other factors that the Canadian government would deem as highly favorable to immigrate to Canada.

This way, applicants can increase their chances to receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) - all foreign nationals must receive an ITA before they can apply directly to the Express Entry programs.

Top Tip: Receiving an ITA will depend on the thoroughness and honesty of the information you provide on your Express Entry profile. Bear in mind that you will have to validate the information you’ve provided with the necessary credentials and other documents if you’re successful.

Should the IRCC detect any form of dishonesty on your part, your application will be delayed and rejected. We therefore urge applicants to proceed with integrity when applying to any immigration program.

So, you want to immigrate with your family? You can simply find out more about the Canada Family Sponsorship Program here. Whether you’re a single professional or student, you can dig deeper into the easiest ways to live in Canada months from now - this article covers the Express Entry system and the Provincial Nomination Program more extensively for your convenience.

Now, let’s move onto the steps of the application process.

The Application Process

Whichever immigration program you choose, you have to go through these steps when applying for PR in Canada:

Step 1: Check if you meet the program criteria (and the job requirements)
Step 2: Check your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score - under Express Entry system or other points driven programs
Step 3: Gather your documents beforehand and have it ready
Step 4: Create your online Express Entry profile
Step 5: Apply to the most suitable program, pay the application fees and submit your application

Once you’ve completed the above process for PR in Canada, the waiting game begins. For now, learn more about the IRCC processing times and what to expect after you’ve submitted your application here.

Canada passport

How We Can Help You

Understandably so, Canada is a multi-dimensional country with an abundance of opportunities for immigrants. Due to the seasonal nature of the agricultural industry in Canada, we also encourage immigrants to have a back-up plan, remain open-minded and flexible in trying out different job opportunities that are economically viable on many levels.

We understand that immigrating to another country can be daunting but with the right guidance and advice, your transition can be a smooth journey. In this article, we’ve provided you with the provinces in Canada that are in need of farmers, the relevant programs as well other resources that you may find helpful during your immigration process.

If you’re still a bit fuzzy on the way forward, then feel free to get in touch with our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants for guidance and support today.

FAQS

1. What is the Easiest Program to Migrate to Canada?

The Express Entry system is the most preferred option. It is highly accommodating since it comprises three versatile immigration pathways, such as: Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Program and Federal Skilled Trades Program. The system is known to yield fast results.

2. Can farmers get PR in Canada?

Yes, farmers can get permanent residency (PR) in Canada if they target the right province or territory that’s seeking for farmers. It is important to research the Canadian provinces first before applying and ensure you’re able to fulfill the program criteria and the job requirements. You can get PR in Canada through the Agri-Food Pilot, which will run until May, 2023.

3. Are farm workers needed in Canada?

Farmers are high in-demand in Canada since the Canadian government sees 15,200 new vacancies for farmers from 2019 up to 2028. However, one would have to check the availability of opportunities within each province. Because the agricultural industry is seasonal, physically straining coupled with the unpredictable Canadian weather, we would advise immigrants to keep their options open. The good news is that Canada has an abundance of broad career opportunities that cater for everyone's needs. However, if you’re adamant to immigrate as a farmer, you would want to check out the Agri-Food Pilot which will run until May 2023. The pilot enable PR in Canada for skilled, experienced workers as well.