Fruit picking in Canada can be a fantastic opportunity for international workers to make money while experiencing life in Canada. Fruit picking in Canada refers to working on one of Canada's almost 8000 fruit farms, picking, cleaning, organizing and packing fruits and vegetables for distribution. It's primarily seasonal employment, as fruit pickers are only necessary during the harvest season.
Often, jobs only really last as long as it takes for the crop to be harvested. As a result, it's perfect for those who don't plan to move to Canada for a prolonged period or want to work and travel around Canada. While it does seem to be a fantastic opportunity, knowing how to do there is something that often stumps potential candidates. To help with that, we have put together a simple step-by-step process on how you can land fruit picker jobs in Canada.
Step 1: Find Jobs On The Best Job Sites In Canada.
Before you look at going to Canada, it's usually best to ensure you have a job waiting for you when you arrive. A great way to find fruit picker jobs in Canada is to apply on job sites. The best job sites in Canada for you are the sites that primarily focus on specific provinces, as certain provinces produce the majority of fruit and have a far smaller applicant pool for potential employers to choose from.
The three best provinces in Canada for fruit picking are Quebec, British Columbia (BC) and Ontario. BC tends to be the favourite as Quebec has slightly different immigration and hiring processes from the rest of Canada. Some of the best job sites in Canada for fruit picking jobs are:
- the Canadian job bank
- BC Cherry Association
- BC Fruit Grower Association
- Jealous Fruits Recruitment
- Carcajou Fruit
Another positive of applying online is that you know precisely the requirements for your job. A huge positive of fruit picker jobs in Canada is that the conditions are generally relatively small. Each job has different criteria but generally speaking, fruit picking jobs don't require specific educational qualifications, a language-ability qualification or even work experience in some instances. These differ depending on the job, and it's worth investigating each posting before applying to ensure you fulfill all of the necessary criteria.
Step 2: Get Your Visa Program
Before you apply for a job as a fruit picker, you should know how your pathway is going to play out. Depending on your country of origin, you may be able to go to Canada through several different routes.
Temporary Foreign Worker Permit
As fruit-picking jobs are generally seasonal, you will likely need to apply for a Temporary Foreign Worker Permit (TFWP) to be allowed to work. The TFWP works as follows:
As the TFWP is a closed work permit, you will only be allowed to work for a specific, designated employer and only for the set time of the employment contract. As a result, if this visa program works best for you, you will need to have received a job offer from an employer that has completed a Labour Market Impact Assessment. Often jobs that say they provide visa sponsorship have already done an LMIA and so don’t need to do one to hire you.
Those seeking a work permit via the TFWP should apply to the Agriculture Worker Stream. To apply for this stream, you must apply to an employer that has proven their sector is on the Canadian national commodity list, which most fruits grown in Canada are.
In addition, the job you're undertaking must be considered on-farm primary agriculture, meaning the position you apply for must have a Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) code of either: 0821, 0822, 8252, 8255, 8431, 8432, or 8611. Fruit pickers generally are classified under code 8611.
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
That said, if you're from one of the following nations, you will likely have to apply for your worker's permit under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP):
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St. Kitts-Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
The SAWP allows Canadian Employers to hire agricultural workers from these countries for up to 8 months during peak farming seasons. In addition, applying under the SAWP can often fast-track your visa application.
Canada Working Holiday Visa
This is not the only nation-specific visa program one can apply for when looking to work as a fruit picker. Depending on your nationality, you may qualify for several different visa programs. If you’re from one of the countries below, you may be able to apply for a Canada Working Holiday Visa via the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.
|Eligible Countries in the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program|
Unlike the TFWP, a Canada Working Holiday Visa allows candidates an open work permit for their stay in Canada, meaning they can change jobs and move freely around Canada from job to job until the period of their working holiday visa expires. This usually takes 12 to 24 months.
If you're unsure if you qualify for the TFWP, the SAWP or a Canada Working Holiday Visa, click the button below to speak to a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant. They will help get you to find the program you'll be most likely to qualify for and help you ensure you have the best possible chance of gaining your necessary visa or permit.
Step 3: Construct a Canada-friendly CV
Before officially applying, you must ensure you have all the documentation Canadian Employers require. If you don't, you may struggle to land the fruit-picking job you've been searching for. In addition, when applying online, most employers will ask for a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) to give them some background on you and how experienced you are in the field.
Therefore, your CV must be as quickly read and understood as possible. A great way to ensure this is to set your resume the same way they're done in Canada.
There are five simple rules to writing a good CV for landing a job in Canada.
1. Be Truthful
Don't embellish your details, particularly if they're easy to disprove. If a potential employer decides to run a background check on you and your details don't match up, you will automatically be refused the job. It's always better to be as honest as possible concerning work, experience, education level and skill base.
As fruit-picker jobs generally don't require specific qualifications or experience, there is no fear of having too few achievements. Misrepresenting yourself, however, can lead to your visa application being rejected by the Canadian immigration office and banned for the next five years.
2. Have Clear Contact Details
Ensure your potential employers know exactly how to contact you by ensuring you have a clear contact details section, that your contact details are valid and up to date and that they're appropriate for applying for a job. While working as a fruit picker isn't the most formal of employment, any employer will prefer a candidate who presents themselves in as professional a manner as possible.
3. Choose a Clear Layout
How you lay out your CV hugely influences how your information is consumed. Make sure your data is laid out clearly and as easily read as possible—an example of a perfect layout for a Canadian CV.
Once your CV is complete, it's time to move on to the next major step.
Step 4: Apply for the Job
Now that your CV is complete, you've researched your potential employers and found the best program to ensure you can get into Canada. Once you've landed your fruit-picking job, the next step is to apply. Make sure you include all documentation asked for in the job posting and that all necessary forms are filled out.
It's often best to apply for multiple jobs at once as often if one farm rejects you, another may accept you. It's also recommended that you use it well before the harvest season to give you plenty of time to get your visa or permit once you receive your job offer. If your application is successful, you should hear back from potential employers within a week or two and may have to sit an interview or test, depending on the requirements of your employer.
How much do fruit pickers generally earn?
There's a wide range of salaries fruit pickers can earn depending on the crop, region they're working in, level of responsibility and, ultimately, the yield they can produce. Often farms will pay pickers per pound of fruit they can pick. However, fruit picker salaries go between CA$15-CA$27 per hour, and fruit pickers can earn up to CA$3200 per month. Remember that on most farms, your employer covers your food, lodging and medical expenses.
Do you need specific skills to be a fruit picker?
No, but a few general requirements will work in your favour. You must be over 18 to work as a fruit picker. You don't need any qualifications, but experience in agricultural work is always an asset. You have to be able to handle heavy manual labour that may include heavy lifting. Good organizational skills will also be a significant asset as you often have to organize fruits for distribution.
How do I know if the job offer I receive is real or fake?
There are a few significant points to look out for upon receiving a job offer from an overseas employer. The first and primary thing to do is to research your employer and ensure the farm or company you've applied to is real. For a complete breakdown of what else to look out for in a job offer, have a look at this article.
Discover a New World
Having a chance to build up international experience and earn money for a short period in Canada, working as a fruit picker could be the way forward. Every year Canadian farmers present thousands of opportunities for foreign workers to gain fantastic experience over the harvest season. IF you feel this is something that you want to pursue, click the button below to speak to an RCIC to ensure you have your best pathway to becoming a fruit picker in Canada.