The entertainment sector in Canada is flourishing. As a result, television (TV) and film projects can use the TV and Film Production Work Permit Category to import key individuals to Canada.
This category of work permits is excluded from the obligation of obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
Foreign nationals must comply with all laws governing temporary work in Canada, including acquiring a Temporary Resident Visa if appropriate, even if they are exempt from an LMIA.
This work permit category is available to international and Canadian production firms filming in Canada if they can show that the job to be performed by the foreign national is critical to the production.
Applicants for this sort of work permit must present documents demonstrating that they fit the category’s qualifications.
This covers, but is not limited to, the following items:
A letter of support from the production, which should generally contain specifications such as:
- the name and contact information for the production,
- the working title of the production, the province(s) or territory(ies) in Canada in which the production will take place and the proposed dates of production,
- the name of the work permit applicant for the production,
- a statement confirming that the individual and position are essential to that specific TV or film production,
- details of the significant economic benefit to Canada of the TV or film production, which may include:
- the signature of a senior representative of the production,
- the date of signature; and
- the estimated number of jobs for Canadians created by the production,
- the estimated budgetary spend in Canada at the federal, provincial or territorial level, and
- a statement confirming that the TV or film production satisfies the criteria for federal, provincial or territorial tax credit for TV or film production, or is the recipient of federal, provincial or territorial funding for TV or film production.
If the position is unionized, a letter from the relevant union or guild, which should generally contain specifications such as:
- the description of the union or guild,
- the working title and the relevant location(s) of the TV or film production,
- the name of the work permit applicant,
- a statement for the officer’s consideration indicating that the union or guild is of the view that the work to be performed is subject to a collective agreement and that it has no objection to the foreign national working in the specified position for the specified company,
- the signature of a senior representative of the organization, and
- the date of signature.