the CanadaVisa Team - 13 April, 2018
The Government of Canada announced that entry for foreign nationals in the performing arts industry will now be made easier as a new list of occupations in that industry may now be issued Labour Market Impact Assessment exempt work permits.
Canadian employers who wish to hire a foreign worker in most cases need to prove that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill a job vacancy and that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available to perform the duties of the job. This process is documented with a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
However, Canada recognizes the importance of hiring of foreign workers to create and maintain significant economic benefits and opportunities for Canadians and permanent residents.
In this case, the hiring of foreign workers in the performing arts industry is considered to be an advantageous opportunity for Canada and results in reciprocal benefits for all Canadians, including performing artists and organizations in that industry.
The occupations in the performing arts industry, which may eligible for an LMIA-exempt work permit, include:
In order to initiate the process, the employer must submit an Offer of Employment through the Employer Portal before a work permit application is submitted.
The Employer Portal is an online application management system that helps facilitate the hiring process of LMIA-exempt foreign workers by Canadian employers.
A key feature of LMIA exemption in the case of foreign workers in the performing arts industry is proven evidence of reciprocal employment.
A reciprocal agreement enables foreign workers to work in Canada when Canadians or permanent residents have similar work opportunities abroad.
For immigration officers to apply the LMIA exemption to a work permit, they need to be convinced that reciprocal employment opportunities exist for Canadian and permanent residence in the performing arts industry.
The following documents will be required to prove the possibility of reciprocal work opportunities:
The reciprocity letter needs to include the following details:
An interesting feature worth noting is that reciprocity does not need to be one for one. For example, 10 Canadian ballet dancers had opportunities in Europe in one year, while 10 foreign worker ballet dancers were hired by Canadian ballet companies.
Additionally, multiple representatives may affirm reciprocity. The following organizations may provide letters of reciprocity:
For more information on LMIA exemptions, please visit our dedicated page.
Traveling abroad benefits Canada’s economy by helping Canadian workers gain experience aboard and expand on the local industry.
In its Budget 2018 plan, the Government of Canada pledges to provide $194.1 million between 2018 and 2019 to the advancement of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program, two of Canada’s temporary foreign worker programs.