Television (TV) and film productions can bring essential personnel to Canada through the TV and Film Production Workers category.
Work permits acquired through this category are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Although exempt from a LMIA, foreign nationals must comply with all provisions governing temporary work in Canada, including obtaining a Temporary Resident Visa, if applicable.
Foreign and Canadian production companies filming in Canada can utilize this work permit category if they can demonstrate the work to be performed by the foreign national is essential to the production.
Applicants applying for this type of work permit must provide documentation to support they meet the requirements for this category. This includes, but is not limited to:
- 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 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,
- the signature of a senior representative of the production,
- the date of signature; and
- 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.
There are certain individuals working in the entertainment industry that do not require a work permit. Learn more about the business visitor options for the entertainment industry.