The Government of Canada has recognized the many benefits associated with the growth of the film and television industry across Canada, including increases within the economy, local jobs, and a development in infrastructure.

Foreign workers in the television and film industry require a work permit to work on location in Canada. Work permits are divided into two subcategories: the first category requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and the second category exempts you from requiring an LMIA application. 

The LMIA application process is designed to ensure that a temporary foreign worker is not taking away a job from a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Within the film and television industry, work permits may be LMIA-exempt if the worker qualifies for the Significant Benefit Work Permit, which means the foreign worker would have to demonstrate that their role is pivotal to the production and provides a cultural, social or economic benefit to Canada, and is not taking away an opportunity from a Canadian worker. 

In support of the film and television industry in Canada, the government has established an employer-specific work permit program with expedited processing times, which allows eligible foreign workers to work on location in Canada without requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment application. 

To obtain an employer-specific work permit without a LMIA application, you must prove that your role within the production is essential, your role is both high wage and unionized in Canada, and that the production will create additional jobs for Canadians and permanent residents. This would boost the industry significantly by allowing film and television productions to employ foreign workers, as the LMIA process can be both expensive and time consuming. 

If you meet the eligibility criteria to apply of an employer-specific work permit, your employer must provide yourself and the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with your offer of employment. There is also a $230 application processing fee that your employer will be responsible for. 

Should your role not meet the criteria outlined for a LMIA-exempt work permit, you can still apply for an expedited process which would allow your position to be excused from being advertised under the LMIA application process. This would drastically reduce the application period to between 4 to 8 weeks. 

The Canadian Government continues to recognize the economic benefits and opportunities associated with the increase in the film and television industry across Canada. Local economies continue to benefit from film and television productions, and the film and television industry in Canada is continuing to gain popularity as it becomes easier for foreign companies to apply to host their productions in Canada.  

For more information on how to work in Canada as a foreign television or film professional, contact the Immigration Lawyers at Brace Law. Our experienced team can work with you to ensure a positive outcome on your applications. Consider it Handled when you work with Brace Law!

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