Hollywood can resume filming in Canada

Shelby Thevenot
Published: July 14, 2020

U.S. film and TV productions are coming back to Canada.

Coronavirus caused film productions to shut down in March, and now major centres like Toronto are once again distributing film permits.

Travel restrictions might even boost Hollywood’s interest in producing films in Canada, according to The Hollywood Reporter. With limited flights and travel restrictions blocking other markets, Canada might be a viable option. The relative strength of the U.S. dollar against the Canadian currency also helps cut costs for American producers.

Need assistance with the Temporary Work Permit application process for film and TV? Contact wp@canadavisa.com

However, if film and TV production workers want to get past Canada’s travel restrictions, they cannot have any symptoms of coronavirus and they must be able to quarantine for 14-days.

They will also have to demonstrate to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer why they need to be in Canada to carry out their employment.

“Travellers should also consult the respective provincial/territorial websites to ensure that they [can abide by their] quarantine and public health requirements...” CBSA wrote to CIC News in an email, “In all port of entry cases, the final decision is made by a Canada Border Services Agency officer, based on the information available to them at time of processing.”

Canadian work permits for film and TV

Foreign film and TV personnel are exempt from the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is required of many work permit holders. LMIAs help determine the need for foreign workers in a specific sector or occupation. They are also meant to ensure that a foreign worker is not taking an open position that a Canadian worker could fill.

Film and TV crewmembers, actors, and other workers are eligible for the Significant Benefit Work Permit. LMIAs are not needed for this permit because film crews in Canada have a significant cultural and economic benefit to the country. As a result, the positive effects of issuing the work permit to film and TV workers outweigh the potential negative consequences that could result from not doing an LMIA.

Producers may be eligible to apply as business investors. To be eligible for this category, producers must submit their CV, proving their credentials as a film producer. Their production must also be considered a “commercial shoot.” If the purpose of the shoot is to advertise a certain product or promote a particular service, it will most likely be eligible.

Canada and U.S. film industries have a long history of mutual support. Many Hollywood films have been shot in Canada such as Fantastic Four (2015), Interstellar (2013), and Titanic (1997) to name of few. Guillermo del Toro was in Toronto when shooting of his new feature, Nightmare Alley, was interrupted by coronavirus. He is now expecting to resume filming in the fall, according to IndieWire.

Need assistance with the Temporary Work Permit application process for film and TV? Contact wp@canadavisa.com

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