How to get a work permit as a TV and Film Production worker

Julia Hornstein
Published: July 15, 2022

Television and film production companies can bring workers to Canada through the TV and Film Production Work Permit Category if they can demonstrate that the work to be performed by the foreign worker is essential to production. If you submit your work permit application online as a TV or Film worker, you may be eligible for three-week processing.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

Work permits given through the TV and Film Production Work Permit Category are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement.

Work permits may not require an LMIA if the work being done will provide a cultural, social or economic benefit to Canada. Canada recognizes that TV and film shoots generate jobs, revenue and infrastructure development, therefore foreign film and TV crew may be eligible for facilitated work permits and expedited processing times.

Although there is no LMIA requirement, foreign workers must comply with all other provisions regarding temporary work in Canada, including obtaining a Temporary Resident Visa, if applicable. In addition, applicants applying for a work permit under this category must provide documentation to support that they meet the requirements for this category.

A letter of support from the production should include specifications such as:

  • The name and contact information for the production
  • The name of the work permit applicant for the production
  • The province(s) in Canada in which the production will take place and the proposed dates of production
  • The working title of 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

If the position is unionized, a letter from the relevant union or guild, which should include specifications such as:

  • The description of the union or guild,
  • The name of the work permit applicant
  • The working title of the production
  • The province(s) in Canada in which the production will take place and the proposed dates of production
  • 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

Business Visitors in the Entertainment Industry

If you work in the entertainment industry, you may qualify as a business visitor. Depending on the nature and duration of your work in Canada, as a business visitor, you would not need a work permit.

Typically, there are three types of workers in the entertainment industry that would qualify as a business visitor:

  • Film Producers working on a movie, TV show, or documentary which must be a foreign-financed production.
  • Essential Personal working on a foreign financed commercial shoot.
    • Must be entering Canada for a short duration, usually no more than two weeks
  • Performing artists performing at a show, concert or festival, or may be appearing as a guest on a TV series or film being filmed in Canada.
    • Must be entering Canada for a time-limited engagement.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your Canadian immigration options.

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