How can TV and Film workers work in Canada?
Canada has played host to productions for some of the world’s all-time most popular movies and TV shows.
Parts of 1997’s Titanic (Nova Scotia), 2005’s Brokeback Mountain (Alberta) and 2008’s Twilight (British Columbia) were filmed across different parts of this country over the years. On top of that, in the world of television, Canada has been a production location for such popular shows as The Flash (Vancouver) and legal drama Suits (Toronto)— the latter of which starred Toronto’s own Patrick J. Adams.
Wholly, Canada has a prolific place in the history of the television and film industry, which is part of why it is important that Canada has a work permit category specific to TV and film workers. Having this work permit category also enables Canada to attract investment through the production of these works as well as create jobs for Canadians all around the country.
The TV and Film Production Work Permit category enables production teams from around the world to bring essential staff and personnel to this country in a timely fashion.
TV/Film work permit details
Despite not needing an LMIA, workers coming to Canada with this permit must still comply with all Canadian temporary work provisions, including obtaining a Temporary Resident Visa if required.
TV/Film work permit requirements
To qualify for a work permit in this category, applicants must provide a letter of support from production that includes the following information.
- 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
Further, applicants must provide documentation that is able to validate details of the significant economic benefit to Canada of the TV or film production, which may include:
- The signature of a senior representative of the production, and the date of signature
- The estimated number of jobs for Canadians created by the production
- The estimated budgetary spend in Canada at the federal, provincial, or territorial level
- A statement confirming that the TV or film production either satisfies the criteria for the 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
Additional requirements for unionized workers in television and film
Should the position that is being filled by the applicant be unionized, the application process for a work permit in this category changes. In this case, the applicant must be able to provide a letter from their union or guild that outlines:
- A 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
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