Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Hiring Foreign Workers in Entertainment and Film-Related Occupations
Hiring foreign workers in film and entertainment can be an important part of making a production or holding a cultural or entertainment event in Canada. The entry of foreign workers in film and entertainment can also bring unique international talent to Canada and support cultural exchange.
In most cases, Canadian employers hiring foreign workers in film and entertainment must get a Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada Labour Market Opinion (LMO). The foreign worker also requires a Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) work permit to work in Canada. These conditions are designed to take into account career development and employment opportunities for Canadians.
Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), there are specific cases where employers in the film and entertainment industries do not need an ESDC job offer confirmation, or the foreign workers do not need a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) work permit.
Positions Exempt from Work Permits and ESDC Labour Market Opinion
Foreign Workers who do not need a CIC work permit or an ESDC labour market opinion include:
- Producers of film, television, video and documentary projects funded entirely from outside of Canada;
- Adjudicators at music and dance festivals;
Performing artists, their support crew, and other workers essential to the artistic performance.
Examples of performing artists include:
- Musicians in a band performing several tour dates in Canada;
- Guest conductors and artists performing with Canadian productions or groups for a few performances;
- Actors in foreign touring theatrical productions;
- Professional wrestlers and circus performers in foreign touring productions;
- Musicians and buskers coming to Canada to perform in festivals;
- Support crew and other workers who are integral to a live production;
- Disc jockeys coming to Canada to work at private events, festivals, concerts and fairs.
The performing artists listed above must not:
- Perform in bars or restaurants;
- Work on the production of a film, television, radio, or Internet broadcast;
- Enter into an employment relationship with the Canadian organization contracting for their services.
A work permit and a labour market opnion are required in these instances, and you need to follow the steps outlined in hiring Foreign Workers in film and entertainment in Canada.
Entry to Canada
Foreign workers exempted from a CIC work permit and ESDC labour market opinion can apply for a visitor visa directly at a CIC visa office or at a Canadian Port of Entry in the case of citizens of contiguous states including the United States, St. Pierre et Miquelon, and Greenland
Positions that Require A CIC Work Permit but do not Require an Individual ESDC Labour Market Opinion
Foreign Workers who need CIC work permits, but who do not require an individual ESDC labour market opinion include:
- Actors and workers on a film co-production between Canada and a foreign country.
Entry to Canada
These Foreign Workers can apply for a work permit directly at a CIC visa office or at a Canadian Port of Entry in the case of citizens of contiguous states including the United States, St. Pierre et Miquelon, and Greenland.
How to Apply:
Employers hiring foreign workers in film and entertainment in Canada must :
- LMO Application Form (EMP5517).
A new LMO application form will be available on ; as of this date, employers must complete and submit this new form.
- Schedule A - Appointment of a Third Party Representative (EMP5575) (if applicable).
- Schedule B - Impact on the Canadian Labour Market (EMP5578) (if applicable).
A Certificate of Registration from the Government of Manitoba is required for employers in Manitoba. You can register online with the province. For more information on the Manitoba's new Worker Recruitment and Protection Act, consult the Questions and Answers.
Multiple Locations: Employers of foreign workers working in multiple locations must submit their ESDC/Service Canada LMO to the ESDC/Service Canada office nearest the first work or performance site.
- Once ESDC/Service Canada has approved your job offer, send a copy of the ESDC/Service Canada confirmation letter to the foreign worker.
- Tell the foreign worker to apply for a work permit from CIC.
Next,CIC decides whether the foreign worker will get a work permit according to the requirements to work and reside temporarily in Canada.
Some countries may require that their citizens meet certain conditions if they want to work in Canada (e.g. approval to leave the country, employer to pay transportation costs and/or medical coverage). Ask the foreign worker to verify if additional conditions apply in his/her country, contact the country's consulate in Canada or check its website to find out if you must meet additional requirements.
- Date modified: