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:
- 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 applying for a labour market opinion can use the:
- Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Web Service (online); or
- paper application form (by mail or fax).
1. Temporary Foreign Worker Web Service
The TFW Web Service reduces the paper burden and speeds the processing of LMO applications. In addition, employers using the Web Service will have the opportunity to:
- have an online account where they can update their profile information;
- complete and submit online LMO applications;
- create and assign secondary representatives, as needed, to assist with completing the applications;
- attach files instead of mailing the required documentation;
- receive electronic messages from Service Canada regarding their application (e.g. missing documentation);
- monitor the status of their LMO applications.
- Employers and authorized third-party representatives can consult the Registration Guide and Form to complete the one-time only registration form, to set up their online account. Once the registration is approved, they can proceed to LOGIN to apply for their LMO.
- LOGIN – TFW Web Service.
2. Paper Application Form
Complete, sign (where applicable) and submit the following documents:
- LMO Application Form (EMP5517).
- Schedule A - Appointment of a Third Party Representative (EMP5575) (if applicable).
- Schedule B - Impact on the Canadian Labour Market (EMP5578) (if applicable).
- Schedule C – Employer Transition Plans (EMP5594) (if applicable).
- Schedule E – Establishing the Cap for Low-wage positions for a Work Location (EMP5597) (if applicable).
- Proof of recruitment (e.g. copy of advertisement and information to support where, when and for how long the position was advertised).Proof of recruitment (e.g. copy of advertisement and information to support where, when and for how long the position was advertised).
Send all documentation:
By Mail or Fax:
To the Service Canada Centre responsible for processing the LMO applications in the region where the TFW will be employed.
For assistance – Phone:
The Service Canada Centre responsible for processing the LMO applications in the region where the TFW will be employed.
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