Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemptions for television and film production workers, performing artists and performing arts organizations.
Generally, employers who wish to hire foreign workers must obtain a positive LMIA unless there is an exemption. Exemptions fall under the general categories of significant benefits to Canada, reciprocal employment, designation by the Minister for public policy purposes, and charitable or religious work.
The new exemption for television and film production workers falls under the significant benefits to Canada category and aims to protect Canada's economic interests in continuing to attract high-value television and film productions to Canada. The exemption applies to television and film production in Canada regardless of whether the production is foreign or Canadian and whether it is filmed entirely or partially in Canada.
The new exemption comes into effect on February 17, 2016 and applies to those whose position or occupation is considered to be essential to a television or film production. Work permits can be issued under this LMIA exempt category if officers are satisfied that the work is essential to art or television and film production and creates and maintains significant economic benefits and opportunities for Canadians and permanent residents.
This new exemption applies to foreign nationals working in dance (e.g., ballet, contemporary), opera, orchestra and live theatre whose work contributes to competitive advantages and reciprocal benefits for all Canadians, including Canadian performing artists and performing arts organizations.
Workers and employers in the television and film industry and performing arts should take advantage of these new exemptions and should contact immigration professionals to further discuss the eligibility criteria and requirements.
For more details, please contact a member of our team.