Sep 15 2021

Amended Eligibility for Work Permits for Essential Workers in Television and Film Production

Canada

At a Glance

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has amended eligibility requirements for C-14 work permits in Canada to include foreign nationals who are essential to the production stage of a film or television project, including actors, directors and choreographers, among others.
  • Due to this change, eligible foreign nationals will have an additional route to apply to work in the television and film industry in Canada; however, they should note that may need to obtain union approval to utilize this route, which may not always be possible, and cannot use this route for pre- or post- production work.
  • This amendment is aligned with Canada’s goal to attract film projects and support investment in the industry.

The situation

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has amended eligibility requirements for C-14 work permits in Canada to include foreign nationals who are essential to the production stage of a film or television project, including actors, directors and choreographers, among others.

A closer look

  • Eligibility requirements. The following eligibility requirements apply to this C-14 work permit category:
    • the foreign national’s physical presence must be required on-site for the production stage of a live-action television or film project (pre- and post- production work is excluded):
    • the foreign national must be paid at least the prevailing wage, based on the occupation and primary work location; and
    • the occupation must be unionized in Canada.
  •  Employer requirements. In order to sponsor a foreign national, employers must:
    • submit documentation and an Offer of Employment through the federal government’s Employer Portal and provide details as to the film project and its significant benefit to Canada, the foreign national’s details and duties in Canada, the foreign national’s salary and any other job requirements; and
    • obtain a letter of support from the responsible union in Canada stating that the occupation is unionized and that the union has no objection to the foreign national working in the role in Canada for the employer.
  • Graphic designers. Graphic designers are also able to apply under the same requirements until March 9, 2022, although they may undertake work activities at all stages of production related to live-action television and film projects and production.
  • Processing times. Processing times for this category of foreign nationals will be the same as the standard C-14 work permit processing times.
  • Alternate route for sponsorship. Those foreign nationals who do not meet the eligibility or documentary requirements can still apply for a work permit under the significant general benefit work permit or seek authorization to engage as a performing artist, without a work permit, as a business visitor.

     

Impact

Eligible foreign nationals will have an additional route to apply to work in the television and film industry in Canada; however, they should note that may need to obtain union approval to utilize this route, which may not always be possible, and cannot use this route for pre- or post- production work.

Background

This amendment of eligibility for work permits for the television and film industry is aligned with Canada’s goal to attract film projects and support investment in the industry.

Looking ahead

Canada continues to maintain an immigration-friendly environment, as they create new pathways to permanent residence for essential workers and international graduates, raise immigration target levels, and support foreign worker’s rights, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].