Starting February 17, 2016, foreign nationals in the television and film industry whose position or occupation is essential to a television or film production (regardless of whether the production is foreign or Canadian) may be be eligible for an exemption for the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement. Generally, these positions are high wage and unionized.
Until February 17, 2016, foreign nationals in the television and film industry have required LMIAs prior to obtaining a work permit regardless of whether their position or occupation was considered to be essential to a production or provided a significant economic benefit to Canada.
Who is eligible for this television and film production LMIA exemption?
A foreign national should qualify for the LMIA exemption if:
- The employer can confirm in writing that the individual and position are essential to the television or film production and that the production will result in a significant economic benefit to Canada; and
- The relevant union or guild can confirm in writing that the work to be performed is subject to a collective agreement and that the union or guild has no objection to the foreign national working in the specified position for the specified company.
What this means for Employers?
Employers must pay an employer compliance fee and submit an Offer of Employment to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or the work permit will be refused. The work permit can be issued for up to two (2) years or until the expiry of the travel document, whichever is earlier.
This television and film LMIA exemption will significantly reduce the time required to process work permits and allow employers to bring certain television and film workers into Canada much faster than they were able to do with an LMIA requirement.
If you have any questions about this new LMIA exemption that is specific to foreign national who work in television and film production, please contact Green and Spiegel.