Working in the Entertainment Industry

Canada with its abundance of natural, historic and cultural exquisiteness, is host to a variety of endeavors when it comes to the entertainment industry.


The entertainment industry is very dynamic and constantly evolving industry. There are various ways in which people who are working in the entertainment industry can come to Canada and enter the Canadian labour market. The success of such applications will depend on various parameters, including but not limited to, tenure of the project, number of crew members (if applicable), duration of the project, skills and competence, etc.


Some of the most common and easy ways by which entertainment professionals and business people come to Canada are:


Business Visitors: A person may qualify to come to Canada as a business visitor, depending on the nature of work he or she is going to perform once the person has reached Canada, and, depending on the tenure (duration) of the person’s stay in Canada. This is an attractive option for entertainment professionals to come to Canada because of its exemption from the LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) requirements. To read more about business visitors to Canada from a generic perspective, click here.


LMIA Exempt Category: Several temporary statuses in Canada, when it comes to working in Canada in select categories in the entertainment industry, falls under the LMIA exempt category. That is, they do not require the employer in Canada to do a Labour Market Impact Assessment before the person can come to Canada on a work permit. An LMIA substantiates the fact that the employer is hiring the foreign national because the employer could not find any Canadian citizen or permanent resident locally to perform the job for which the employer is hiring the foreign national. LMIA exemptions will be applicable from different perspectives. For example, the person’s job description, the person’s country of citizenship, nature of job, etc. To read more about LMIA exempt category, click here.


Variations in LMIA advertising requirements: By default, an employer, as part of the LMIA process, is required to perform certain advertising (digital, print, etc.) in order to substantiate that the employer was not able to find suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents to do the job. However, when it comes to certain job categories within the entertainment industry, such requirements are waived off. To read more about the variations in advertisement requirements for LMIA applications, click here.


LMIA Category: Usually, an employer who wishes to hire a foreign national to come to work in Canada need to obtain a positive labour market opinion from ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada) before the employer can start the hiring process. This is called Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). If an entertainment industry professional doesn’t qualify on any one (or more) of the above category, he or she will have to go through the regular LMIA process before the person can work in Canada.  


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