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  • Article: Canada Immigration Announces Two New LMIA-exempt Work Permit Categories. By Benjamin A. Kranc

    Canada Immigration Announces Two New LMIA-exempt Work Permit Categories


    What’s New

    Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly CIC) today announced that effective February 17, 2016, two new LMIA-exempt work permit categories will be available.

    Under the International Mobility Program, these categories will be:

    • Television and Film Production Workers (considered under ‘significant benefit’), and
    • Performing Arts (considered under ‘reciprocal benefit’)

    (a)          Television and Film Production Workers

    Under this category, “foreign nationals in the television and film industry whose position or occupation is essential to a TV or film production may be eligible for an exemption from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement”. The exemption is to be applied by officers who are satisfied that “the work is essential to a TV or film production (and) would create …significant economic benefits and opportunities for Canadians”.

    Documentation in support of such an application that will be required are:

    • A letter of support from the production, which contains, among other matters:
      • Name and contact information for production
      • The working title of the production, and where and when it will take place
      • The name of the applicant, and a statement that his/her position is essential to the production
      • Details of benefit to Canada, including:
        • The number of Canadian jobs that will be created
        • Estimated budget
    • A letter from the relevant union/guild, which contains, among other matters:
      • A description of the union/guild
      • The working title and location of production.
      • The name of the applicant, and a statement that the union does not object to the issuance of a work permit to the foreign national

    IRCC indicates that this exemption will apply to high wage categories, based on the province of destination (as per http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/foreign_workers/hire/median_wage/index.page).

    (b)          Performing Arts

    This category will facilitate entry of foreign nationals “working in dance…, opera, orchestra, and live theatre”. The officer will require evidence of reciprocal employment opportunity for Canadians. Such evidence may include letters from the Canadian performing arts company confirming that Canadians are receiving opportunities abroad in similar endeavours. (It need not be a 1:1 ratio, just general information that Canadians are getting opportunities abroad.) Note that information about reciprocity may be obtained, depending on the particular art form, from, e.g. The Canadian Dance Assembly, Orchestra Canada, The Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, or Opera.ca.


    In both cases, work permits can be issued for up to two years, and all other LMIA-exempt requirements apply, such as, and including, the need for the completion of the ‘Employer Compliance’ portal information, and payment of the fee, in advance of the application.

    Please note that in addition to the allowances herein, there are other pre-existing categories of performing artists who may in any event be exempt from the need for a work permit. Each case must be checked separately to determine which route is appropriate.

    What You Should Do

    If you are in a discipline where the above may be applicable, you should consider whether either of these legal options is available to you. In order to utilize either of the categories, you should also make sure that you are familiar with all specific requirements, and adhere to them. Please note again that these provisions come into effect on February 17 only.

    The information in this article is for general purposes only, and not intended as legal advice for any particular situation.

    This post originally appeared on Kranc Associates. Copyright © 2016 Kranc Associates. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

    About The Author

    Benjamin A. Kranc Benjamin A. Kranc is senior principal of Kranc Associates, a leading Canadian corporate immigration law firm. He has many years of experience assisting clients in connection with Canadian immigration and business issues. Ben is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Immigration Law. He is also on the ‘Who’s Who Legal’ list of foremost practitioners in Canadian corporate immigration, as well as rated as AV Preeminent® in a Martindale-Hubbell peer review. Ben has spoken at numerous conferences, seminars, and information sessions – both for professional organizations and private groups – about issues in Canadian immigration law, and has also taught immigration law at Seneca College in Toronto. In addition, Ben has written extensively. He is the author of a leading text on Canadian immigration law entitled “North American Relocation Law” (Thomson Reuters) and contributing immigration author to the “The Human Resources Advisor” (First Reference Books). Ben can be contacted at (416) 977-7500 ext. 226, or bkranc@kranclaw.com.

    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

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