Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program underwent some changes last June this year.
These changes covered the way Canadian employers hire workers in the film and performing industry, and these were aimed at streamlining and speeding up the process.
Canada’s entertainment industry is a dynamic industry that accommodate both local and professional artists.
But while this industry seems thriving, it is actually suffering some loss because of the complex process by which foreign performers and artists are able to get to Canada and work.
A Look at the Previous System
Prior to the implemented changes, it is difficult for artists and performers to get to Canada legally because there is a high fee involved – as much as $275 per artist to be shouldered by the employer.
This is to cover the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application, which is needed to get a work permit. This is required even if the artists will only be working or performing in the country for a short period of time.
This results in either the employer refusing to hire or the artist refusing to work in Canada. It also increased instances of under-the-table work, whereby performers go to Canada as visitors and then perform in bars and restaurants illegally.
Changes in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Under the new system, the LMIA payment has been increased from $275 to $1000. However, the good news is that artists and performers who are working on a temporary basis will already be exempt from a work permit and thus, from LMIA.
Below is the list of the entertainment occupations with exemptions:
* Film, TV, video, and documentary producers working on projects funded outside Canada
* Those invited to judge in dance and music festivals
* Performing artists and crew, IF: performing on time-limited events, not involved in TV, radio, and movie, and not hired for ongoing employment by the company that contracted them
The following are the performers and artists who will still be required an LMIA:
* Those producing film, television, or radio broadcast funded from inside Canada
* Those who are not performing in a time-limited engagement
* Those who are working long-term for an employer (i.e. a permanent band player hired by a restaurant owner)
The good news about this is that there will be automatic expedited LMIA processing for those working in the performing industry. Processing will be only around 3 weeks, whereas the normal period is 3 months.