As of February 17, 2016, foreign nationals in the television (TV) 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 under paragraph 205(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). Generally, these positions are high wage and unionized.
Facilitating entry for these workers under the International Mobility Program serves to support existing public investment in these productions and protect Canada’s economic interests in continuing to attract high-value TV and film productions to Canada. Work that is essential to TV and film production is considered to create and maintain significant economic benefits and opportunities for Canadians and permanent residents. This exemption applies to TV and film production in Canada, regardless of whether the production is foreign or Canadian and whether it is filmed entirely or in part in Canada.
Officers may apply the LMIA exemption code C14 to work permit applications received on or after February 17, 2016, if they are satisfied that the work essential to a TV or film production would create and maintain significant economic benefits and opportunities for Canadians and permanent residents.
The employer must submit an Offer of Employment, as per section R209.11, before a work permit application is made.
Officers should request both of the following supporting documents (if not already provided by the applicant) in support of work permit applications filed under LMIA exemption code C14:
- a letter of support from the production, which should generally contain specifications such as
- the name and contact information for the production,
- the working title of the production, the province(s) or territory(ies) in Canada in which the production will take place and the proposed dates of production,
- the name of the work permit applicant for the production,
- a statement confirming that the individual and position are essential to that specific TV or film production,
- details of the significant economic benefit to Canada of the TV or film production, which may include
- the estimated number of jobs for Canadians created by the production,
- the estimated budgetary spend in Canada at the federal, provincial or territorial level,
- a statement confirming that the TV or film production satisfies the criteria for federal, provincial or territorial tax credit for TV or film production, or is the recipient of federal, provincial or territorial funding for TV or film production,
- the signature of a senior representative of the production,
- the date of signature;
- a letter from the relevant union or guild, which should generally contain specifications such as
- the description of the union or guild,
- the working title and the relevant location(s) of the TV or film production,
- the name of the work permit applicant,
- a statement for the officer’s consideration indicating that the union or guild is of the view that the work to be performed is subject to a collective agreement and that it has no objection to the foreign national working in the specified position for the specified company,
- the signature of a senior representative of the organization,
- the date of signature.
Note: For applications submitted online, these additional supporting documents may be uploaded under Letter of Explanation.
Other LMIA or work permit exemptions for consideration
Depending on the nature of the work to be performed and how the production is funded, applicants may be eligible for other LMIA or work permit exemptions.
Employer compliance fee
Regulations for the International Mobility Program provide that, when hiring LMIA-exempt foreign workers, employers must pay an employer compliance fee and submit an Offer of Employment to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
A work permit application will be refused under paragraph R200(3)(f.1) if the employer
- has not paid the employer compliance fee, as per section R303.1, unless the employer has been exempted from paying the fee under subsection R303.1(5) or R303.2(2); or
- has not submitted an Offer of Employment, as per section R209.11.
A refund of the employer compliance fee may be initiated if
- the work permit application is refused; or
- the employer withdraws their offer of employment in writing prior to the issuance of the work permit and the work permit application is therefore refused.
Applicants destined to Quebec
Foreign nationals destined to work in Quebec under paragraph R205(a) (LMIA exemption code C14) do not require a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ).
Work permit issuance in the Global Case Management System (GCMS)
Under the Application screen, officers should enter the following:
- Case Type: 52
Based on fields in the Offer of Employment, officers should enter the following under the Application screen:
- Province of Destination: address of physical job location
- If there is more than one location, officers should enter the primary location in the Province of Destination field and the secondary location in the Remarks field.
- City of Destination: address of physical job location
- If there is more than one location, officers should enter the primary location in the City of Destination field and the secondary location in the Remarks field.
- Exemption Code: C14
- NOC: National Occupational Classification code
- Intended Occupation: job title
- Salary: “amount per year” as indicated wage in Canadian dollars and number of work hours
- Employer: business operating name
Note: The employer is subject to regulatory imposed conditions based on the information provided in the Offer of Employment. Therefore, any corrections to the information in the form must come from the employer.
Specifically, if the employer has made an error in the Offer of Employment, officers should not correct the information in GCMS. Instead, they may
- refuse the application based on the foreign national not meeting the eligibility requirements, if applicable; or
- contact the employer and instruct them to submit a new Offer of Employment.
Work permit duration
Officers may issue an LMIA-exempt work permit that is valid for the duration of the intended employment or until the expiry of the travel document, whichever is earlier. As per the program delivery instructions on work permit validity, providing that requirements are met, officers should issue work permits for a longer rather than shorter duration (i.e., officers may take into consideration the intended date of completion of a production to facilitate re-entry for re-shoots if specifically requested by the production).
If there is no end date to the duration of the intended employment, officers may issue a work permit that is valid for up to two years or until the expiry of the travel document, whichever is earlier.
Note: Work permits issued for LMIA-exempt occupations under Canadian interests [R205] are exceptions to the cumulative duration (four-year maximum) regulation [R200(3)(g)].
For more information on duration, consult
- Date Modified: