Graphic designers now among film and television workers who can get expedited work permits – Philippine Canadian Inquirer


A new public policy allows graphic designers working in film and television production in Canada to avoid the lengthy and costly LMIA process. (Photo Pexels)

If you are a graphic designer working on a live movie or TV show, coming to Canada just got easier.

Canada recognizes the value that film and television production brings to the national economy. IRCC makes it easier for graphic designers to come to Canada working on films or television shows. As of September 10, 2021, these people no longer need a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to obtain a Canadian work permit. This policy will last until March 9, 2022.

Get help with Canadian work permits

If you are a graphic designer wishing to come to Canada, or an employer wishing to hire under this policy, you must apply on or after September 10, 2021. However, you can still benefit from it if you have already come with a work permit but apply to renew it as of September 10th.

This work permit may be suitable for you if you intend to work on at least one live-action television or film production that is shot in whole or in part in Canada. This can be at the pre-production, production, or post-production stage.

You will also need to provide a letter from the employer or an authorized representative of the employer. This letter must indicate:

  • details of named live television or film productions;
  • that your presence and your work are essential to television or film production;
  • the salary that you will be paid and that it is both the same as stated in the copy of the job posting, and that it is equal to or greater than the median salary for the profession of graphic designer in the specific community , as specified on the Canada Job Bank site;
  • that the television or film production meets the criteria for a federal, provincial or territorial tax credit for television or film production. Otherwise, they may also be recipients of federal, provincial or territorial funding for television or film production.

In general, if you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you need a permit to work in Canada. If you have a work permit, your employer probably needs an LMIA. LMIA is a process in which your employer demonstrates that hiring a foreign worker will not negatively impact the employment opportunities of Canadians. This means that being exempt from an LMIA requirement is a big plus for an employer or employee.

One of the main routes to work permits exempt from LMIA is the significant benefits route. If the foreign national or employer can demonstrate that hiring from abroad will provide social, economic or cultural benefits or opportunities for Canadians, a foreign national can accept the position without the need for an LMIA.

Canada is a popular place to make movies. Beautiful landscapes, a favorable exchange rate and modern infrastructure all play a role. In turn, cinema gives a tremendous boost to the Canadian economy. In 2019, the contribution of the film production industry to Canada’s GDP was estimated at well over $ 12 billion.

The new policy removing the LMIA requirement for graphic designers in this area is designed to accelerate the industry’s recovery from the shocks of COVID-19. As of March 2022, the government can extend this policy, make it permanent or cancel it. In the meantime, however, it eases the way for workers and employers to “put the show on the road”.

Get help with Canadian work permits

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