A new policy that facilitates the entry of certain graphic designers into Canada without an LMIA.


Work without LMIA - Immergity Immigration Consultant
Work without LMIA - Immergity Immigration Consultant

In circumstances under which your skills as a Graphic Designer brings about significant social, cultural, or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents; accompanied by a valid job offer, you may qualify to apply for a work permit which is exempt of an LMIA under the new temporary public policy issued by the IRCC on the 10th of September 2021 and it will be in effect until March 9, 2022.


This policy makes it easy to issue employer-specific work permits to foreign graphic designers coming to Canada. These graphic designers need to work on live-action film and television projects and productions.


This policy is focused on the significant benefit of live TV and film productions in Canada where high-wage, unionized foreign workers are necessary during the shooting of the film in Canada, benefiting Canada’s domestic TV and film industry and its growth as well as providing spin-off benefits for the locations.


Consideration under this exemption is to be given for the production (filming) stage of live-action television and film projects in Canada, regardless of whether


  • the production is foreign or Canadian

  • it is filmed entirely or in part in Canada.


Eligibility - Essential workers for the production stage of television and film – International Mobility Program


  • essential to a live-action TV or film project in the production stage (filming): Essential positions are those where the physical presence of foreign workers on location in Canada is required to generate the expected benefit.

  • high wage: Evidence of high-wage work is meant to establish that Canada will reap a significant economic benefit (for example, tax revenue) from hiring a foreign national and to protect the Canadian labour market from wage suppression.

  • unionized: Proof of unionized work demonstrates that the employment of the foreign national is critical to the production occurring in Canada while protecting the direct employment of Canadians.


Documentary evidence

The onus is on the applicant to provide evidence that they meet the considerations of administrative exemption code C14 and will be able to perform the work being sought as stated in the LMIA-exempt offer of employment.


The offer of employment needs to be submitted through the Employer Portal.


The employer must submit an offer of employment before a work permit application is made.


The letter must:

  1. include the details of the named live-action television or film productions (for example, working titles, production locations).

  2. mention that the applicant’s presence and work are essential to television or film productions.

  3. attest to the wage that the foreign national will be paid, which must be both (a) the same as that set out in the copy of the offer of employment that was provided, and (b) at or above the median wage for NOC 5241 in the specific community or area of work, as specified on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank site.

  4. state that the television or film productions described in (i) satisfy the criteria for a federal, provincial or territorial tax credit for television or film production, or are recipients of federal, provincial or territorial funding for television or film production.


If you are not an essential worker as stated above, there is still hope for you. Officers may assess applications outside of these policy considerations and administrative LMIA exemption code under other International Mobility Program streams, or under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.


However, there are exceptions to the above consideration:

  • Pre- or post-production work, for example, storyboarding, visual effects, sound editing or film editing.

  • Work that is not specific to a production.

  • Work that is paid below the median wage.

  • The following situations would not provide a significant benefit that meets the policy considerations identified for administrative LMIA exemption code C14.

  • Non-unionized work.

If you are interested in applying to this policy, please contact us now.


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