International Mobility Program: Authorization to work without a work permit – News reporters and media crews

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Paragraph R186(i) applies to news reporters and their crews coming to Canada for the purpose of reporting on events in Canada. Journalists working for print, broadcast or Internet news service providers (journals, newspapers, magazines, TV shows, etc.) are eligible, provided the company is not Canadian. Employees of a foreign news company who are resident correspondents are included; however, this does not include managerial or clerical personnel.

Exception: Managerial and clerical personnel are included for special events that are six months or less in duration.

Blimps

From time to time, companies bring in blimps such as the “Goodyear Blimp” to assist in the media coverage of major sporting events. The landing crew enters by land in order to set up the specialized equipment necessary for the safe operation of the blimp while it is in Canada. The members of this landing crew should be treated as part of the broadcast crew for the purposes of entry into Canada, and require no work permit.

Media crews on tourism promotional tours

Media crews (including writers, print, video, film and broadcast journalists, as well as technicians such as camera operators) producing travelogues, documentaries or tourism promotional material, require work permits. However, when dealing with these applications, officers are reminded to begin their assessment by reviewing the definition of work. In some cases, foreign media crews on tourism promotional tours may not be entering the Canadian labour market; then the criteria of section 186(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Business Visitor) might apply.

Foreign media crews that do not meet the business visitor criteria will require work permits. They should be assessed against R205(a) (Labour Market Impact Assessment [LMIA] exemption for Canadian interests: Significant benefit [C10]). The requirements listed below for media crews must also be met.

Media crews not meeting the conditions of Business Visitor or C10 must continue to obtain LMIAs and apply for work permits. It is the responsibility of the appropriate sponsoring organization representing the employer (airlines, hoteliers, tourism associations, operators, etc.) to obtain the necessary approval from the local Service Canada office for any job offers.

For North American media crews: the crews must be taking part in a promotional tour at the invitation of Canada’s federal, provincial or territorial government, or at the invitation of a municipality or region. The invitation must be presented at the time of application for the work permit (in many instances, the letter of invitation will originate from a Canadian mission in the U.S.).

For Non-North American media crews: the final product must be for distribution in and viewing by non-North American markets and audiences.

Media crews not meeting the above conditions must obtain work permits and LMIAs. It is the responsibility of the appropriate sponsoring organization representing the employer (airlines, hoteliers, tourism associations, operators, etc.) to obtain the necessary approval for any job offers from the nearest Service Canada (SC) Office. Generally, a three-week lead-time is necessary for SC to determine the availability of suitably qualified workers. Sponsoring agencies in Canada are expected to undertake reasonable efforts to identify the availability of suitably qualified Canadians and/or permanent residents, with SC assistance where necessary. This includes contacting the respective union or guild representing the occupations for which the foreign workers are being requested.

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