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lightsofjuarez

Working in Canada?

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Hi Folks, 

 

My fiancee recently received a job offer in Vancouver that would give her permanent Canadian residency thus we are considering making the move.  I'm wondering if I (a US citizen) would then be eligible to work on productions that shoot in Canada?  I'm currently a 695 & 479 member but is there an IATSE local I would have to join there?

 

Any info would be greatly appreciated!

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There is a Vancouver IA Local that you will be asked to join. However, that’s not your problem: to work in Canada you need to be a Canadian. Or landed. Or resident .


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nope, its a lot more complicated than that. residency is a lot different than citizenship. your best bet is to reach out to a immigration lawyer. i have one I've been speaking with in whistler. 

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Michael, 

 

Let me know how it goes and who you’ve been working with. This is Tyler Blythe btw. 

 

Not it sure if it makes a difference but the job offer my fiancée got is with the Canadian government. 

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Generally speaking you will need a status like "Permanent Resident" to live and work in Canada.    You will need essentially 4/5 years as a PR before you can start the citizenship application process.  I agree Michael, talking with a immigration lawyer is a smart thing to do.   On a practical note, if you are planning on getting married to your fiancée which I assume you are, having that piece of paper saying you are married will make your "status" much clearer in the eyes of the government.   When I was applying for PR back in 2010-2011 it took the better part of a year from the time I sent the application in to the time I got my status and was able to work again.  Supposedly they have been trying to speed things up, but who knows.  

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Oh and forgot to mention to look into a good cross boarder tax person because even if all your income in the future is Canadian you will still need to file US taxes in addition to your Canadian taxes.  You will also need to file FBAR and FACTA forms.  

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In addition most productions require you to have filed taxes in BC the previous year to prove you have been living in BC. They really enforce this as it is critical to getting their tax credits.


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This is a few years back but when I contacted the IA local in Vancouver to see about their requirements for working, the woman I spoke with talked to me with such utter contempt and nasty aggressiveness that I was completely taken by surprise.  One IA member to another.  I took it to mean that they really didn't need any help up there :)

 

As it turned out, I was okay with that.

 

D.

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When I was traveling a lot producing my live-radio sound works, the Canadians gave me by far the worst time of all re: working and permits etc., far worse than China, Russia, UK, Japan, Australia etc etc.  Even though I was the titular producer of the show (true), the fact that I had a lot of (strange) music and sound equipment in my luggage made them suspicious that I was there as a regular soundie/movie crew person, and multiple hours of questioning and forms and waiting ensued (missed a broadcast because of it).  They stapled a Very Large Form into my passport forbidding me to even think about working while in Canada and promising many sorts of punishments if they caught me.

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Being that my main market area is Detroit and we are close to Canada I get a couple of calls a year to work there for U.S. clients in the Windsor and London, Ontario areas. Shortly after 9/11 I had a Producer that was cheap and did not want to buy the proper work permit for me. He expected me to lie at the border and say I was going golfing or fishing. I opted to tell the truth and was promptly motioned to pull into the Customs Office. After about an hour of “what was my purpose?” “You need a permit and it takes two weeks to get one”, I had to sign a form stating that I violated the Canadian Immigration Act of 1978, and shown to the border. Ever since then when ever I go there for play or work my name comes up and after some brief questioning by the booth guard, I am allowed entry.  I was on a job two years ago for the NHL in Calgary, upon arrival at the airport  I was told to go to Immigration, when they found out I was there for the league they stamped my passport and allowed me to enter and work. Guard stated “ Carnets and this other shit is for YOUR government, we don’t care.”  Fast forward to last winter and I was crossing the border in Sarnia, Ontario for an HBO Real Sports shoot In Toronto, the border guard pretty much voiced the same thing. “ I don’t give a shit about your equipment, I am more concerned with who will be seeing the show, HBO U.S. or Canada. If Canada I can not let you enter to work.”  It’s pretty much a crap shoot. I’ve been with cameramen who have the full blown Carnet and they still get hassled. I use a Customs for 4457 with serial numbers and gear. I take the gear to local CBP office, officer looks it over and signs and stamps the form, good for a year. 

 

My in depth .02 and experience. 

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