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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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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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  • 2 weeks later...

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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