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Performing Artists Visas Overview
Artists, musicians, entertainers, lecturers, and other performers with extraordinary talent can benefit from obtaining work permits to perform in Canada. These permits are temporary and non-immigrant and can be availed for a maximum of three years.
To obtain a work permit as a performing artist, the applicant must prove they possess exceptional talent or extraordinary ability in their field. This requires showing recognition in the area they claim to excel in and being considered an “enigma of extraordinary ability.”
We have a tremendous track record of assisting musicians, athletes, and other performers to secure Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs) and work permits. If you believe you are eligible for a TRV or work permit or need clarification and would like to talk about various other possibilities, please contact us.
The petition must be filed by an agent or employer in the country to obtain a TRV or work permit in Canada. The performer who is not a citizen or resident of Canada cannot file the petition themselves. In most cases, the applicant must obtain a letter of recommendation, known as LMO (Labor Market Opinion), from Canada’s Human Resource and Skills Development.
We provide a FREE consultation to get you started.
Work Permits not Required for Performing Artists in Canada:
Film Producers & Directors
Film, Theatre, and Recording Studio users (limited to small crews renting studios and not entering the labor market)
Individuals doing guest spots on Canadian TV and radio broadcasts.
Performing artists do not require a work permit to work in Canada in certain circumstances.
Musicians and their support crew from other countries perform outside bars and restaurants.
Individuals who entertain passersby on streets, commonly known as buskers and the DJs who perform outside bars, restaurants, or venues.
A circus troupe that is from another country or currently traveling.
The Canadian performance group temporarily hosts guest artists, but these artists are not permanent employees.
This pertains to wrestlers who belong to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and similar organizations.
People who are taking part in a private event, like a wedding.
This is for visual artists who want to create or display their work.
Work Permit Required:
Whether a work permit is required for a performing artist to work in Canada depends on the specific circumstances. These requirements include:
Exotic/erotic (new NOC title) dancers performing in a bar or club
Actors, singers, and crew involved in Canadian theatrical productions, shows, and circuses.
Any individual involved in making films, TV, internet, and radio broadcasts.
An individual who is part of a production or show based in Canada
The performers at a rodeo or sideshow may include rodeo clowns, announcers, and those who showcase horsemanship or trick riding.
Artists of this category must obtain a work permit. They must apply through Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Self-employed Artist Visa Canada:
The primary goal of the Canada Immigration Self-employed Artist initiative is to boost Canada’s economic and cultural growth by attracting individuals with valuable skills and strong work ethics, ultimately leading to increased employment opportunities.
If you’re a self-employed worker in the Arts/cultural sector, then you are welcome to apply for permanent residency in Canada via this program.
Here’s the province for Artists seeking self-employed visas for Canada:
A minimum of two-year duration being self-employed in cultural activities, or
A combination of both
A valid passport from one of the eligible countries.
You must meet Language proficiency and settlement funds requirements.
Canada's LMIA Work Permit for Performing Artists:
Derive a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from your employer.
Qualify for an exemption from the LMIA requirement.
Performing artists coming to Canada to work on a co-production with a Canadian company
Performing artists coming to Canada to teach or train
BEGIN YOUR CANADIAN VISA APPLICATION PROCESS TODAY
To get started with your application, submit our Initial Consultation Form today and schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys. We’ll evaluate your qualifications and let you know if you’re eligible.
Ensure that ICS will not share your personal information with any third party. The information you provide will solely be utilized to evaluate your visa eligibility.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Can I move to Canada as a freelance artist?
Yes, you can immigrate to Canada as a freelance artist. But for that, you must have the following documents ready:
A valid passport from your home country.
A job offer from a Canadian employer.
Skills and experience required for the job
Language proficiency in English and French
Do performing artists need a work permit in Canada?
Not all performing artists need a work permit in Canada. Some performing artists are exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit if they meet specific criteria.
If musical or theatrical performers and their essential crew are foreign-based and perform in Canada for less than 60 days, they do not need to get a work permit.
How long does getting a self-employed visa for musicians in Canada take?
The processing time for a self-employed musicians visa in Canada can vary depending on many factors, including the application's completeness, the visa office's workload, and any additional documentation that may be required.
However, processing a self-employed visa application can generally take 6 to 12 months.