News > CAPACOA Responds to Temporary Foreign Workers Program Changes

CAPACOA Responds to Temporary Foreign Workers Program Changes

August 30, 2013 – CAPACOA sent a letter to ministers Jason Kenney and Chris Alexander regarding Temporary Foreign Workers Program changes and their consequences for the touring and presenting industry.

CAPACOA’s letter echoes the CIMA statement issued yesterday. It raises concerns about the changes and their potential impact for the domestic music industry, the presenting and touring industry, as well as Canadian audiences.

About the changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program

Earlier this week, recent changes related to the process of obtaining HRSDC Labour Market Opinions for temporary foreign workers coming to Canada came to light through an article in the Calgary Herald. As a consequence of these changes, any establishment with a primary business other than music – bars, night clubs and restaurants – who wishes to present international acts will be impacted as follows:

  • The employer (i.e., the presenter) must now pay a $275 processing fee to apply for a Labour Market Opinion for each foreign performing artist and crew member traveling with the artists – previously, this application was free. This processing fee must be paid by the employer; the cost cannot be passed forward to the foreign worker. Should the application be declined, this processing fee is non-refundable.

This LMO processing fee is in addition to the $150 Citizenship and Immigration Canada work permit required to perform in a Canadian bar, restaurant and similar establishments. This fee is per person (performing artist and support staff), but the total amount will not be more than $450 in the case of a group of three or more performing artists and their staff who apply at the same time and place (for a single or for several engagements). The fees for work permits must be paid by the employer; they cannot be passed forward to the foreign worker.

It is important to note that these fees only apply in instances where foreign artists are performing in a venue with a primary business other than performing arts or live entertainment: bars and restaurants are specifically targeted in the new regulation. This does not apply to artists performing in recognized performing arts festivals, venues (i.e., concert halls) and conferences/showcases/award shows, which are work-permit exempt and LMO exempt, pursuant to exemption R186(g) of the Temporary Foreign Worker Guidelines. However, artists performing in festivals or in performing arts venues may be required to obtain a temporary resident (visitor) visa.

It should also be noted that, due to the foreign service strike, unusual delays may be experienced by anyone seeking to obtain a CIC work permit or visitor visa.

Read more about the Temporary Foreign Workers Program

Read more about work permits

Read CAPACOA’s letter

Updated September 13, 2013.

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CAPACOA Submits a Smart and Caring Brief

Foreign Service Strike May Affect Festival Season

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