Cross Border Services

Advice for International Crews

Thank you for considering bringing your international production to Vancouver, and we look forward to welcoming you to British Columbia.

Please remember that BC and the City of Vancouver are incredibly popular for filming, and it is important that all productions have a successful experience and enjoy their time while filming here.

The documents below have been prepared to help provide information on how to do business in British Columbia. The International Production Guide is intended to offer advice on what realistically can be done when filming in Greater Vancouver and the surrounding regions of BC. Remember that some of the rules may differ from those you are familiar with.

Please feel free to get in touch with Creative BC in the early stages of your production preparation with any questions.

We are here to help!

  • The Canada Border Services Agency has jurisdiction over the Temporary Importation of Goods for Motion Picture Production.

    Goods entering Canada temporarily for use on a Motion Picture Production may qualify for customs duty-free entry and Goods and Sales Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) relief for a period up to 12 months. Requests for extensions of the temporary importation period beyond 12 months may be granted. 


    Canada Border Services Agency Trade Incentives

    Brian Lee

    • Foreign workers entering Canada for employment in the motion picture industry must be legally authorized to work in Canada.  The process to come to Canada for work will vary based on the type of project and location of the worker.

      Creative BC has developed a work permit guide to assist productions employing temporary foreign workers.

    • There is a new LMIA exemption for the television and film sector starting on February 17th, 2016.

      Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), will now be handling the exemption application for the High level Union positions through their International Mobility Program (IMP).

      For more information

      For any further inquiries, please email (Immigration, Refugees, & Citizenship Canada)  

      For more detailed information on the new process, please review this PDF.



    • All non-union cast and crew (producers are exempt) must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before entering Canada to work on a feature or television project.

      Submit LMIA forms directly to Service Canada for processing.  Foreign workers who receive a positive LMIA can proceed to a Canadian port of entry to apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees, & Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

      Phone: (604) 707-9555
      Fax: (604) 666-7731


    • As of February 3rd, 2016, Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) and work permits are no longer required for essential foreign personnel coming into Canada to work on commercials. This change is only for foreign-funded advertising campaigns and some restrictions still apply.

      For more information on work permit exemptions with the government of Canada, please click here.

      To connect with local commercial producers for more information, click here.

    • As of September 29, 2016, eTA's apply to those who are visa-exempt non-US foreign nationals, and arriving in Canada by air or transiting through Canada. Some  workers coming to Canada may require an eTA along with their work permit.

      ETA applications:

      • cost $7
      • can be done online
      • are electronic, passport stamp not necessary
      • are valid for up to 5 years (or upon passport expiry, whichever comes first)

      For more information:

      Until 29 September 2016, an eTA “grace period” is in effect, meaning those who should have eTA but do not are still being allowed to board their flights to Canada, provided they have valid travel documentation.