Cross Border Services

  • 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

    Angela Eng

    Douglas Jang

  • 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.

    • 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 attain an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) before entering Canada to work on a Motion Picture project.

      In most cases, employers hiring foreign workers must get a Labour Market Impact Assessment.

      Service Canada will set in motion their application for a Work Permit for each foreign worker.


      Fax: +1 604 666 7731
      Telephone: +1 604 666 7731

      Toll Free: +1 800 367 5693


      NOTE: Be sure to fax LMIA applications before 3:00PM PST because that is Service Canada's cut-off time to register processing fees. If the application comes in after that, they can't process it until the next day.

      Fridays are always the busiest day for LMIA applications, since many production personnel seem to enter Canada on the weekend. Service Canada recommends faxing in applications before Friday to make sure they have time to process them.

    • As of February 3rd, 2016, Service Canada no 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.

    • ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the U.S. and Canada, by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security.  For detailed information contact the U.S. Department of State.

      The implementation of these measures for all land and sea travel to the United States is currently in effect.

    • The United States' Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) will require Canadian citizens to present one of the following documents when entering or transiting the United States by air:
      • A valid Canadian passport;
      • A valid U.S. Merchant Mariner Document;
      • A NEXUS Air card when used at a NEXUS Air kiosk; or
      • A North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) identification card, when accompanied by current NATO orders.

      Canadians entering or transiting the United States by air without appropriate documentation will be prevented from boarding their flight. Delays and unexpected financial expenses may also occur.

      Canadians should obtain the appropriate required documentation before leaving Canada. For detailed information contact Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.