Work permit options in Canadian video game industry

Film, TV and video game production are thriving since reopening after COVID-related shutdowns.

Video game production, as well as film and TV production, saw a major drop in revenue in 2020 in light of COVID-19 shutdowns. However, since reopening, these industries have been thriving.

Casting, voice acting and motion capture for video games, as well as film and TV production can continue to be in operation as long as health and safety measures remain in place. Workers in these industries understand the importance of maintaining physical distancing and following safety procedures as much as possible. This is to make sure that COVID-19 cases do not go up as a result of their operation, which may spark further shutdowns.

In addition, the film and TV industry is also doing exceptionally well.

Many productions are ongoing, including Moonfall starring Halle Berry and directed by Roland Emmerlich. The film and TV industries are projected to boom throughout 2021.

How can video game workers come to Canada for work?

Talented individuals who would like to work in the Canadian video game sector may have various options to choose.

If you have a regular job offer, your Canadian employer will be required to obtain a neutral or positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This would show that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to fulfil the duties of the job. However, some occupations may not require an LMIA.

If the job offer is in Quebec, you will also have to obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ). This document, issued by Quebec’s immigration ministry, will allow you to work temporarily in Quebec.

The employer will then provide a copy of the LMIA letter to you as well as a job offer letter. These two letters will be required when you apply for a work permit from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The work permit will be issued at the port of entry you enter Canada through.

The Global Talent Stream

Another option to consider is the Global Talent Stream (GTS). This fast-track stream allows highly skilled workers to obtain a work permit within two weeks of applying.

If the job requires an LMIA, obtaining one takes about two weeks. This means that a foreign worker can potentially move to Canada in just four weeks.

Employers have two options. If they need to recruit specialized talent, they must apply through Category A. They will be required to receive referral from a designated referral partner.

If the employer wants to hire foreign workers for jobs found on the Global Talent Occupations List, they must apply through Category B.

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