Can an American citizen, living in the US near the Canada/US border, work in Canada legally? What paperwork/permissions are required? (There is a position in the film industry I am interested in and would like to apply, but am not willing to jerk around the employer if this is not possible.)

  • You can avoid jerking the employer around by disclosing your citizenship and residence when you express interest in the position.
    – phoog
    Jun 5 '18 at 16:46
  • @phoog that comes off as harsh. The asker is checking before they apply, and presumably won't apply if it looks like they wont be allowed to work in Canada.
    – user16259
    Jun 6 '18 at 19:24
  • 2
    @user16259 I'm sorry, I didn't in the least mean it harshly. I inferred from the question that the asker had not considered the possibility of discussing the question of work authorization before applying for the position, or at least mentioning it in a cover letter. I thought suggesting the possibility would be helpful, since the employer might already have experience hiring foreign employees, and they might even be able to answer the question posed here. Being up front about potential problems might satisfy the ethical concern but doesn't answer the question, which is why I posted a comment.
    – phoog
    Jun 6 '18 at 19:35

US citizens do need a work permit or visa to work or run a business in Canada.

Your chances of getting the job depend a lot on the job and your uniqueness.

A well known actor will have no difficulty. A set designer with a recognised personal style should be ok. A 5 year experienced rigger might have problems because Canada can likely fill that job with local labor.


For American work in Canada, you should get TN visa.

See also:

Under NAFTA, the TN Visa or TN-1 Visa enables Americans to work in Canada.

From Wiki: TN Status:

TN status or TN visa is a special non-immigrant status in the United States, Canada, and Mexico that offers expedited work authorization to a citizen of these countries.

  • 1
    A TN visa is only valid for work in certain industries, unfortunately. Jul 11 '18 at 22:22
  • @JimMacKenzie a few of which could be involved in film production.
    – phoog
    Jul 11 '18 at 22:45
  • 3
    Except in Canada (and Mexico) it isn't a TN visa, that's the US classification. In Canada it is a plain old (employer-specific) work permit, except that if it is a NAFTA professional position you are exempt from the LMIA if the job would otherwise require it (i.e. the employer doesn't need to prove there's no Canadian who would like and is qualified for the job).
    – Dennis
    Jul 12 '18 at 20:42

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