Coming to Canada to Act?

by Kenji Maeda on January 19, 2010

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A bunch of emails come in over at the Vancouver Actor’s Guide from international (mostly from the USA) actors asking about working and auditioning here in Canada. And really, the main thing to consider is whether you have the paper work to legally work here.

You need to contact the office of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).  Because each country has different rules and regulations when it comes to working in a foreign country, find the closest Canadian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission.  Note: You must contact the location that works with your country of citizenship. If you are an American citizen then choose one of the visa offices across the US. There’s a full list of international Canadian Visa Offices on the CIC website.  They will be able to properly assess your situation on an individual basis.

Working Holiday or Exchange Programs

Some countries like Australia have established a Working Holiday Program which allows you to travel to another country and work casually to help pay for expenses as you travel around.  Of course, not all countries offer this and the ones that do have guidelines.  For example, they are generally for those aged 18 and over.  Some have a maximum age limit of 30 – 35.

Here is a short, but not exclusive, list of the pages for specific areas that have Exchange or Working Holiday programs set up. You should continue to do your own more extensive research beyond these pages, but this can give you a start.

Citizenship & Immigration Canada – www.cic.gc.ca
Australia – www.whpcanada.org.au
Austria – www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/canada-europa/austria/embassy/swap-en.asp
France – www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/canada-europa/france/visas/pvt-en.asp
Germany – www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/canada-europa/germany/visa-internD-en.asp
Ireland – www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/canada-europa/ireland/embassy/advice_about_visas_and_immigration-en.asp
New Zealand – www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/newzealand/whp/intro-en.asp
Canadian High Commission for all of Northern Europe – www.canada.org.uk/visa-info/worker/e_stuwor.htm

Share any other resources or information you have in the comment below.

[Image Source: jstephenconn]

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