LMIA Exemptions for Graphic Designers and Illustrators

Posted on 28/10/2021

If you are a graphic designer working overseas, there is a recent policy change by IRCC announced in September of 2021. If you qualify, you may be eligible for a LMIA exemption. The new public policy – which is temporary and went into effect on September 10, 2021, and will last until March 9, 2022 – is geared towards helping live action TV and Film production companies get the help they need for all stages of production.

In other words, if you have experience as a graphic designer in pre-production, production, and/or post-production in live action film and TV, then this is an opportunity you should be interested in. However, you will have to meet eligibility requirements.


To qualify the foreign graphic designer must:

  • Submit or have submitted a work application after September 10, 2021
  • Be planning to work in the following NOC occupation: unit group 5421 – Graphic designers and illustrators under the 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) system.
  • Have a job offer and be planning to work in a live-action TV or Film production filmed entirely or partly in Canada
  • Provide a Letter of Support from your employer or your employer’s authorized representative providing the following:
    • Working title, locations, and other details of the production
    • Statement that the foreign national’s work/skills are essential to the production
    • The wage the foreign national will be paid which must be at or above the median wage and be the same as the wage offer in the offer of employment
    • Statement that the TV or Film production satisfies the requirements for federal, provincial, or territorial tax credits or that the production has received federal, provincial, or territorial funding

If they qualify, the foreign national must:

  • Provide the Offer of Employment Number that the employer received after the employer submitted the job offer in the Employer Portal.
  • Provide the Attestation Letter
  • Provide proof of experience and education related to their occupation as a graphic designer or illustrator.

In other words, you must first receive a job offer from a Canadian TV or Film production company and then submit an application for a work permit. Then your application will presumably be eligible for an exemption for an LMIA.

A Labour Market Impact Assessment is done by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and is meant to assure that no eligible Canadian is available to do the job you are being hired for. The current temporary policy is meant to alleviate a shortage of qualified graphic designers needed for TV and Film Live Action productions.

This temporary policy is meant to be a bridge towards eventually allowing overseas Graphic Designers and Illustrators and other workers to apply under the following LMIA-exempt programs:

  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)
  • International Mobility Program

Employers will also transition to these programs and hire workers who qualify under these two programs, depending on the needs of the employers and the jobs that they want to fill. There should be more details available on this policy in the near future, so make sure you return to get the latest updates.

Posted in News Tips and tagged Graphic Designers, LMIA, Work Permit

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