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Canada Visa to shoot wedding?

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Chris BryanCanada Visa to shoot wedding?
by on Feb 1, 2011 at 1:19:14 am

Hello,

I've been approached by a couple to shoot their wedding in Calgary. I've heard stories from people in other fields who have been hired to do work in Canada and got into some trouble for not setting up the proper work visas in advance. Anyone have any experience with this and know what the process/cost is to get a visa?

Thanks!


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grinner hesterRe: Canada Visa to shoot wedding?
by on Feb 1, 2011 at 1:22:42 am

Don't over think it. If you were to set up shop on mainstreet, that's one thing. You're hookin a brother up with a mini documentary of a one day event. How long you stay in the hot tub should be your biggest concerne.



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Chris BryanRe: Canada Visa to shoot wedding?
by on Feb 1, 2011 at 1:27:38 am

Yes, however, I know others who have traveled to Canada for a one-off job and as soon as they see the gear at the border questions arise. I'd love to hear from anyone with firsthand experience with a situation like this.



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grinner hesterRe: Canada Visa to shoot wedding?
by on Feb 1, 2011 at 2:35:21 am

Just don't travel as a production company. You'll have a camcoder and some accessories in a duffle bag. Doesn't have to be a big deal.



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Chris BryanRe: Canada Visa to shoot wedding?
by on Feb 1, 2011 at 2:37:37 am

I need a minimum of 4 bags of gear to properly shoot a wedding.



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Mark SuszkoRe: Canada Visa to shoot wedding?
by on Feb 1, 2011 at 6:38:58 am

Depending on the latest Canadian-American relations being warm or cool, the nice fellas at the border can become a little tough on you regarding how tightly they enforce their rules. The deal as I understand it is that your gear is welcome if you're a tourist, but they don't like Americans coming up there and poaching their local jobs, eh? SO technically they can kick you "oot" or not allow the gear to accompany you across the border, if it is plain you are flaunting their laws.

There are forms you can fill out, permissions and fees and such come into play, of course designed to make the process unprofitable for most. They also don't know if you're trying to sell and ship gray market goods into Canada under the guise of a production. One of the things I heard on another forum was that it may help if you can show you're working with/for a Canadian National, instead of just being a job poacher. You might send the pieces ahead thru the mail or fedex or something, instead of showing up at the border with all the gear in the one van. You might just rent the gear in Canada and only ship... yourself. Though I think you're supposed to declare if you're coming up there to work on anything.

I guess it ultimately comes down to your personal moral code, how you want to play it. I'm sure there must be specific info on the US or Canadian Customs web sites. Maybe it isn't as hard to play by the rules as you fear. Check it out.


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Brent DunnRe: Canada Visa to shoot wedding?
by on Feb 1, 2011 at 3:23:16 pm

Don't listen to people who don't shoot international. You are risking having equipment impounded, fines, & loosing the shoot. I've had angry immigrations officer's make my life miserable before. You don't want to catch them on a bad day.

Find the Canadian Consulate website. It should have all of your needed information on permits, work visa's, etc. Or search for Work Visa.

The Bahama's are strict, India is a nightmare of paperwork. I haven't filmed in Canada, but I would think it isn't a big expense or big amount of paperwork.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Brent DunnRe: Canada Visa to shoot wedding?
by on Feb 1, 2011 at 3:38:13 pm

Here's a link to the Canadian Embassy / Consular office with temporary work visa info.
http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/washington/imm/permit_work-travail_per...

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Dave HaynieRe: Canada Visa to shoot wedding?
by on Feb 3, 2011 at 9:57:33 pm

Yup.

Sometimes, travelling internationally, you're just like any other consumer. At other times, not so much. I've had gear held up in customs, even with the proper paperwork.

One thing to understand, before you travel, is just what the border cops are looking for. In come cases, they're looking for foreign workers coming in undocumented, in other cases, they're just concerned the gear you bring in is going to be sold, without the local VAT being applied. In this latter case, a big passport full of other stamps isn't a bad thing to have with.

And the worst "hard time" I ever received entering a country was in Canada, flying into Calgary from Philadelphia. No idea why, other than I was travelling on other business at the start of the "Stampede". Guess I should have done my research and worn a Stetson and Chambray shirt, rather than long hair and some rock band on my T-Shirt.

The alternative, of course, is to bring less gear. If you have the whole event planned, that can work. I did a wedding in San Francisco last year... travelling cross-country. I was happy to bring any gear I needed, but after discussing the whole project with the couple, it was obvious I couldn't set up an "interview room" or some of the other things you might normally do. So I left the extra stuff home. And I do filter all "extras" past my normal paranoia filter.

Of course, the People's Republic of California has less annoying import and travel laws.

-Dave


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Rob RothkopfRe: Canada Visa to shoot wedding?
by on Aug 17, 2016 at 9:29:08 pm

According to this link, you do *not* need a work Visa if part of a film or media crew that won't be joining the local labor market:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/apply-who-nopermit-result.asp?q1_options=...

That said, I do believe that registering the equipment you are bringing in is a good idea so when you return they don't think you're sneaking gear back and forth across the border.


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