Freelance Pro American Shooting in Canada Needs Visa?

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by r_scott_steube, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. I am considering shooting the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. As an
    American, spending 4-6 weeks in Canada with the sole intent of freelance
    photography, am I going to need a Canadian Work Visa or other bureaucratic
    concerns? Any first person insight or links to online info would be so
    helpful. Many Thanks!
  2. Yes- suggest you go there for a business meeting or vacation instead. Canada prefers to
    employ their own citizens.
  3. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Canada prefers to employ their own citizens.
    That's not what the Canadians say:
    "Canada is one of the few countries in the Western World that is actively looking for immigrants"
    There's a useful page here. You will find it far more informative than random remarks about what Canada wants and doesn't want.
  4. I'm Canadian and have worked in the US as an I.T. consultant. I know that's the opposite of your question but NAFTA applies both ways as I understand... It's easier to get across if you're going for meetings or pleasure, meetings with someone from your home country is best. As soon as you say you're working it means $$ leaving the country, and there's where the questions begin and where a work visa may be required. If you have a business card of a completely unrelated job title that shows you're employed in your own country, that helps too, gives the impression that you're not coming to Canada to find a job...
  5. Try this web site for the Canadian Government. There is some information regarding visas and work permits and links to forms. Although the US is not on the list of countries that require a visa, I think you will be needing a work permit.

    All applications are required to be made via the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin.

    Best of luck.

    I think, however, that you should simply be a tourist attneding the Olympics. We welcome visitors.

  6. There are almost always some sort of visiting journalist/photographer/pj visa and/or
    permit available. I've worked all over the place and in many different countries for times
    ranging from a few weeks to over a year. Work permits were never required. Then again,
    while I was freelance technically, I was shooting and writing for specific publications and
    the immigration authorities and gov't people that issue press passes for foreign
    correspondents, could easily "check my credentials up".

    I think it will be a heck of a lot harder to get permission to shoot the Olympics than to get
    the permit/visa stuff sorted out. At least if you want good access and the ability to bring
    big lenses, lots of equipment in to the arenas etc.

    As Ian helpfully pointed out, calling the Canadian Embassy in the US and ask about
    visa/permits would be your best bet. I've had tremendous help from consular staff at embassies and consulates all over plenty of times and all I had to do was ask.
  7. You're not going to be shooting the Olympics unless you are there on assignment for a specific publication. They simply won't give you the credentials. (I have worked on both sides of this, as a reporter/photographer and as PR executive who issues credentials for events my organizations sponsor.) If you are there on assignment, then your publication can handle any paperwork that is necessary, if any.

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