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Labor laws in Canada?


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#1 Riku Naskali

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 06:49 PM

I'm going to Toronto as an exchange student this fall and I was wondering could I do any unpaid work in productions? I need to apply for a study permit for my studies, but as far as I know, not for any Visa.
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#2 Mike Kaminski

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 07:24 PM

I'm going to Toronto as an exchange student this fall and I was wondering could I do any unpaid work in productions? I need to apply for a study permit for my studies, but as far as I know, not for any Visa.


Well if its unpaid then its volunteer so it doesnt really count as work, hence i dont believe you would need a work permit since you wouldnt be recieving any paychecks.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 07:46 PM

Hi,

The American attitude to this is "if it's useful, it's work," which is very restrictive. I would therefore be very careful, although I wouldn't necessarily let that stop you getting involved on smaller shows that aren't likely to attract official notice.

Last thing you want is to lose your student visa half way through the course...

Phil
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#4 John Hall

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 07:48 PM

If you are planning on doing a co-op or internship through your program, then you must apply for a student work permit.

http://www.cic.gc.ca.../work-opps.html

This is the Citizenship & Imigration page on Working Options for Foreign Students.
Other than co-ops and internships, it doesn't offer any info on unpaid work.

If you are thinking of trying to find unpaid work on commercial film sets, there may be issues with insurance and liability (but I doubt it).

Otherwise, if you just plan on volunteering on small or student shoots, I can't imagine there being any problem with that.
I don't think they stop foreigners from volunteering anywhere else, I doubt this would be any different.

However, this is UNQUALIFIED advice. Call the CIC or whichever Ministry is involved in your study permit and ask them.

Enjoy your stay in Toronto!
Make sure you check out the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (http://www.lift.on.ca). They are a great resource for indie cinema in our city and you don't need a work permit!
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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 08:04 PM

Oh boy, this post begs a comment from me.

I'll do the unusual and refrain for once, only because the Liberals are gone at last.

Canadians will understand.

R,
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#6 John Hall

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 09:20 PM

Richard, I'm afraid I don't understand.

Was the issue of Work / Study Permits raised (by any party) during the election?
To be perfectly honest I couldn't bring myself to sit through any of those insufferable debates. :)

Riku, he's joking (I think). The outcome of our recent election won't have any bearing on your situation, though you do stand to save 2% on the sales tax in five years....
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#7 Riku Naskali

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 10:34 PM

Well, have to check with more official sources then ;)

I didn't even think about insurance, that might be true. I'll have to check with my insurance company if my travel insurance would cover "unpaid volunteer work".

I really don't know the situation in Canada/States, do they even use unpaid interns/assistants/slaves/whatever there? Of course nobody gets paid in school sets, etc. but on bigger shows? I know it's a long shot, but while I'd be there, I'd love to be a part of something bigger I'm going to ever see in here :P
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 11:48 PM

"Was the issue of Work / Study Permits raised (by any party) during the election?
To be perfectly honest I couldn't bring myself to sit through any of those insufferable debates."

I was implying that because I support Stephen Harper that I would lay off bad mouthing the Canadian gov't now that it's a Conservative one.

R,
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