Executive Summaries May 9, 2019
5 Questions about Impeccable International Relations
This week, our professionals Julie Lessard and Alexandra Klein answered questions from Artère, a company whose mission is to bring together a wealth of useful information for the next generation of artists within a single portal.
Here are their tips for business immigration for businesses, artists and their families.
Julie and Alexandra, what advice do you most often provide to artists and organisations preparing for travel abroad?
It is essential to do your homework and get informed before leaving: does the destination country consider your visit as work? Do you need a permit? Despite the fact that it is easy for Canadians to travel, borders still exist. Some countries consider participation in artistic events as work, for which a work permit, and perhaps even an entry visa, is required. Sometimes this can take weeks or months of preparation and require substantial collaboration from the employer abroad.
It must definitely not be assumed that a very short or unpaid stay allows you to travel as a tourist. You must therefore do your research beforehand on the Internet, but above all, verify with specialists because government sites may be incomplete and may not clearly reflect the rules that apply to your circumstances.
Can auditioning or participating in a residency abroad be considered work?
An audition can be considered a simple business trip, not a work visit, but you must document and travel with proof of the audition and proof of links to Canada (lease, employment letter, etc.). The immigration officer must be convinced that admission the country is legitimate and that there is no intention to stay longer than expected or to freelance while there.
Residence abroad usually requires a work permit, and it is often the responsibility of the local employer to obtain it. If this is not done properly, it should be remembered that there are consequences not only for the employer who has not obtained the appropriate permit, but also for the artist himself who has worked illegally. Depending on the country, this can be punished by fines, expulsion or inadmissibility, or even imprisonment. Therefore, a copy of the work permit must be required to verify that the employer has completed the necessary steps.
What important documents must be obtained in preparation for a trip and must be carried at all times throughout?
The basic element that is often overlooked is the obligation to have a valid and undamaged passport. It is important to ensure that the passport remains valid for at least 6 months after the expected date of return to Canada given that many countries require a certain validity period. Then check your vaccination record: does the destination country require certain vaccines, for example, yellow fever? This vaccine must generally have been administered 10 days prior to the travel date. In order to be admitted to the country, you must show documents proving the reason for your visit: the invitation, approved work permit, travel visa, as well as a hotel or Airbnb reservation, return flight ticket and proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay.
Also be careful with insurance: never leave without international health insurance and buy the most comprehensive insurance policy you can afford. Read and, if necessary, have contracts verified to avoid abuse and exploitation. It may also be relevant to ensure that you understand the tax implications when working abroad.
What should be avoided when planning an immigration project?
The preferred search engine for immigration agents is not Google - it is LinkedIn and Facebook. Beware of publications on social networks: your statements at the border must match the information found online, whether on social networks or the postings by the employer/entity who invited you abroad. If you tell the immigration officer that you are going on vacation, when in fact you have proudly declared on LinkedIn that you landed the gig of the year, you will spend a few very unpleasant hours at the border, and risk not only being denied entry, but may also be banned, sometimes for life, from returning to the country.
I am offered the deal of the year and asked to come as a tourist, what do I do?
Beware of false promises from promoters: if it is too good to be true, it probably is, and if you are asked to lie to authorities, do not take that risk for the promoter. If you know someone in the foreign troupe, or an alumni, contact them to find out more about the legitimacy of the offer!
Read the full article on the Artère portal.
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