Advice for Scottish artists planning to tour in Canada.

Entry Requirements

Government of Canada guidance notes on entry can be found here:

No visa is required for British citizens entering Canada, nor is a work permit required for British performing artists as long as you:

  • are a foreign artist or a member of the artist’s key support staff (people vital to the performance)
  • will perform in Canada for a limited period of time
  • are not being hired for ongoing employment by the Canadian group that has contracted you
  • are not involved in making a movie, television or radio broadcast

As a visa-exempt traveller, you do need apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This costs $7 and can be applied for online here Most applications take a few minutes to be approved, though it can take several days if you need to submit supporting documents, so please make sure to do this in good time before your flight to Canada.


Any earnings from engagements in Canada are subject to withholding tax of 15% unless you obtain a waiver from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA).

You will first of all need an Individual Tax Number (ITN) for non-residents. If you are a group then all members should apply individually for an ITN.

The relevant Form T1261 is found here

Guidance notes on applying for an ITN are found here

You will need to provide a certified copy of the photo page of your passport or driving licence. This form has to be submitted by post because they want the original signature of the person certifying the document.

You should therefore allow time for the form to reach them and note that it can take 6-8 for the ITN to be issued (also by post). See the guidance notes linked above for the correct postal address.

If you have a representative in Canada, or a contact there who can receive mail on your behalf, you can put them down as the mailing address in part 3 or the form, so that you don’t have to wait on international mail for the result of your application.

Once you have your ITN (or while the application is being processed), you can then apply for an R105 waiver to reduce withholding tax.

The form is here

Comprehensive guidance notes here

Supporting documents required:

  • Scan(s) of passport photo page(s) (these do not have to be certified)
  • Copies of all signed contracts for your engagements in Canada
  • Copies of any sub-contracts with those providing services in Canada e.g. engineers, drivers, etc
  • Letter of authorisation if someone is completing the form on your behalf

The Reg 105 form can be submitted by post or fax (yes, fax!). The CRA asks that it is submitted no more than 30 days from the date of your first gig payment. We would recommend submitting earlier than this to allow for any backlog, especially if you are visiting during the summer festival season.

There are multiple possible mailing addresses for your application, depending on where in Canada you are engaged to perform. Find them here

If you want to check the CRA have received your application or check its status you should call this number +1 613-940-8497 (it’s automatically accepted as a collect call). Make sure you have your ITN and details of your Canadian employers handy to help them find your application.