Advice for Scottish artists planning to tour in Canada.

Visa

Change of entry rules for Canada 27 January 2016

From 15 March 2016, Canada is introducing a new entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa. All eligible travellers flying to Canada from 15 March 2016 will need to apply online for an eTA before travel. This requirement includes all British citizens. The cost of the eTA is C$7 per passenger, and the validity of the eTA is five years, or until the passengers passport expires. Customers can find out more and apply at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp?utm_source=slash-eta&utm_medium=short-url&utm_campaign=eta.

No visa is required for British citizens entering Canada, nor is a work permit required for British musicians as long as they:

  • will perform in Canada for a limited period of time,
  • are not being hired for ongoing employment by the Canadian group that has contracted them, and
  • are not involved in making a movie, television or radio broadcast.

The relevant government notes on the matter are here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/apply-who-nopermit.asp http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/tools/temp/work/permit/arts/index.asp

Tax

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

You will first of all need an Individual Tax Number (ITN) for non-residents.

The relevant Form T1261 is found here http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t1261/README.html. There are instructions on how to complete the form and the supporting documents required on the last page.

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 will not accept a scan of the certified copy, 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 up to six weeks for the ITN to be issued (also by post).

Once you have your ITN you can apply for a Regulation 105 Waiver.

The form is here http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/r105/README.html Comprehensive guidance notes here http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/cmmn/rndr/trty_gdlns-eng.html

Supporting documents required:

  • Scan(s) of passport photo page(s)
  • 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 a good bit earlier than this to allow for any backlog, especially if you are visiting during the summer festival season.

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.