Canada Opens New Opportunities for H-1B Visa Holders and Their Families
Canada’s Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship has announced a significant move to benefit H-1B visa holders and their families. In an official statement, the ministry revealed that it will introduce a program allowing 10,000 American H-1B visa holders to work in Canada through an open work-permit stream.
The program aims to address the employment needs of numerous workers in the high-tech sector who are employed by companies operating in both Canada and the United States. Many of these professionals hold H-1B specialty occupation visas while working in the US. Effective from July 16, 2023, H-1B visa holders in the US, along with their immediate family members, will have the opportunity to apply for work or study permits in Canada.
Under this new initiative, approved applicants will be granted an open work permit that is valid for up to three years. This permit will enable them to seek employment with any employer across Canada. Moreover, spouses and dependents will also be eligible to apply for temporary resident visas, along with work or study permits as required.
While the specific criteria and number of individuals eligible for the program have not been outlined, Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, expressed plans to develop an immigration stream targeted at attracting highly talented individuals to the country’s tech industry, regardless of whether they already have a job or not. Further details regarding the qualifications and admission capacity for this stream are expected to be revealed by the end of the year.
The H-1B visa is a temporary work permit that allows foreign nationals to engage in specialized occupations, particularly in the technology sector, within the United States. However, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a shift in the job market, resulting in tech companies laying off a significant number of employees. Consequently, many H-1B visa holders have faced challenges in securing new employment opportunities. Canada’s new program aims to provide an alternative pathway for these skilled professionals, offering them the chance to contribute their expertise to the country’s thriving tech industry.
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