LAST MINUTE: Canada will introduce a new work permit for US H-1B visa holders.

Posted on Jun 27, 2023 at 1:59 PM EDT
Updated June 27, 2023 2:07 PM EDT

tech workers

Today, Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser Announced additional measures aimed at attracting more global tech talent to Canada. These measures include the release of what Fraser and Canada Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) refer to as Canada’s first technology talent strategy.

Schedule a free consultation about your work permit with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

New open 3-year work permit for H-1B visa holders

IRCC will improve labor mobility in North America by creating a simplified work permit for H-1B skilled occupation visa holders in the US to apply to come to Canada. Right now, many workers in high-tech fields are employed by companies with operations in Canada and the US, and those who work in the US often have an H-1B skilled occupation visa.

Beginning July 16, 2023, H1-B holders in the US and accompanying immediate family members will be eligible to apply to come to Canada. Approved applicants will receive a open work permit for up to three years, which means they can work for almost any employer in Canada. In addition, their spouses and dependents may also be eligible to apply for a temporary resident visa.

IRCC believes this will expand the opportunities available for skilled workers to continue their careers in the high-tech sector and contribute to economic growth in North America. This measure will remain in effect for one year or until IRCC receives 10,000 applications.

New Stream of Innovation under the IMP

IRCC will develop a new innovation stream under the International Mobility Program to attract highly talented people. After consulting with tech industry stakeholders, there are still labor shortages in key tech occupations, and expanding Canada’s talent base should remain a goal.

Therefore, the Canadian government will launch a new innovation stream by the end of 2023, which will create an exemption from the Labor market impact assessment (LMIA) to assist employers and talented workers in support of Canada’s high-tech industries and innovation priorities.

Attract digital nomads

IRCC will also promote Canada as a destination for digital nomads. A digital nomad is a person who can perform their work remotely from anywhere in the world. In the coming months, the IRCC will collaborate with public and private partners to determine if additional policies would be desirable to attract digital nomads to Canada.

Under current Canadian immigration rules, a digital nomad can stay in Canada for up to six months as a visitor while performing work remotely for a foreign employer. IRCC hopes that some of these digital nomads entering Canada will decide to pursue opportunities with Canadian employers, bringing their skills to Canada by applying for a temporary work permit or permanent residence.

Enhancements to Existing Technology Programs

Finally, IRCC will enhance existing programs that serve workers in high-skilled technology occupations, including the Global Skills Strategy and the start-up visa (SUV) program.

The Global Skills Strategy is designed to support Canadian employers seeking rapid access to highly-skilled talent around the world. IRCC processing times for these work permit they have recovered to the two-week standard after delays during the pandemic. Besides, Employment and Social Development Canada you are meeting the two-week standard for processing for the Global Talent Stream LMIA for Employers.

The Start Up Visa (SUV) program is a pathway to permanent residency for foreign entrepreneurs who obtain start-up support from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor organization or business incubator.

To address long wait times for applicants, more slots were allocated under this program, increasing from 1,000 to 3,500. This means the targets have tripled the number of permanent residents expected in the Federal Business category by 2023 , and this number is expected to increase further by 2024 and 2025.

Additionally, IRCC will change the temporary work permit option for SUV applicants and allow them to apply for a open work permit up to three years, rather than a one-year work permit that limits them to working solely for their own start-up.

This is in response to stakeholder feedback that has made it clear that start-ups may not have the ability to earn a full salary and having the opportunity to earn additional income elsewhere can ease the financial stress of these businesses. people and their families.

The work permit will be available to each member of the entrepreneurial team. Prior to this announcement, only members of the entrepreneurial team who were identified as essential and urgent in Canada could apply for a work permit.

IRCC will also prioritize applications that are backed by committed capital or backed by a business incubator that is also a member of Canada’s technology network to move to the front of the pipeline.

Schedule a free consultation about your work permit with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm


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