We would like to take this opportunity to share some information on this recent frequently asked topic for H1-B visa holders to apply for immigration to Canada.
First and foremost anyone in the process of applying for a US Green Card should note that they could still apply for a Canadian Permanent Residency Visa as a backup. If for any reason they do not get their US Green Card, they could move to Canada with their Permanent Residency Visa. This base become more important as recently the Trump administration issued a new executive order restricting economic immigration to the U.S. for the rest of the year. These types of visas allow more than half a million immigrants to enter the U.S. each year. The new ruling includes restrictions on the popular H-1B visa which allows American businesses to recruit hundreds of thousands of skilled workers every year. Many of those skilled workers will now be looking to Canada as a more welcoming alternative.
Canada has many programs and immigration streams that cater to the very skilled workers that the U.S. is now turning away. Click here for a free evaluation of your points.
The uncertainty surrounding the future of the H-1B visa has led some experts to believe that there could be a shift away from the United States and towards Canada.
Moving to Canada
If you’re already in the United States on an H-1B visa, you may be very well-positioned to make the move to Canada. Depending on your profile, you may choose to continue as a temporary foreign worker north of the border or make the change to permanent residence.
In most cases, you need a valid job offer from a Canadian employer to be eligible for a Canadian work permit. However, unlike in the United States, there is no lottery system to determine who is accepted. If you and your employer meet the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) requirements, your application will be duly processed.
If you are already in the United States on an H-1B visa, you are likely a strong candidate for economic immigration to Canada.
There are three major federal Canadian economic immigration programs:
These programs are managed by the federal Express Entry system. If you meet the eligibility requirements for one of the programs managed by Express Entry, you can submit a profile to the Express Entry pool.
Once in the pool, your profile will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on things like your age, level of education, and work experience. The highest-ranking candidates are issued invitations to apply (ITA) for permanent residence in periodic Express Entry draws.
However, most Canadian provinces also offer pathways to permanent residence for skilled workers. While eligibility requirements and application procedures vary between provinces, there may be an option for you. If you are eligible for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), you can apply to the province for a provincial nomination. If you are successful, you can then apply for Canadian permanent residence from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).