Canada provides an inclusive immigration system, welcoming newcomers through various temporary work permit and permanent residency programs.
H1-B workers tend to be young professionals with both formal education and extensive work experience as well as strong English language abilities.
Many H-1B workers from the US are exploring relocating to Canada in search of more stable employment; however, they remain uncertain of their options.
1. TN visa
The TN visa is a nonimmigrant status that allows Canadian and Mexican nationals to come to the US under NAFTA to work in certain professions. It was created to facilitate trade among North America.
TN visas are issued for three year periods and may be renewed with an employment offer from an U.S. employer and meeting several other criteria. They offer foreign workers an ideal solution who require temporary entry to the US but don't meet H-1B criteria for temporary stay in America.
To qualify for a TN visa, applicants must possess professional expertise in one of the NAFTA-approved specialty occupations and possess either a Bachelor's degree or equivalent credentials with experience working within their chosen field of industry.
Your employer must demonstrate that their business plan for you to work in the U.S. meets this standard and that this position will enhance your career goals. A qualified immigration attorney may help guide you through this process more smoothly while preventing any pitfalls from derailing it altogether.
As with any visa, TN applications require time and money investment as well as expert guidance to make the best choice for the future. A skilled TN attorney will protect your interests by taking care of any legal, financial or other obstacles to entering legally into the United States. A knowledgeable attorney can also assist in securing immigration status as well as an EAD for those accompanying you who will also reside here legally.
2. O1 visa
The O-1 visa is a temporary work visa issued to foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in science, education, business arts or athletics. This three to five year work permit enables you to come and perform services related to your field in America.
To be eligible for an O-1 visa, applicants must demonstrate extraordinary abilities through sustained national or international acclaim. In terms of science, original research or scholarship must have made significant advances that were previously unpublished - these achievements must also not have been previously published elsewhere.
For arts applications, talent must have been acknowledged with major industry prizes or other forms of formal recognition. When it comes to film and television productions, however, you must demonstrate extraordinary achievements in your chosen field of endeavor.
O-1 visa applicants must be employed by either a US employer, US-based agent, or foreign company with a representative in the U.S.
O-1 visas are issued for the duration of employment contracts between employers and beneficiaries; usually three years. You may request extensions up to once every year in increments of one year.
When applying for an O-1 visa, it is wise to consult with a qualified immigration attorney. They will help you evaluate all your options carefully and prepare petitions efficiently.
O-1 visas provide non-US nationals a means of working legally in the US, yet can be complex and challenging to acquire. Therefore it is highly advised that they seek professional help from an attorney experienced with supporting O-1 applications like those at NNU Immigration who can guide them through the complex requirements and restrictions for this type of visa - increasing your chance of approval.
Employment and Social Development Canada issues the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), granting Canadian employers legal authority to hire foreign workers. An LMIA may be necessary if a vacancy cannot be filled by Canadians or permanent residents and must be obtained prior to hiring foreign workers.
Employers must demonstrate they are taking all steps possible to hire Canadians in their region, which could include posting an advertisement on the Canada Job Bank and making other efforts to hire Canadians.
If you are an international worker seeking work in Canada and your employer cannot find qualified Canadian candidates to fill a position, your employer may help facilitate getting you an LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), which will enable you to apply for a work permit.
The LMIA is a document outlining the criteria necessary for hiring foreign workers in Canada, and will determine whether you qualify to work here, how long your stay will be permitted and what kind of visa will be provided once you arrive.
Canadian businesses may file two different LMIAs; low-wage and high-wage LMIAs. Low-wage LMIAs apply to jobs which fall below provincial/territorial median hourly wages while the latter covers jobs above them.
So as to limit access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program while still prioritizing Canadians for available jobs, the Canadian government implemented a limit on how many low-wage temporary foreign workers each business may hire at once; this applies for employers with 10 or more employees applying for LMIAs.
4. Express Entry
To gain permanent residency (PR), one must first apply through one of three Express Entry programs administered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If your profile meets all eligibility criteria and approval is given, you'll be placed in a pool of pre-screened candidates.
The federal government uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank candidates based on age, education, language skills, Canadian work experience and other human capital factors. Those scoring highest are invited by Express Entry draws periodically to apply for permanent residency.
Once in the pool, it could take anywhere from several weeks to several months for your Express Entry application to be processed and an ITA issued. If a strong candidate emerges and receives an ITA, 60 days must pass before filing a full PR application in Canada.
Many Express Entry candidates have discovered that Canadian work experience is key to increasing their chances of securing both an ITA and PR visa. Research conducted since 2015 by IRCC has proven that immigrants with work experience, as well as strong English/French language skills and qualifications, tend to fare better on Canada's job market compared to those without any Canadian work experience or with lower levels of English and/or French proficiency and lower educational credentials.
Those interested in immigrating to Canada should seek assistance from an Express Entry lawyer or consultant with expertise. Cohen Immigration Law is sought out by numerous candidates each year and boasts 45 years of supporting skilled workers achieve their Canadian dreams.
Are You Wanting to Work in Canada? Consider Joining the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). It is an economic immigration program which enables provinces and territories to meet local needs through economic immigration programs like this one, offering various eligibility requirements depending on each provincial nominee program.
Many of these programs focus on specific occupations and are meant to meet shortages in particular sectors, typically by training workers in those roles and developing English or French proficiency. Usually these programs will also require high level English or French language abilities from candidates.
There are however exceptions to these rules; some provinces and territories provide for a special stream called TFW-PS selection type that allows spouses or common-law partners of Canadian work permit holders to open work permits without going through an LMIA assessment process.
These opportunities present themselves to those who can secure an open work permit and demonstrate they will find employment in their desired field of employment, along with sufficient financial resources to support themselves and any dependent family members.
To apply for the PNP, you will first require nomination from a provincial government and submit a paper-based application with supporting documents. Furthermore, it is also essential that you possess both a valid passport and proof of your language abilities.
Dependent upon the type of PNP you are applying for, your application could either use Express Entry or non-Express Entry streams to submit. As these processes can take more time than Express Entry streams, if applying through one it's important to plan ahead if applying through one.