Home Canada Federal Immigration Program H-1B Visa Holders can now apply for Canadian work Permit

H-1B Visa Holders can now apply for Canadian work Permit

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H1B Canada permit

June 27, 2023—Toronto—Canada’s growing industries are set to provide the jobs of the future. To ensure access to top talent that will drive innovation and advance emerging technologies, Canada has introduced its first-ever Tech Talent Strategy. The strategy includes several measures aimed at helping businesses thrive in a competitive landscape. At Collision 2023, the renowned tech conference, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, announced the following key initiatives:

  1. Open Work Permits for H-1B Visa Holders: A new stream will be created to allow H-1B specialty occupation visa holders in the US to apply for Canadian work permits. It will also provide study or work permit options for their accompanying family members.
  2. Innovation Stream: An Innovation Stream will be established under the International Mobility Program to attract highly talented individuals. It will offer options such as employer-specific work permits for up to five years for workers contributing to Canada’s industrial innovation goals, as well as open work permits for up to five years for highly skilled workers in select high-demand occupations.
  3. Streamlined Work Permit Process: The service standard for work permits under the Global Skills Strategy will be returned to a 14-day processing time, ensuring faster access to skilled talent.
  4. Attracting Digital Nomads: Canada aims to promote itself as an attractive destination for digital nomads, recognizing the changing nature of work and the growing trend of remote employment.
  5. Enhanced Programs: The Start-up Visa Program will undergo improvements, including increasing the number of spots available and extending work permits to up to three years. The eligibility for open work permits will be expanded to include all members of the entrepreneurial team, rather than limiting it to essential personnel.

By embracing its emerging role as a leader in global tech talent recruitment, Canada aims to fill in-demand jobs and attract the skills and business talent needed to create the jobs of the future.

For more detailed information on each element of the Tech Talent Strategy, please refer to the backgrounder provided.

Quotes: “The ambitious goals we have set in immigration are strategic, aiming to establish Canada as a world leader in various emerging technologies. With Canada’s first-ever Tech Talent Strategy, we are targeting newcomers who can contribute to this vision. I appreciate the collaboration of the tech, start-up, and business communities, whose insights have been invaluable in developing this strategy. Having a fast and flexible approach that is widely supported by Canadians is truly Canada’s immigration advantage.” – The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick Facts:

  • The Innovation Stream will be launched by the end of this year, incorporating feedback received from stakeholders during consultations.
  • The new work permit option for H-1B visa holders will be available from July 16, 2023. Approved applicants will receive an open work permit of up to three years, allowing them to work for almost any employer in Canada. Their spouses and dependents will also be eligible for temporary resident visas, along with work or study permits as required.
  • The Global Skills Strategy, introduced in 2017, features policies that provide Canadian employers with quick access to highly skilled talent from around the world. Employment and Social Development Canada now meets the two-week standard for processing Global Talent Stream labor market impact assessments, while the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada meets the two-week standard for work permit applications.
  • Changes to the temporary work permit option for Start-up Visa Program applicants, as well as the new application prioritization plan, will be implemented later this year.
  • Canada’s information and communications technology sector employed nearly 720,000 Canadians in 2021 and accounted for over 44% of all private research and development spending in the country. It contributed more than 15% to Canada’s overall GDP growth between 2016 and 2021.
  • Canadian cities ranked prominently in CBRE’s 2022 report on tech talent concentration, with 11 cities among the top 62 markets in North America. Canadian cities also accounted for seven of the top ten for tech industry job growth between 2016 and 2021.
  • In a 2023 report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada ranked first as the most attractive destination for immigrant entrepreneurs. The ranking considered factors such as access to capital, corporate tax rates, workforce skills, university strength, quality of life, and immigration policies for entrepreneurs and their families.

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