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H1-B Holders in the U.S. Looking to Move to Canada?

Are you currently on an H-1B visa or otherwise working or studying in the United States?

If so, you may be eligible for a fast track Canadian Permanent Residence through one of the Provincial or Federal Migration options.

Express Entry

H1-B holders, as well as individuals who have completed their education in the United States, are strongly positioned to have a competitive profile and receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence through Canada’s Express Entry immigration selection system. Contrary to the immigration system in the United States, most of Canada’s new permanent residents arrive through economic immigration categories that award points for language ability, high levels of education, and skilled work experience, among other factors. Consequently, H1-B holders, as well as other individuals with work or study experience gained in the United States, are typically awarded a high number of points under the Express Entry system.

One major advantage of this system, relative to economic immigration systems used in other jurisdictions, is that the government of Canada aims to process applications within six months.

Provincial Nominee Programs

Canada’s immigration policy is more de-centralized than the programs used by the United States. As such, Canadian provinces and territories (roughly analogous to states in the U.S.) can nominate individuals for permanent residence in Canada based on local labour market needs through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Many, though not all, PNP streams place an emphasis on obtaining a job offer from a local employer. H1-B holders, as well as other individuals with work or study experience gained in the United States, are often sought out by employers across Canada, as they have already proven that they can integrate into the North American job market.

Please note: The lists of eligible occupations under the various PNPs are subject to change without any prior notice or warning. If your occupation is currently on one of these lists, it is in your best interest to submit an application as soon as possible.

Intra-Company Transfers
As the United States’ largest trading partner, Canada is home to a range of subsidiaries, parent companies, branches, and affiliates of companies that also operate in the United States. These businesses have the option of bringing in foreign workers to Canada as an intra-company transferee without first having to offer the job to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Transferees must have at least one year of full-time work experience with the foreign enterprise and be coming to Canada to perform comparable work for the Canadian affiliate, either in an executive, senior managerial, or specialized knowledge role. These parameters are often beneficial to H1-B holders, as well as other individuals with work experience gained in the United States, who wish to work in Canada. Coming to Canada as an intra-company transferee can be a route towards permanent immigration to Canada.

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