Recently, Canada came up with a new initiative that exclusively permits United States H-1B visa holders to apply for Canadian open work permit. On June 27, the Immigration Minister of Canada announced to invite skilled workers working in high-tech industries to Canada.
Open Work Permit for H-1B Visa Holders
Effective from July 16, individuals holding a valid United States H-1B specialty occupation visa can now apply to work and live in Canada through the open work permit stream. The candidates will receive an open work permit that allows them to work for any Canadian employer for up to three years. Spouses and dependents are also eligible to apply for work and study permit.
This open work permit will be available for H-1B visa holders for up to 1 year or until 10,000 applicants are met. This cap only implies to principal applicants.
To qualify applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Must hold a legal H-1B specialty occupation visa.
- Currently reside in the United States.
- The application for the open work permit requires the following documents:
- Copy of the current H-1B visa.
- Form I-797/I797B, Notice of Action, confirming the approval of the H-1B application by the U.S. government.
Canada’s Tech Talent Attraction Strategy
In addition to the open work permit for H-1B holders, the IRCC is working on implementing an Innovation Stream under the International Mobility Program (IMP) by the end of this year. The Innovation Stream aims to further attract skilled workers and offers two potential options:
Employer-specific work permits for up to five years, catering to workers employed by companies contributing to Canada’s industrial innovation goal.
Open work permits for up to five years, targeting highly skilled workers in in-demand occupations.
Furthermore, the IRCC has announced a return to the 14-day service standard for work permits under the Global Skills Strategy, initiatives to promote Canada as a destination for digital nomads, and improvements to the Start-up Visa Program, including increased allocation and extended work permit durations.
STEM Job Vacancies in Canada
The latest data from Statistics Canada suggest that the professional, scientific, and technical services sector in Canada had 42,900 job vacancies. This arises a requirement for skilled professionals in STEM fields. These initiatives aim to facilitate the filling of job vacancies and bridge the skills gap, particularly in licensed professions within STEM fields.