Canada Introduces New Work Permit for US H-1B Visa Holders

Canada's Immigration Minister reveals plans to introduce a dedicated work permit program for US H-1B visa holders, enabling them and their families to work and study in Canada. The program aims to attract skilled professionals and offers flexibility for employment opportunities.

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, announced on Tuesday that the government is set to establish a dedicated work permit program for American H-1B visa holders, enabling them to work in Canada.

This initiative aims to attract and benefit from the skills and expertise of 10,000 individuals currently holding H-1B visas.

In a press release issued by the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, it was further revealed that the program will extend its provisions to include study or work permits for the family members of H-1B visa holders.

Open Work Permit for H-1B Visa Holders

Canada Work Permit

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, unveiled a plan to create an open work-permit stream specifically designed for American H-1B visa holders. This stream will accommodate up to 10,000 individuals, providing them with the opportunity to work in Canada.


The accompanying press release from the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship also highlighted that the program will enable family members to obtain study or work permits.

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Flexibility and Opportunities

The official release emphasized that many individuals working in the high-tech sector have roles within companies operating in both Canada and the United States.

Frequently, these professionals possess H-1B visas, granting them specialized occupation status in the US. Starting from July 16, 2023, these H-1B visa holders, along with their immediate family members, will be eligible to apply for the new Canadian work permit.


“Thousands of workers in high-tech fields are employed with companies that have large operations in both Canada and the US, and those working in the US often hold an H-1B speciality occupation visa. As of July 16, 2023, H-1B speciality occupation visa holders in the US, and their accompanying immediate family members, will be eligible to apply to come to Canada.”

the release read

Generous Work Permit and Family Benefits

Successful applicants under the new program will receive an open work permit that can be valid for up to three years. This permit will enable them to work for any employer across Canada.

Additionally, spouses and dependents of H-1B visa holders will also have the opportunity to apply for a temporary resident visa, along with a work or study permit, based on their specific needs.

Future Immigration Opportunities for Tech Professionals

A Canadian media outlet reported that Minister Fraser has expressed intentions to develop an immigration stream specifically tailored for highly skilled individuals worldwide. This stream aims to attract talented professionals to Canada, even if they do not have a job offer at the time of application.


However, specific qualification criteria and the number of individuals to be admitted to this stream were not provided by the minister.

Addressing the Challenges Faced by H-1B Visa Holders

H-1B visas are temporary work permits issued by the United States, primarily for individuals working in specialized occupations, including the technology sector.

Notably, a lot of tech companies experienced a surge in hiring during the pandemic but have recently undergone significant layoffs. Consequently, many H-1B visa holders find themselves seeking new employment opportunities.

By introducing this new work permit program, Canada aims to provide an alternative and attractive option for H-1B visa holders, enabling them to continue their careers and contribute their skills to the Canadian job market.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, he's passionate about writing.

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