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Canada relaxes work permit rules for American H-1B Visa holders, here’s what to know

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Canada exempted certain foreign nationals from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations last year. The exemptions, however, are only applicable to those who meet certain eligibility conditions, which include submitting a work permit application for a maximum of three years, permanent residence in the US, and being an H-1B visa holder.
Canada relaxes work permit rules for American H-1B Visa holders, here's what to know
Canada relaxes work permit rules for American H-1B visa holders((PTI File Photo))

H-1B visa holders’ work permit exemptions in Canada

Initially, the policy was slated to end on July 15, 2024, but was cut short after the cap of 10,000 applications from principal applicants was reached. The policy exempting certain American H-1B visa holders from work permit requirements ended on July 17, 2023.

Qualifications for H-1B Visa Holders:

To be eligible for an open work permit in Canada, H-1B visa holders must meet the following criteria:

  1. Obtain a valid H-1B Specialty Occupations visa
  2. Must reside in the United States
  3. Secure a job offer from an employer in Canada and meet its requirements

ALSO READ: Can laid off H-1B visa holders switch to tourist visas? Here’s what USCIS says

However, Canada introduced two more policies that came into effect last year to provide further assistance to H-1B visa holders. According to Finacial Express, the complementary public policy that came into effect on September 27, 2023, provides authority to:

  1. Process applications received in excess of the 10,000 cap will be considered if they were submitted after the expiration of the initial public policy on July 17, 2023, but before the closure of the online portal.
  2. Process applications from family members who applied for work permits after the initial public policy expired and before September 28, 2024.
  3. Exempt minor children (aged 17 and under) of H-1B visa holders from the $150 study permit processing fee if they were issued an H-1B open work permit upon arriving in Canada.

Meanwhile, the December 16, 2023 policy, which is set to expire on December 16, 2026, “aims to facilitate the renewal of work permits for foreign nationals in Canada who were issued a work permit for less than 3 years, following facilitation under the first 2 H-1B public policies, to enable them to benefit from the full 3-year maximum of this work permit category,” per the outlet.



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