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Canada relaxes work permit rules for American H-1B visa holders

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Canada relaxes work permit rules for American H-1B visa holders

Canada relaxes work permit rules for American H-1B visa holders

The policy exempts certain American H-1B visa holders from work permit requirements.


American H-1B, Visa Holders, Work permit renewals, foreign nationals, Canada

Work permit exemption is for a foreign national who reside in the US and hold an H-1B visa. (FE Online)

For all those looking to stay and work in Canada, the requirement of a work permit is a must. To attract highly educated individuals, particularly in information technology (IT)-)-related occupations, Canada gave exemptions from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to foreign nationals who meet certain eligibility conditions in June 2023. Essentially, the exemption is for a foreign national who submits a work permit application for a maximum of three years, resides in the US, and holds an H-1B visa.

Effectively, the the temporary public policy to exempt holders of certain American H-1B work visas from work permit requirements came into effect to facilitate access to open work permits for H-1B visa holders and their family members, residing in the US at the time of their application.

This public policy took effect on July 16, 2023, and was to end on July 15, 2024, or once 10,000 work permit applications have been submitted. However, this public policy ended on July 17, 2023, when the cap of 10,000 applications from principal applicants was received. Intake of new applications under this initial public policy is now closed.

However, two additional public policies came into effect on September 27, 2023, and December 16, 2023, that include the following additional measures:

On September 27, 2023, a complementary public policy came into effect to mitigate adverse impacts to individuals who faced difficulties applying through the online application portal used for this measure.

This public policy provides authority to:

Process applications received in excess of the 10,000 cap if they were submitted after the expiration of the initial public policy on July 17, 2023, but prior to the closure of the online portal

Process applications of family members who applied for work permits following the expiry of the initial public policy and before September 28, 2024

Exempt minor children (age 17 and under) of H-1B visa holders from the $150 study permit processing fee after they arrive in Canada if they were issued an H-1B open work permit.

On December 16, 2023, an additional complementary public policy came into effect and expires on December 16, 2026.

This public policy 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.