Canada Announced Clarifications for H-1B Visa Holders

Author: John Black | | Categories: Work in Canada

H-1B Visa Holders

On June 5, 2024, the Government of Canada provided important clarifications on the public policy measures affecting H-1B visa holders. This update is crucial for American H-1B visa holders and their families residing in the U.S. who are interested in relocating to Canada. On July 16, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced a temporary public policy to facilitate open work permits for H-1B visa holders. This policy allowed certain American H-1B visa holders to work in Canada without the need for additional work permits. The initiative was highly successful, reaching its application cap of 10,000 on July 17, 2023.

New Measures Introduced for H-1B Visa Holders

To continue supporting H-1B visa holders, the Canadian government enacted two additional public policies on September 27, 2023, and December 16, 2023. These policies include several significant measures:

  1. Processing Excess Applications: Applications exceeding the initial cap of 10,000, if submitted within the specified period, will still be processed.
  2. Family Members’ Work Permits: Family members can continue to apply for H-1B open work permits beyond the initial policy’s expiry, up until September 28, 2024.
  3. Fee Exemption for Minor Children: Minor children (17 and under) of H-1B visa holders are exempt from the $150 study permit processing fee upon arrival in Canada, provided they have an open work permit and applied for their study permit before September 28, 2024.
  4. Work Permit Renewals: H-1B open work permit holders in Canada with permits valid for less than three years can extend their permits up to the full three-year maximum. This extension is available for applications received before December 16, 2024.

Benefits of the Clarifications

These measures provide significant benefits for H-1B visa holders and their families:

  • Job Flexibility: H-1B visa holders can now enjoy greater job flexibility by easily transitioning to the Canadian workforce.
  • Family Integration: The policies ensure that family members, including spouses and children, can accompany and support the primary visa holder in Canada.
  • Educational Opportunities: Fee exemptions for minor children make it more affordable for families to access education in Canada.
  • Stability: The extension of work permits up to three years provides stability for visa holders planning their long-term stay in Canada.

The Government of Canada’s clarifications on public policy measures for H-1B visa holders highlight its commitment to attracting skilled workers and their families. These policies not only enhance the ease of transitioning to Canada but also ensure that H-1B visa holders can contribute effectively to the Canadian economy while enjoying a high quality of life.

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