New Canadian Work Permit for H1B Visa Holders Exceeds Demand

The Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship recently unveiled a program whereby a nonimmigrant H1B worker can apply for a Canadian open work permit and temporary resident visa. This program is designed to benefit an individual whose H1B status is expiring and who cannot otherwise remain in the United States after that time. Canada capped the applications for this program at 10,000, and demand was so high, the limit was met within 48 hours.

Applicants Receive Open Work Permits in Canada

Individuals approved for the program receive an open work permit for up to three years. This permit will allow the individual to work for almost any employer anywhere in Canada. The individual’s spouse and any other dependent also will be eligible to apply for a temporary resident visa, with a work or study permit, if needed.

Eligibility Requirements

To demonstrate eligibility, an individual must be in valid H1B status and be living in the United States at the time of application. An applicant must provide a copy of the individual’s current H1B visa, the individual’s most recent H1B approval notice, and proof of residence in the United States. Proof of residence can include an individual’s most recent I-94, a recent utility bill, an income tax report, or any other proof of residence.

Applications are submitted through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) portal. As noted above, however, Canada already has reached the initial cap of 10,000 applications for this initiative.


Although an H1B nonimmigrant may make every possible effort to remain in the United States, circumstances beyond an individual’s control, like the tech layoffs, may complicate plans. In such cases, alternative options, such as this Canadian work permit program, may provide some relief.



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