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Canada last year exempted certain foreign nationals from immigration and refugee protection rules. However, the exemptions only apply to people who meet certain requirements, including filing an application for a work permit for a maximum of three years, being a permanent resident of the United States and holding an H-1B visa.

Exceptions to the work permit requirement for H-1B visa holders in Canada

Canada relaxes work permit rules for American H-1B visa holders (PTI file photo)

The rule was originally scheduled to end on July 15, 2024, but was terminated early after the cap of 10,000 applications from principal applicants was reached. The rule, which exempted certain American H-1B visa holders from the work permit requirement, ended on July 17, 2023.

Qualifications for H-1B visa holders:

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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 Worker visa
  2. Must reside in the United States
  3. Secure a job offer from an employer in Canada and meet their requirements

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However, Canada introduced two additional policies last year to provide further support to H-1B visa holders. According to Finacial Express, the supplemental public policy, which came into effect on September 27, 2023, provides the following powers:

  1. Litigation requests exceeding the 10,000 limit will be considered if they were submitted after the expiration of the original public policy on July 17, 2023, but before the closure of the online portal.
  2. Process applications from family members who applied for a work permit after the expiration of the original public regime and before September 28, 2024.
  3. Minor children (aged 17 years and below) of H-1B visa holders are exempt from the US$150 study permit processing fee if they were issued a permanent H-1B work permit upon arrival in Canada.

Meanwhile, the December 16, 2023, policy, which expires on December 16, 2026, aims to “facilitate the extension of work permits in Canada for foreign nationals who were issued a work permit for less than three years, following relief under the first two public H-1B policies to allow them to benefit from the full three-year maximum duration of this work permit category,” the outlet said.

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