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In recent years, H1-B visa holders from countries like India, China, Mexico, and the Philippines have expressed concerns about their long-term prospects and stability in the United States. With the H1-B program’s limitations and lack of clear pathways to permanent residence, many skilled workers have started considering alternative options.

Recognizing this opportunity, Canada has introduced a new immigration program, Tech Talent Strategy known which is aimed at attracting these talented individuals and addressing their concerns. The Canadian government, led by Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, has unveiled four key pillars that provide a promising future for high-skilled workers, offering them greater security and long-term prospects compared to the current situation in the United States.

Pillar 1: Streamlining Canadian Work Permits for H-1B Visa Holders

Firstly, starting from July 16, 2023, U.S.-based H1-B workers and their immediate family members will be able to apply for open work permits of up to three years. This will enable them to explore employment opportunities with nearly any Canadian employer, providing a sense of flexibility and freedom.

  • Open work permits: H-1B visa holders and their families can apply for Canadian work permits.
  • Duration: Work permits are available for up to three years, offering flexibility.
  • Employment opportunities: Holders can explore job options with any Canadian employer.

Pillar 2: Innovation Stream under the International Mobility Program

Canada plans to launch the Innovation Stream under the International Mobility Program by the end of 2023. This stream will exempt highly skilled workers from the labor market impact assessment process, streamlining the hiring process for high-growth employers in Canada’s tech sector. Whether through employer-specific work permits or open work permits for in-demand occupations, these workers will have the opportunity to contribute to Canada’s thriving tech industry and establish their long-term status with greater certainty.

  • Tech talent demand: Canada launches the Innovation Stream to address labor shortages in key tech occupations.
  • Exemption from LMIA:¬†Highly skilled workers are exempt from this assessment process.
  • Streamlined hiring: High-growth employers can easily hire these workers, aligning with innovation priorities.
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Pillar 3: Attracting Digital Nomads

Acknowledging the rising trend of remote work, Canada aims to attract digital nomads from around the world. While current immigration rules allow digital nomads to work remotely in Canada for up to six months, the government plans to explore additional policies to encourage their relocation. Digital nomads who choose to settle in Canada may have opportunities to transition to work permits or even permanent residency when offered jobs by Canadian employers.

  • Collaboration with partners to explore policies attracting digital nomads to Canada.
  • Current rules allow digital nomads to relocate for up to six months under visitor status.
  • Possibility of transitioning to work permits or permanent residence upon job offers from Canadian employers.

Pillar 4: Enhancements to Tech-Focused Immigration Programs

Additionally, Canada is focused on strengthening existing immigration programs designed to benefit high-skilled tech workers. The Global Skills Strategy, introduced in 2017, offers quick access to highly skilled talent from around the world, with reduced processing times for work permit applications. The Start-up Visa Program provides a pathway to permanent residence for foreign entrepreneurs with the support of designated Canadian venture capital funds or angel investor organizations.

Global Skills Strategy: Provides quick access to highly skilled talent with reduced processing times.
Start-up Visa Program: Offers a pathway to permanent residence for foreign entrepreneurs with support from Canadian investors.

Read more: 5 Ways to Get Canada PR By Investment

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While Canada’s initiatives present attractive opportunities, it’s important to note that the United States still has its own advantages. America’s prestigious Ivy League universities, warm southern climate, and robust business and economic strengths make it an attractive destination. However, the U.S. should take note of Canada’s innovative measures and consider revisiting its own immigration policies and programs to create a more conducive environment for skilled workers.

The United States should prioritize retaining H1-B workers, as they contribute to economic growth, foster innovation, and maintain the nation’s position as a leader in technology and industry. To remain competitive, the U.S. needs to reassess and revise its H1-B visa program, ensuring long-term stability, career growth, and a supportive environment for families. By addressing the concerns of these workers and creating more attractive immigration policies, the U.S. can continue to succeed and thrive in the rapidly evolving technological landscape.

Need Help?

At Elaar Immigration, we understand the challenges faced by skilled workers seeking opportunities abroad. As an expert RCIC, Keshav Sharma and our team are dedicated to helping eligible candidates navigate the complex immigration process. We provide comprehensive support, including guidance on visa applications, work permits, and permanent residence pathways. With our expertise and personalized approach, we can assist H1-B visa holders in exploring their options in Canada’s new immigration program and making informed decisions about their future. Contact Elaar Immigration today to embark on your journey toward a brighter future

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