H1-B specialty occupation visa holders in the USA are eligible to apply for an open work permit to come to Canada as of July 16, 2023. Approved applicants will receive an open work permit of up to three years in duration, which means they will be able to work for almost any employer anywhere in Canada. Their spouses and dependants will also be eligible to apply for a temporary resident visa, with a work or study permit, as needed.
In the news release of June 27, 2023, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) announced that this measure is to remain in effect for one year, or until IRCC receives 10,000 applications. Only principal applicants will count towards this number, not accompanying family members.
- Canada’s information and communications technology sector employed nearly 720,000 Canadians and accounted for more than 44% of all private research and development spending in Canada in 2021. The sector was responsible for more than 15% of Canada’s overall GDP growth between 2016 and 2021. (Source: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (PDF 0.76 MB))
- In CBRE’s report on the concentration of tech talent for 2022, Canadian cities represented 11 of the top 62 markets in North America. The same report also ranked tech industry job growth between 2016 and 2021, with Canadian cities accounting for seven of the top ten.
- Canada ranked number one as the most attractive destination for immigrant entrepreneurs in a 2023 report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (PDF 2.18 MB). The rankings were based on a wide variety of factors, including access to capital, corporate tax rates, skills of the workforce, strength of its universities and quality of life, as well as immigration policies for entrepreneurs and their families.
For more detailed information about Open Work Permits and eligibility requirements for the new program, please feel free to contact our office or complete our online assessment questionnaire: On-line Assessment Questionnaire.