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Mar 27, 2023
H-1B Visa

Didn’t get selected in the H-1B draw? Considering relocating to Canada

H-1B non-lottery winners can consider Canada as an alternative, navigating its immigration rules and opportunities.

Didn’t get selected in the H-1B draw? Considering relocating to Canada

In our previous USCIS Update: FY 2024 H-1B Registration Dates Set blog, we mentioned that it is anticipated that USCIS will receive well over the 85,000 available H-1B registration spots annually available for the upcoming FY as has been the case for past years. USCIS will select 20,000 master-level degree holders and 65,000 regular cap registrations to total the 85,000 available places.

As in past years, USCIS will notify employers of their selected H-1B Cap registrations on or in the few days before March 31, 2023. Employers will receive an email notification from USCIS that their registration has been updated.

According to the USCIS's FY 2023 results, they received 483,927 H-1B registrations and selected 127,600 registrations, resulting in a 26% chance of selection. Considering the economic decline causing many big companies to lay off their employees in the US, this year's chance of selection may be even lower.

If you're among the numerous H-1B hopefuls who didn't win the lottery, you're likely pondering your next steps. How can you manage to keep your job amidst the intricate immigration rules and regulations? Canada might be the answer. You may be eligible for a Canadian work permit if you have a job offer, or Permanent Residence through programs under Express Entry.

How to apply for a Canadian work permit?

To begin with, search for a job in Canada using various methods available online, and you don't need to be physically present in Canada to find your ideal job. You can check this "A Comprehensive Guide on Finding a Job in Canada for Newcomers" guide for more info.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) - Global Talent Stream helps Canadian employers to quickly sponsor foreign workers for the Canadian work permit. The Global Talent Stream is designed for foreign nationals in the IT sector and includes several occupations that are "specialty occupations" under the H-1B program. This similarity makes it easier for individuals to transition to a Canadian work permit. Through the Global Talent Stream and a subsequent work permit application, you can receive a work permit in as little as one month.

If you're not in the IT/tech field, your employer can still assist your arrival in Canada by applying for and obtaining a regular Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). It takes four to five months to get your work permit.

How to immigrate to Canada?

The Canadian immigration process can be categorized into two main options: federal and provincial.

H-1B candidates may be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker, the Canadian Experience Class, or the Federal Skilled Trades programs. These programs are administered through the Express Entry system with the fastest government processing time for permanent residence. Applying through a federal program will also allow applicants to relocate to any province or territory in Canada.

The provincial immigration options are referred to as Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs). Canada has over 80 PNPs that choose skilled workers and entrepreneurs who desire to settle in the nominating province or territory and are believed to contribute to local economic growth.

If you’re not qualified for immigration now, you likely need to secure a work permit, arrive in Canada, and gain Canadian work experience. This pathway is suitable for individuals ready to find a job in Canada, or run their own business.

It would take a few years to become a Canadian permanent resident, depending on the work permit type applied and which country you are from.

See the Canadian Immigration Pathway: Work, then Immigrate page for more details.

Are you considering relocating to Canada?

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