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Allen and Hodgman | Canadian Alternatives for H-1B Workers in the U.S.

Canadian Alternatives for H-1B Workers in the U.S.



The U.S. is known as a land of opportunity, but many H-1B workers encounter more obstacles than opportunities. Tens of thousands of recent graduates of U.S. universities have lost out in the annual H-1B lottery. Even for lottery winners, new restrictions on H-1B approvals and the elimination of premium processing have left thousands of recent graduates on OPT without work authorization. If you are on an H-1B visa in the United States, you may have to leave after a total of six years.  The backlogs in the EB-2 and EB-3 employment categories mean that applicants from India will wait ten years or more for their Green Cards to be approved.

The election of Donald Trump is further cause for alarm, as Trump threatens to cancel or restrict many US immigration programs. In February 2019 the Trump administration began final review of a regulation to cancel the H-4 EAD. This will be catastrophic for the spouses of H-1B workers with approved I-140 petitions, who will no longer be able to work.

Canada may provide the answer. Canada is a diverse and tolerant country with a strong job market, excellent education, and universal health care. Under Canada’s new Express Entry program, strong candidates can immigrate to Canada as Permanent Residents in less than six months. Express Entry is a points based immigration system that does not require a job offer or an employer sponsor. All skilled occupations, including all software development, engineering, medical, and academic occupations qualify. Points are awarded for education, work experience, age, and language ability in either English or French. Many H-1B workers in the U.S. will be ideal candidates for Express Entry, as H-1B workers will excel in all of these areas.

To get your Express Entry application underway or for more information, SEND US AN EMAIL with the following information:

  • A complete and up to date C.V. including your education and work experience. Please provide accurate dates for your work experience, and indicate if any of the work experience was unpaid or part time.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Whether you have a job offer in Canada
  • Whether you have a spouse or children that will be coming to Canada with you. If your spouse has a work history or university education, please include your spouse’s CV as well. If you have children, please tell us their ages.
  • Your language test results if you have taken a language test in English or French
  • Your reasons for wanting to move to Canada, and any other special circumstances that will help us understand your case.

For more information, SEE OUR WEB PAGE ON EXPRESS ENTRY.

There are many other Canadian immigration options available, including temporary work permits if you have a job offer in Canada; study permits to continue your education in Canada; immigration through one of the provincial nominee programs; and spousal sponsorship if you are married to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

We are licensed lawyers in both Canada and the U.S. Contact us now to benefit from our unique perspective.

Unlike other lawyers, we can advise you as to both U.S. and Canadian immigration options. Contact us now to make a plan for you.