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USA H1-B versus Canada TFWP

USA H1-B Visa versus Canada TFWP Visa


USA H1-B versus Canada TFWP

Canada Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

Canada offers several options with respect to work authorization that have similar eligibility criteria to the H1-B visas. They also present the possibility of the foreign worker transiting to permanent resident and citizen.

Canada’s TFWP allows foreign workers to come to work in Canada temporarily in many areas. These include:

  • Agriculture
  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Health Care and Social Assistance
  • Retail Trade, and also
  • Manufacturing

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a tool on its webpage at Do you need a work permit to work in Canada? to check if you need a temporary foreign worker permit and how to apply.

USA H1-B Nonimmigrant Classification for a Temporary Worker

In order for you to go to the United States as a nonimmigrant to work temporarily, your prospective employer must generally file a nonimmigrant petition on your behalf with USCIS1.

The general program is the Nonimmigrant Classification for a Temporary Worker H1-B. This classification applies to people who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation, services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability.

USCIS1’s website has all the H1-B eligibility requirements and how to apply at H1-B Nonimmigrant Classification.

Why USA H1-B applicants should consider Canada TFWP Visa

H1-B petition provides a promising avenue through which skilled foreign nationals can go to work in the United States. However, the H-1B program is plagued with issues, making the US a less viable option for many foreign workers.

The time limitation on H-1B visas, for example, is a frequent problem. H1-B visas can be granted for three years and then can be extended for three additional years,. After that, the foreign national must remain outside of the U.S. for at least one full year.

H1-B approval rates are vulnerable to American political environments. During Trump’s presidency, the approval rate for H-1B applications declined, dropping by more than 10 per cent between 2015 and 2018.

Canada needs foreign skilled workers

Skilled foreign workers like those who are relying on, or applying for, the US H-1B visa are highly prized by Canada’s immigration programs. Canada’s federal and provincial governments tailor their immigration policies and programs to facilitate the entry of such workers.

Canada continues to face severe labour shortage as a result of the pandemic and its ageing and retiring population.

To boost labour, on November 1, Canada announced plans to welcome an unprecedented 1.45 million immigrants over the next three years under Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025. The Plan targets 465,000 newcomers in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025.

Then on November 4 Canada announced that it will spend $1.6 billion over six years and $315 million a year after that in order to meet or exceed the Plan. The fund will focus on improving application processing and settlement of new immigrants.

See Canada to spend $1.6 Billion to meet ambitious Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025.

Quick steps to apply for TFWP Visa

Step 1: Do I need a work permit to work in my job in Canada?

The first thing is to check if you need a temporary foreign worker permit to work temporarily in Canada. You usually need a work permit to do any work in Canada. However, in some cases, you can work without a permit.

Use the tool on IRCC’s webpage at Do you need a work permit to work in Canada? to check if you need a temporary foreign worker permit.

Step 2: Am I eligible for temporary foreign worker permit?

The basic eligibility requirements for temporary foreign worker permit are that you must:

  • prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires;
  • show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home;
  • obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (IRCC may ask you to give us a police clearance certificate);
  • not be a danger to Canada’s security;
  • be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed;
  • not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions;
  • not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; and also
  • give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.

Step 3: Apply for the right work permit for your situation

There are 2 types of work permits.

Employer-specific work permit

An employer-specific work permit lets you work in Canada according to the conditions on your work permit, such as

  • the name of the specific employer you can work for
  • how long you can work
  • the location where you can work (if applicable)

Before you apply for an employer-specific work permit, your employer must give you

If your employer does not need to use the Employer Portal to submit an offer of employment, they must give you a copy of the employment contract.

Open work permit

An open work permit lets you work for any employer in Canada, except for one that

You can only get an open work permit in specific situations.

Not sure which one you should get? Go to IRCC’s website to fFind out what type of work permit you need for your situation.

Step 4: Get positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from your employer

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker.

A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.

Your employer should check if it needs an LMIA, and how to apply for one.

Once your employer gets the LMIA, you can apply for a Canada foreign temporary worker permit.

In brief, to apply for the work permit, you need: