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H-1B Visa Holder Applications Reached Its Limit in Under 48 Hours

Canada announced its first-ever Tech Talent Strategy Pathway earlier this month to attract highly qualified individuals in the tech industry. However, in under 48 hours, the program reached its limit of 10,000 applicants and closed.

How Fast Did the H-1B Initiative Fill Up: The Canadian government initiative was designed to attract skilled workers from North America, allowing anyone with a valid H-1B Specialty Occupations visa living in the US to apply. According to this policy, successful applicants would receive an open work permit for up to 3 years.

Among the required documents was a copy of the current H-1B visa, Form I-797/I797B, (Notice of Action), along with proof of the applicant’s residency in the US. All documents had to be uploaded to the IRCC Portal. The online application platform became available on Sunday, the 16th of 2023, and within 48 hours.

the application limit of 10,000 was already reached, showcasing a staggering response. While the program was expected to be popular, the speed at which it filled was surprising. It has not been stated yet if this pathway will reopen in the coming months due to its popularity or if space becomes available.

What is the H-1B Holder Open Work Permit: Along with the 3-year open work permit offered to H-1B holders, IRCC is also developing an innovative stream within the International Mobility Program (IMP). Minister Fraser has announced that the Innovation Stream is set to launch by the end of the year.

Two potential options for this stream are:

Employer-specific work permits, valid for up to five years, and aimed at skilled workers intended to work for a company that the government of Canada has selected as working towards innovation goals. Open work permits, also valid for up to five years, are geared for workers in select in-demand occupations.

A 14-day service standard for work permits under the Global Skills Strategy has been announced in addition. This aims to expedite and streamline the application process. Who Was Targeted for the H1-B Visa This program is specially designed to attract highly skilled applicants who hold a United States H1-B specialty occupation visa. This specialty occupation visa required applicants to have specialized knowledge and hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience to have been able to qualify for the H1-B visa.

To have qualified for this new open work permit, you need to: have a valid H-1B specialty occupation visa and currently live in the US. What Options Do I Have Now That It’s Filled? If you are already in the United States on an H-1B visa, you are likely a strong candidate for economic immigration to Canada. This includes a few other pathways outside of this now-filled Tech Talent Pathway. If you are an H-1B visa holder and you are looking for some alternative ways to come to Canada, you should consider Canadian federal economic immigration programs.

There are three major federal Canadian economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
These programs are managed by the federal Express Entry system. If you meet the eligibility requirements for one of the programs managed by Express Entry, you can submit a profile to the Express Entry pool.

Once in the pool, your profile will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on things like your age, level of education, and work experience. The highest-ranking candidates are issued invitations to apply (ITA) for permanent residence in periodic Express Entry draws.

Do you know what your CRS score is? Canadim’s CRS score calculator lets you estimate your CRS score for Express Entry immigration to Canada. As a skilled worker in the United States, you are most likely to meet the requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker program.

However, most Canadian provinces also offer pathways to permanent residence for skilled workers. While eligibility requirements and application procedures vary between provinces, there may be an option for you. If you are eligible for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

you can apply to the province for a provincial nomination. If you are successful, you can then apply for Canadian permanent residence from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Interested to learn more about how you can immigrate to Canada? Take our free immigration assessment to get started!

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