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Good news for Indians! Canada launches open work permit stream for US H1-B visa holders

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Canada has introduced a new program to welcome 10,000 H1-B visa holders from the United States, providing open work permits and creating job opportunities. The initiative is part of Canada’s strategy to attract highly skilled workers and position itself as a global leader in emerging technologies.

Indians, who account for nearly 75% of H1-B visa holders in the United States, are set to be the major beneficiaries of a new scheme launched by Canada to attract tech talent to the country.

The open work permit stream allows H1-B visa holders from the US to live and work in Canada for a period of three years. Furthermore, family members of approved applicants will have the option to pursue studies or seek employment opportunities within the country.

“Thousands of workers in high-tech fields are employed with companies that have large operations in both Canada and the US, and those working in the US often hold an H1-B speciality occupation visa. As of July 16, 2023, H1-B speciality occupation visa holders in the US, and their accompanying immediate family members, will be eligible to apply to come to Canada,” the Canadian government said in a release earlier this month.

Under this initiative, H1-B visa holders will have the flexibility to work for any employer across Canada. Moreover, their spouses and dependents will also be eligible to apply for a temporary resident visa, allowing them to obtain work or study permits as required.

H1-B visas are commonly utilised by technology companies to hire foreign nationals for specialised occupations, contributing to their workforce, particularly from countries like India and China. Canada’s strategic move aims to capitalise on the current landscape of massive layoffs in the US tech industry and attract professionals seeking new opportunities in emerging technologies.

The open work permit stream for US H1-B visa holders will be available for a duration of one year or until the Canadian government reaches 10,000 applications, whichever comes first. By fostering a favourable environment for international talent, Canada aims to bolster its position in the global technology landscape and create a hub for innovation and expertise.

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