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H-1B visa holders who moved to Canada on special work permits can now sponsor dependents



The Canadian government introduced a new work permit program for H-1B visa holders from the United States, effective July 16, 2023. The permit allows current H-1B visa holders to work in Canada and potentially pursue permanent residency based on their qualifications. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has allocated a special stream for 10,000 US H-1B visa holders, aiming to provide them with more secure and long-term prospects compared to the United States. The work permit was met with an extraordinary amount of interest; in just the first day, the 10,000 available permits were taken.

In March 2024, Canada announced that it would be processing a number of H-1B visa holders who applied for the pilot project before the deadline but were not granted work permits due to the declared cap.

Dependents of H-1B visa holders can also now benefit from this initiative. Work permit holders can sponsor dependents for work, study or visit in Canada.

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Who can apply

To qualify, you must be the spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of an H-1B visa holder applicant
currently live in the US. If you’re not eligible to come to Canada under this policy, you may qualify as a family member of a highly skilled worker .

Applications for open work permits for dependents must be submitted by September 27, 2024, while there is no deadline for visitor or student applications.

Family members of H-1B visa holder applicants who’ve already applied may be eligible to apply for any of the following:

How to Apply for a TRV or Study Permit as a Family Member of an H-1B Applicant

If you are a family member of an H-1B visa holder who has already applied for a Canadian work permit, you can apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or study permit through the IRCC Portal.

Steps to Apply for a Visitor Visa (TRV) or Study Permit

1, Access the IRCC Portal: Begin your application by accessing the IRCC Portal.
2. Follow General Application Steps:

  • For a visitor visa, follow the standard procedures outlined by IRCC.
  • For a study permit, adhere to the general guidelines provided by IRCC.

3. Answer Key Question: During the application process, you will encounter a question that helps IRCC confirm your status as a family member of an H-1B visa applicant who has already applied. It is crucial to answer this question exactly as instructed. Failing to answer this question correctly may lead to delays or refusal of your application.

Question Answer
“Tell us more about what you’ll do in Canada” H1BF

Ensure all information provided is accurate and complete. This helps IRCC verify your connection to the H-1B applicant. Incorrect or incomplete applications can result in delays or refusal. Pay close attention to all instructions and double-check your responses.

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