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Work options when focus shifts to Canada

A significant number of foreign nationals are shifting their focus to British Columbia and other provinces in Canada due to the limited employment opportunities south of the border. Holders of H-1B visas in the United States may choose one of the work authorization options offered under Canadian immigration laws. 

Global talent stream

Foreign IT workers who would be classified as “specialty occupation” under the U.S. H1-B visa may find it easier to navigate the transition to this Canadian work permit. 

Intra-company transfer

Multinational companies with business interests in Canada employ a significant number of H-1B visa holders. Those individuals could qualify for a Canadian work permit, facilitated through the Intra-Company Transfer option. Another similar option is for companies in America that look at establishing their presence in Canada. 

Their foreign national employees on H-1B visas might be the most suitable candidates to get the new branch, affiliate or subsidiary up and running. Under Canadian law, the Intra-Company Transfer Start Up work permit might be the best option. 


The North American Free Trade Agreement might be an option for Mexican citizens who have H-1B visas. However, there is a list of occupations eligible for this work permit option. The Mexican nationals would have to state the field in which they are qualified and then work in that capacity in Canada. 

For business visitors, specific scenarios allow those who hold H-1B visas to enter Canada for reasons that are work-related. For this purpose, they would not be required to obtain work permits. However, for skilled foreign nationals who plan to work in British Columbia or elsewhere in Canada, eligibility for one of these work permit options could provide opportunities to practice their skills elsewhere in North America. Becoming familiar with the different options might make Canada a more viable option than the United States, where the H-B1 program is plagued with a number of issues right now.