Canada immigrationexpress entrytemporary foreign worker program

H1B Holders: How to Apply for Canada Work Permit?

Published on: June 25th, 2020
Last updated: December 11th, 2023

Canada offers numerous programs and immigration streams tailored to highly skilled workers who have been waiting for a prolonged Green Card process in the U.S.


Moving to Canada with an H-1B Visa

If you’re already in the United States on an H-1B visa, you may be very well-positioned to make the move to Canada. Depending on your profile, you may choose to continue as a temporary foreign worker north of the border, or make the change to permanent residence.

Working temporarily in Canada

Over 300,000 foreign nationals enter Canada every year through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers for a limited amount of time.

In most cases, you need a valid job offer from a Canadian employer to be eligible for a Canadian work permit. However, unlike in the United States, there is no lottery system to determine who is accepted. If you and your employer meet the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) requirements, your application will be duly processed.

In June, 2017, the Government of Canada launched the Global Talent Stream, which provides a two-week processing standard for certain work permits if the Canadian employer is either referred to the Global Talent Stream by a designated partner, or hiring a worker in a position identified on the Global Talent occupations list.

Many of the identified occupations are in the information technology (IT) sector.


National Occupations Classification (NOC) codeOccupation title
20012Computer and information systems managers
21300Civil engineers
21310Electrical and electronics engineers
21330Mining engineers
21390Aerospace engineers
21311Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
Sub-set of 21210* Mathematicians and statisticians
* Positions for actuaries or related occupations are excluded from this subset.
21211 – Data scientists

21220 – Cybersecurity specialists

21221 – Business system specialists

21222 – Information systems specialists

21233 – Web designers
Information systems analysts and consultants
21211 – Data scientists

21223 – Database analysts and data administrators
Database analysts and data administrators
21231 – Software engineers and designers

21211 – Data scientists
Software engineers and designers
21230 – Computer systems developers and programmers

21232 – Software developers and programmers

21234 – Web developers and programmers
Computer programmers and interactive media developers
21233 – Web designers

21234 – Web developers and programmers
Web designers and developers
22310Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
22220Computer network technicians
(NOC 2021 occupation: Computer network and web technicians)
22222 Information systems testing technicians
Sub-set of 51120**
Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game

Sub-set of 52120***Digital media designers


Business Development Bank of Canada
Council of Canadian Innovators
Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada - Accelerated Growth Service
Invest in Canada
National Research Council - Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)
Privy Council Office, Special Projects Team
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (multiple locations across the region)
Ignite Fredericton
Venn Innovation
Government of New Brunswick – Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
Cape Breton Partnership
Government of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Business Inc.
Halifax Partnership
Government of Prince Edward Island, Island Investment Development Inc.
Burlington Economic Development Corporation
Invest Brampton
Invest in Hamilton
City of Mississauga
Communitech Corporation
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
Government of Ontario, Labour, Training and Skills Development – Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
Government of Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade – Ontario Investment Office
Invest Ottawa
Kingston Economic Development Corporation
London Economic Development Corporation
MaRS Discovery District
Regional Municipality of Niagara
York Region
Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership
Toronto Global
Town of Oakville
Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation
Invest Windsor Essex
Canadian Economic Development for Quebec Regions
For other designated referral partners located in Quebec for the Global Talent Stream, employers from Quebec are invited to consult Quebec’s ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) website (French only).
Calgary Economic Development
Edmonton Metropolitan Region Economic Development Company a.k.a Edmonton Global
Government of Alberta, Alberta Labour and Immigration
Accelerate Okanagan
BC Tech Association
Government of British Columbia, Ministry Municipal Affairs
Kootenay Association for Science & Technology
Launch Academy
Vancouver Economic Commission
Venture Kamloops
Economic Development Winnipeg
Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Education and Training
Tech Manitoba
Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Immigration and Career Training
Last updated May 10, 2022

How to Apply for Canada Work Permit as a H1B Holder?

Applying for a Canada work permit as an H1B visa holder involves a systematic process to ensure a smooth transition. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Check Eligibility: Confirm eligibility by reviewing the requirements of your selected Canadian immigration program. Ensure your H1B status is valid and that you meet specific criteria outlined for your intended occupation.
  2. Obtain a Job Offer: Secure a job offer from a Canadian employer. The offer should align with the requirements of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or other relevant programs.
  3. Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): In most cases, your Canadian employer needs to obtain a positive LMIA, which assesses the impact of hiring a foreign worker on the Canadian labor market. This process demonstrates that there is a genuine need for a foreign worker to fill the position.
  4. Collect Required Documents: Prepare all necessary documents, including a valid passport, job offer letter, LMIA, proof of qualifications, and any additional documents specified by the Canadian government.
  5. Complete the Application Form: Fill out the work permit application forms accurately. The forms typically includes personal information, details about the job offer, and information about your intended stay in Canada.
  6. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the required application fee in Canadian dollars. The fee may vary depending on the type of work permit and processing times.
  7. Submit Application: Submit your completed application along with all supporting documents to the appropriate visa office or online platform. Ensure that all information is accurate and up to date.
  8. Wait for Processing: Processing times vary, so be patient while awaiting a decision on your application. You can check the status of your application online.
  9. Biometrics and Medical Examination: In some cases, you may be required to provide biometrics and undergo a medical examination. Ensure you follow any additional instructions provided during the application process.
  10. Receive Work Permit: If your application is approved, you will receive a work permit allowing you to work in Canada for the specified duration. Ensure you comply with the conditions outlined in the permit.

Navigating the application process for a Canada work permit as an H1B holder may seem intricate, and seeking guidance from an immigration professional can be beneficial to ensure a successful and efficient application process.

Options to immigrate to Canada permanently

If you are already in the United States on an H-1B visa, you are likely a strong candidate for economic immigration to Canada.

There are three major federal Canadian economic immigration programs:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  2. Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  3. 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.


Learn about the fast-track options available for H1B visa holders in our detailed article. Some paths could have you settling in Canada within just one year! Read the full article here:

Canada Immigration Guide for H1B Visa Holders

Canada Immigration Guide for H1B Visa Holders

If you are already in the United States on an H-1B visa, you are likely a strong candidate for economic immigration to Canada. Find here the best options for you.

Are you a skilled professional living and working in the United States under the H1B visa program?

Discover the best pathway tailored to your unique profile and experience by consulting with a Canadian immigration expert at Canadim. Take the first step by filling out our online free assessment to provide us with essential details about your background. Our dedicated team will then reach out to you, offering personalized guidance and insights into the immigration pathways that align with your aspirations.

Explore a world of possibilities with Canadim and embark on your journey to a new chapter in Canada. 

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