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More Options for Open Work Permits for H-1B Work Permit Holders

Bringing experts in STEM fields and other highly skilled professions to Canada aligns with our government’s endeavors to attract and retain top talent to tackle labor market shortages and skills gaps. On September 27, 2023, a fresh temporary public policy came into effect, aimed at streamlining specific applications received by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) under the H-1B open work permit initiative, which was launched on July 16, 2023.

IRCC was empowered to process a limited number of applications that surpassed the cap, as they were submitted concurrently with the cap being reached on July 17, 2023.

Applications submitted by immigration representatives via the Authorized Paid Representatives Portal before the cap was reached on July 17, 2023, on behalf of applicants and their family members, are eligible for processing.

Work permit applications for accompanying family members, including those who have already applied for a work permit or intend to do so within the next 12 months, are also covered.

This temporary public policy exempts minor children (17 and under) of H-1B holders, who applied for a work permit under the initial H-1B open work permit initiative and now seek to apply for a study permit from within Canada upon arrival, from study permit processing fees. Although physical study permits are not mandatory for minors to study in Canada, this waiver aims to address challenges faced by some H-1B applicants in submitting study permit applications for their minor children.