What are the Work Permit Options After Missing the H-1B Visa Application Window?

A new Open Work Permit (OWP) for H-1B visa holders was introduced by Canada on July 16 as part of a new tech talent strategy. The OWP allows applicants with highly specialized occupations to work for virtually any company in Canada. This particular permit is valid for up to three years and entitles holders to bring their immediate family with them.

What is H-1B Holder Open Work Permit

The program allows H-1B visa holders to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) while their applications for status adjustments are still being processed. They are able to work and switch employers while their applications for green cards are being processed.

It already proved to be a very popular option as the cap of a maximum of 10,000 applications was met in just two days. Therefore, here is a summary of some popular entry points for temporary workers with H-1B visas in Canada.

Global Talent Stream

The program is specifically designed for highly skilled foreign professionals in the tech sector. Global Talent Stream is a fast-tracked program for employers who can invite foreign talent to Canada. Also, the program is a part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) which facilitates the process of work permit applications and temporary resident visas in less time. GTS is divided into two categories:

Category A

It is a category of high-growth companies that are referred to the GTS by one of more than 40 designated referral partners who are intended to hire “specialized talent from abroad”.

Category B

Companies looking to hire for specific roles designated by the Global Talent Occupations List. The list includes in-demand jobs falling in category B.

Intra-Company Transfers

Intra Company Transfers is a program for individuals who get temporarily transferred to Canada’s branch, parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate of their foreign employer.

ICT eligibility criteria for employees

Workers might be qualified to apply for an ICT work permit assuming that they meet specific measures:

  • They should be an employee in a foreign multi-national organization looking to t/f foreign nationals to Canada.
  • Employees should be moved to a designation of an executive, senior director, or a specific knowledge limit.
  • Must sign an undertaking for a legitimate and continuing establishment of the company in Canada.
  • They should plan to remain in Canada briefly and agree with all the immigration requirements for temporary entry
  • Have been working full-time for no less than one year out of the last three.


A company may qualify for the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) if it employs tech expertise from outside North America. Like the GTS, it is a temporary work permit in Canada. Talented individuals may find it simpler to migrate between nations thanks to this accord. ICTs (Intra-Company Transfers), which are vital to tech workers, and professionals are further divided into two groups in the agreement.

CUSMA participants fall into four categories of temporary work:

  • CUSMA Professionals
  • CUSMA Intra-Company Transfers
  • CUSMA Traders
  • CUSMA Investors

Business Visitors

Without an LMIA, a foreign national may travel to Canada on business for a number of purposes, including attending meetings, purchasing items made in Canada, offering after-sales support, receiving training from a Canadian parent company, or instructing other employees.

Austin Campbell

Austin has been quite active in the immigration arena since 2010. He has authored over 250 immigration publications, given over 70 presentations, and organized numerous events featuring federal and provincial immigration ministers and leaders from other sectors. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Durham University.
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