In a move that could benefit scores of Indians working in the US, Canada has decided to allow 10,000 American H-1B visa holders to come and work in the country.
Canada Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced the launch of the open work-permit stream on Tuesday. The official release issued by Canada's Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship said the programme will also provide study or work permits for the family members of H-1B visa holders.
"Thousands of workers in high-tech fields are employed with companies that have large operations in both Canada and the US, and those working in the US often hold an H-1B speciality occupation visa. As of July 16, 2023, H-1B speciality occupation visa holders in the US, and their accompanying immediate family members, will be eligible to apply to come to Canada," the release read.
Those eligible under the scheme will get an open work permit of up to three years. "They will be able to work for almost any employer anywhere in Canada. Their spouses and dependants will also be eligible to apply for a temporary resident visa, with a work or study permit, as needed," said the release.
Though the statement did not provide details as to who exactly will qualify under the scheme and how many will be eligible, the federal government is said to be developing an immigration stream which will let talented people come to Canada to work for tech companies, irrespective of having a job or not.
Indians make up a huge chunk of US H-1B visa holders, about 73 per cent of the nearly 4,42,000 H-1B workers in fiscal year 2022.
The United States recently announced that they will introduce 'in-country' renewable H-1B visas wherein the visa holder will not have to travel overseas to renew their work visa. This came ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the White House in Washington DC.