H1-B and Global Skills Strategy

GLOBAL SKILLS STRATEGY (GSS)

H1-B talent route to Canada

The US immigration policies under the Trump administration have undergone some significant changes. The most recent change came in the form of a “proclamation” whereby President Trump suspended the issuance of H-1B (high-talented laborers), H-4 (spouses of H-1Bs), L-1 (intra-organization moves) visas, among others until the ended of 2020.

This decree is set to have a high impact on many foreigners working in the US, especially as countless students are waiting for their green cards to be delivered. The number of applicants had started to decrease over the last couple of years, but things are set to get worse with this new bill [1].

However, if this decree seems to make things harder for foreign employees in the USA, there may be greener pastures for them in Canada. So How can an H1-B visa holder immigrate to Canada? This is a question that has been recurrent in the present context, especially with the novel coronavirus, which threw a wave of uncertainty regarding the future of the economy. One of the best ways for a skilled worker to immigrate to Canada is through the Canadian Global Skills Strategy.

What is the Global Skills Strategy?

The Global Skills Strategy is a visa entry program designed to ease Canadian employers’ access to skilled workers around the world [2]. This process boast of an easy application process,  an application processing time as short as two weeks, work permit exemptions, and optimal customer service [3].  However, to be eligible for the two weeks processing time, applicants should meet all mandatory requirements and submit a complete file. Thus, the question of eligibility.

Who is eligible?

For an applicant to qualify for the Global Skills Strategy, he must submit a job offer from a Canadian company alongside other documents. This is an essential part of the file, without which a visa might not be granted.

LMIA-exempt skilled workers must apply from a country other than of Canada and have an administrative or expert aptitude. They should likewise have their future employer present an employment offer, which must include the proof of payment of a compliance fee.

For worldwide workers who require an LMIA, their employer must have a positive LMIA through the Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Applicants’ spouse and/or children can apply for a visitor visa, a work permit or, a study permit and also benefit from the two weeks application processing time.

How to get 2-week processing?

Once the skilled worker disposes of all the documents and data they need from their employer, the applicant and his relatives must proceed as follows:

  • apply online from outside Canada
  • present a complete application file
  • submit a clinical test (if necessary)
  • include police declarations (if required)
  • incorporate official and certified translations of documents in a language other than English or French
  • pay the application charges
  • provide biometrics results about fourteen days following the application (if needed)

The two weeks’ processing time with only benefit the applicant and his family members if all the applications are submitted at the same time.  It is not necessary for the worker to apply for a visa or electronic travel approval (eTA) as the needed documents will be issued when their work permit is processed.

Some requirements may differ according to the location. Therefore, applicants must document themselves and the conditions applicable in their area. 

Exemptions

Under this procedure, two categories of workers need not bother with short-term work permit applications: highly skilled workers and researchers.  

Concerning highly skilled workers, they must fulfill both of the following prerequisites:  their activity is under skill type 0 or aptitude level A) in the National Occupational Classification (NOC). The second requirement consists of them working for only either of these short time: up to 15 back to back days once every six months or up to 30 back to back days every 12 months.  

As for researchers, they must perform their research within a Canadian, publicly financed, degree-conceding foundation, or its subsidiary examination establishment and work for one hundred and twenty days in Canada for a twelve months period.

These workers must stop working as soon as their exemption stops and comply with the working extension conditions if they wish to continue working.

A dedicate service channel

A dedicated services channel is offered to the following: employers who make essential investments in Canada and colleges that support freely financed researchers to come to Canada. This service allows eligible employers to access an officer who can evaluate the business’ needs, answer the company’s inquiries, and give directions.

However, this service doesn’t process applications or offer exemptions from the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process.

These is in a nutshell, what the Global Skills Strategy is all about. So far, this program has allowed Canadian companies to hire thousands of skilled workers from around the globe. You could be the next.

[1] https://thepienews.com/news/indian-tech-grads-choosing-canada-over-us-anti-immigration-rhetoric-a-factor/

[2] https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/hire-foreign-worker/temporary/global-skills-strategy.html 

[3] https://globalnews.ca/news/7113933/immigration-us-canada-technology/

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