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Indians may benefit new work permit announced by Canada for H-1B visa holders from US

Indians may benefit new work permit announced by Canada for H-1B visa holders from US

A new open work-permit stream that Canada has announced will enable 10,000 H-1B visa holders in the US to enter and work there. The move could be advantageous for many Indian tech experts.

Canada wants to lead the world in a number of developing technologies and draw in workers who have been affected by the US tech industry's big layoffs.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

By July 16, the Canadian government will create an open work-permit stream to allow 10,000 American H-1B visa holders to come and work in Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser said on Tuesday.

In its news release, the ministry said the programme will also provide for study or work permits for their family members.

“We’re enthusiastic about the ambitious goals we have set in immigration because they aren’t just about numbers—they are strategic.

With Canada’s first-ever immigration Tech Talent Strategy, we’re targeting newcomers that can help enshrine Canada as a world leader in a variety of emerging technologies,” Fraser said.

Approved applicants for the new programme will receive an open work permit of up to three years in duration, which means 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, the release said.

Tech companies went on a hiring binge during the pandemic but have since started laying people off in large numbers. That’s left a lot of H-1B visa holders scrambling to find new jobs before they’re forced to leave the US, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Thousands of highly skilled foreign-born workers, including Indians, in the US, have lost their jobs due to the series of recent layoffs at companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon. According to US media reports, nearly 200,000 IT workers have been laid off since November last year.

Industry insiders say that between 30 to 40 per cent of them are Indian IT professionals, a significant number of whom are on H-1B and L1 visas.

Every year, the US government issues 65,000 H-1B visas. The visas last for three years and can be renewed for another three years.

Of the H-1B petitions approved in FY 2022, 72.6 per cent were for beneficiaries whose country of birth was India, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

In the previous fiscal year, about 74.1 per cent of Indians received H-1B visas of the total approved in FY 2021.

With PTI inputs

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TAGS:USACanada visaH 1B visa
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