Canada Launches Tech Talent Strategy: New Open Work Permit for U.S. H-1B Visa Holders & Innovation Streams


OTTAWA, June 28, 2023 – Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced Canada’s first-ever Tech Talent Strategy aimed at attracting more global tech talent to Canada.

As of July 16, 2023, H-1B specialty occupation visa holders in the US, and their accompanying immediate family members, will be eligible to apply to come to Canada. Approved applicants 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. This will expand the opportunities available for skilled workers to continue to pursue their careers in the high-tech sector and contribute to economic growth and prosperity in North America. This measure will remain in effect for one year, or until IRCC receives 10,000 applications.

The Government of Canada is planning to launch a new Innovation Stream of the International Mobility Program by the end of 2023. This means that IRCC will create a new exemption from the labour market impact assessment process to help high-growth employers and talented workers in support of Canada’s innovation priorities and high-tech industries.

The Government of Canada is promoting Canada as a destination for digital nomad, a person who can perform their job remotely from anywhere in the world. Under current Canadian immigration rules, a digital nomad only needs visitor status to relocate to Canada for up to six months at a time while they perform their job remotely for a foreign employer. The Government expects that some digital nomads who initially enter Canada to work remotely will decide to seek opportunities with Canadian employers. When they receive a job offer from a Canadian company, they would be able to bring their skills to a Canadian employer by applying for a temporary work permit or even permanent residence.

Additionally, some of Canada’s existing immigration programs that can benefit workers in high-skilled tech occupations, including the Global Skills Strategy and the Start-up Visa Program. All these efforts contribute to the IRCC’s broader strategy to foster innovation and competitiveness, attracting the best global talent to contribute to the Canadian economy today and tomorrow.

At NPZ Law Group, our U.S. and Canadian lawyers seek to assist clients with regard to employment and family immigration issues. If you or your friends or family should have any questions about any aspect of U.S. and Canadian Immigration Law, please feel free to contact us at or you can call our office at 201-670-0006 (ext. 104). We look forward to being able to assist you.