Moving from Canada to the U.S. to Work

Each year, thousands of Canadians move to the U.S. to pursue employment opportunities. You may not be able to move to the U.S. and then find employment, but there are avenues for you to move as part of a transfer for a current employer or you may have secured a new employment opportunity. Prior to coming to the U.S. to work, you must obtain the requisite immigration employment authorization. 

What Do You Need

In order to work in the U.S., either permanently or temporarily, you must obtain one of the following:

  • A work permit
  • An employment visa
  • A Green Card

Each of these things has varying requirements and there will be different conditions you will need to meet. The amount of time you are authorized to work in the U.S. will also depend on which of the above for which you are approved.

Obtaining a work visa is a popular route to take. Your employer must sponsor you, but there are several visa type options available to those looking to come to the U.S. for work. For instance, the H-1B visa is available to people who perform a specialty occupation meaning that it requires “specialized knowledge” and a Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent work experience) at a minimum. An EB-1 visa is a self-sponsoring green card option for employees who possess extraordinary ability and skill in particular fields, including:

  • Arts
  • Athletics
  • Business
  • Education
  • Science

The EB-1 visa is also available to professors, researchers, and those who hold a Ph.D. Additionally, EB-2 and EB-3 visas are available to employees with extraordinary skills in certain areas and those with advanced degrees.

In order to obtain permanent residence status in the U.S. the employee and the sponsoring employer will be required to fill out several documents and follow specific procedures. Some of the requisite forms include:

  • ETA-Form 9089: This is the labor certification Application that must be completed and submitted through the employer to the Department of Labor. The Application requires a description of the employer, a description of the job offered in the U.S., the minimum job requirements, and the salary the employee will receive. The Application also requires a description of the employee’s qualifications and experience. This means listing details relating to the employee’s educational background and work history.
  • I-140: This is the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers that must be completed by your employer and submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    I-485: This is the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. You must wait until the I-140 is approved before you can file I-485.  After the I-485 is filed, you must have your fingerprints taken.

Immigration Attorneys for Canadians Moving to the U.S. to Work

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at