The Ultimate Guide to Moving to Canada With an H-1B Visa from the US

by | May 25, 2023

As an employer in the United States, you may encounter situations where your employees on H-1B visas are nearing expiration. In such cases, it’s essential to explore available options to retain these valuable employees. Fortunately, Canada provides potential solutions for U.S. employers with a Canadian presence. This guide will walk you through two popular pathways for hiring foreign workers in Canada: the Intra-Company Transfer program and the Global Talent Stream.

Intra-Company Transfer: Opening Doors to Canadian Employment

If you currently employ H-1B visa holders in the United States and their visas are coming to an end, the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program in Canada can be a viable option. To qualify, your U.S. business must have a related company or business presence in Canada. The related business can be a subsidiary, affiliate, parent company, or any other type of affiliated business to your U.S. operations.

Under the ICT program, you can transfer the H-1B visa holder from the United States to Canada to work for the Canadian employer, performing duties within the country. However, both the employer and the prospective employee must meet specific requirements. The Canadian employer must have a legal relationship with the U.S. employer, and the employee must possess specialised knowledge or hold a senior managerial position. Additional criteria may apply, such as the duration of employment outside Canada.

By fulfilling these requirements, your U.S.-based employer with a Canadian entity can seamlessly transfer an employee to Canada. The Canadian entity becomes the employer, and the employee continues providing valuable support through this new arrangement.

Global Talent Stream: Tapping into High-Level Skills

The Global Talent Stream is another avenue for U.S. employers to consider when seeking to hire foreign workers with high-level skills in tech-related or engineering fields. This program is designed to allow Canadian employers to recruit and hire foreign nationals who possess specialised expertise.

To utilise the Global Talent Stream, your U.S. business must have a Canadian company responsible for employing the H-1B visa holder or have a contract with a Canadian company. This Canadian entity must comply with the specific requirements of the program, including applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA process is streamlined compared to the regular assessment, simplifying the hiring process.

It’s important to note that the Global Talent Stream has prescribed occupations defined by specific National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes. Therefore, the role the employee will be filling in Canada must align with one of these predefined job types. Certain tech-related jobs and engineering positions often fall within these categories.

By meeting the requirements of the Global Talent Stream, your U.S. business can successfully hire an H-1B visa holder to work in Canada under a Canadian employer. This opens up possibilities for seamless workforce management and the ability to retain valuable employees.


In conclusion, if you find yourself in a situation where your H-1B visa holders are approaching the end of their visas, Canada offers attractive options for U.S. employers. Through the Intra-Company Transfer program or the Global Talent Stream, you can retain valuable employees by transferring them to work in Canada. These pathways not only provide opportunities for continued employment but also facilitate knowledge sharing and promote international business growth.

Remember to thoroughly research the requirements, consult with experts, and stay informed about the latest updates in immigration laws. With careful planning and execution, you can successfully navigate the process of hiring foreign workers and leverage their skills and expertise to drive your business forward.

Expand your horizons and embrace the benefits of a diverse and global workforce. Canada awaits, ready to welcome talented individuals and offer an environment conducive to growth and innovation. Start exploring the possibilities today and unlock the potential of international talent for your organisation.


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