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What are the benefits of holding Canadian citizenship in terms of getting a work permit in US/Europe compared to other third world countries?

Would Canadian citizen still have to go through H1b lottery or L1 to get a work permit in the US? Is there any alternate fast-track for Canadian citizen?

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Not really. The process is mostly the same. A Canadian citizen would still need an H-1B or L-1 petition filed by the employer and approved by USCIS, just like someone from any other country, including being subject to the H-1B cap, etc.

The only difference is that Canadian citizens do not need to get a US visa. They can simply travel to the US on their Canadian passport (whether by land or air) and present their approved petition to the immigration officer at entry to be admitted into H-1B or L-1 status.

However, Canadians can also work in the US in TN status, which has no cap, and does not require the employer to file a petition. It is also not limited to 6 years like H-1B is. However, it is only available for certain types of jobs.

  • Thanks. Are software engineers eligible for TN visa? Looks like TN is a much better choice for Canadian software engineers than H1b/L1. – GeorgeOfTheRF Sep 24 '18 at 13:22
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    @ML_Pro no. The only computer-related occupation is "computer systems analyst," which does not include programmers. See the list at 8 CFR 214.6(c) as well as bdzlaw.com/tn-visa-systems-analyst and bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/…. – phoog Sep 24 '18 at 15:33
  • I know enough Canadians working in the US as programmers to suspect there is a way round that. – DJClayworth Sep 27 '18 at 16:25
  • Note that TN visas cannot be converted to a Green Card, which is why the program is much worse than the L-1/H1-B for people who want to permanently move. – JonathanReez Supports Monica Oct 10 '18 at 0:00
  • @JonathanReez: There's no such things as "converting" a nonimmigrant status like H1b, L1, TN, etc. to a green card. One can be petitioned to immigrate regardless of one's status in the US and regardless of whether one is in the US at all. And if one is in status in the US, one can do Adjustment of Status. The only difference is that TN is subject to denial of entry if one cannot overcome the presumption of immigrant intent at entry whereas H1b and L1 aren't. – user102008 Oct 10 '18 at 0:11

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