Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I am currently living in Washington and have been living in the USA for over five years. I initially entered on a valid H1B work permit but it is no longer valid. I worked as an engineer but recently my employer did not want to follow through on my permanent residence? Can I come to Canada to work? How about to immigrate? My family and I do not want to return to the Philippines? What are my choices?

A. If you are able to find a Canadian employer who wishes to hire you, then you can enter on a work permit to Canada. This has been a very popular thing to do as the United States struggles with developing an immigration policy. The fact that the US immigration bill was recently defeated has provided many job opportunities in Canada. For example, earlier this week, Microsoft announced the opening of a software development centre in Vancouver after losing a fight to ease restrictions on the admission of foreign workers to the United States. It is reported that the H1B quota of 85,000 visas was going to be increased but that is not going to happen any more. Canada on the other hand does not have a quota on visas.

It is also reported that the US Congress is unlikely to revisit the immigration issue until after the November 2008 U.S. elections.

The above is precisely why Canada is an attractive option for many people, especially those in the USA with no status, over those who lost status like you.

Your second and probably best choice is to apply directly as an immigrant to Canada. You are not required to obtain an offer of employment in Canada to qualify. You are not required to have a relative residing in Canada. You can apply directly as an immigrant on your own merit. As a qualified, educated and experienced engineer you appear to have a strong case in succeeding to obtain Canadian permanent residency.

Q. I am nurse working in Vancouver in a small hospital in the outskirts of the city. My work permit expires at the end of 2008 but I do not wish to work at my current job for much longer. What do I need to do in order to switch jobs legally? If I resign from my job without having a new employer do I need to leave Canada immediately?

A. If you hold a valid work permit you are authorized to work for the specified employer for the duration of that permit. If you leave that employer, your new employer must obtain a HRDC validation which will be used to obtain a new work permit. Do not file or send an application for a new permit until you have the validation obtained. In the event you leave your current employer and do not have a new one, then you do not have to leave Canada. Although, you cannot work for anyone else, you will technically remain as a visitor until the duration of the work permit.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions to Attorney Moyal by fax, phone or email