If you are curious to knowing whether or not Canadians can legally work in the US, the answer is Yes. Canadians can work in the United States of America just like any other foreigner can. However, it depends on the employer’s work status and job authorization.
You will need a work visa to the able to work in the USA and the work visa will need to be (applied for) by an employer from the United States. Thankfully due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadians enjoy special privileges related to travel and working in the United States despite the tight borders.
To get a work visa as a Canadian citizen, the employer in the United States has to be the one to apply on your behalf. It is impossible to apply for US work visa by yourself as an employee. Once your new employer in the United States has decided that they want to hire you, they must apply for the work visa for you.
Types Of Work VISA For Canadians To Work IN US
There are three types of work visas issued to foreigners that want to work in the US. They are the H-1B visa, the TN1 visa as well as the L1 visa.
In order to know which particular visa to apply for out of the three visas, it is advised to consult a licensed immigration lawyer or attorney to advise you on which particular visa, your employer should apply for on your behalf.
For some Canadian citizens, their occupations call for them to apply for TN1 visa. The TN1 visa is for only citizens of countries under the NAFTA. While other occupations call for a different type of work visa.
Now, let’s look at each type of US work visa individually.
1. The H-1B Visa
This work visa is for workers that have the ‘speciality occupation’. Lots of people seek this visa because it can be given to both part-time and full-time employees. Examples of specialty occupations are accountants, web designers, web programmers, computer analyst and so on.
A specialty occupation is one in which an individual possesses the skills of a professional. Also an individual can have at least a Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent, to qualify for this visa. The process for this visa can be very complicated and you might need to hire an attorney to help you with the process. Those with advanced degrees have a leg up over other applicants. All other applicants are vying for 65,000 visa slots.
2. The TN1 Visa
This Visa is for those whose employers reside in the US. This visa is very similar to be H-1B visa although its application process is very much simpler than that of H-1B visa. People with Bachelor’s degrees, higher education, medical personnels, graphic designers etc, all qualify as professionals that can apply for this TN1 visa. You can visit www.uscis.gov for more information on what professions qualify for this visa.
3. The L1 visa
This visa is for employees that have been transferred intra company. For example, when a Canadian Gene manager or executive director of a particular Canadian company transfers one of their workers to one of their company’s American office branch.
Both companies must have existing work relationships, and the Canadian employer must be working or doing business in the US. Also, the L1 visa is applicable if you want to establish an affiliate company office branch in the US with the head being in Canada.
In conclusion, you will need to discuss with your US employer about the whole application process. You can go to the USCIS official web address at www.uscis.gov to find out more detailed information. So, the answer to your question is, “Yes, Canadians can work in the US”.