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Exploring Alternatives for Talent Retention in Canada

Are you an employee in the United States who has failed to acquire an H-1B visa but would like to stay with your employer? You may want to explore your options in Canada.

Not selected in the H-1B CAP?

An H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant work visa that allows employers in the United States to hire foreign workers with specialized skills to work in the country for a specific period of time. Occupations that qualify for the H-1B visa are typically in fields such as technology, finance, engineering, architecture, or more.

As it becomes even more difficult to secure an H-1B visa, employers are finding themselves exploring alternative options to retain talent. One of those options is relocating these workers to Canada.

The Labour Market Impact Assessment

Labour Market Impact Assessments are applications that, when approved, confirm that the Canadian employer can hire a foreign worker temporarily, as their companies would experience a revenue loss if the position goes unfilled. In addition to these, Canada also offers a variety of LMIA-exempt work permits. In these applications, no LMIA applocation is required and foreign workers will be able to work for any employer if they meet program requirements.

Two significant LMIA-exempt categories are:

  1. Intra-company transfers (ICT): Workers employed by firms with branches, subsidiaries, or affiliated entities in Canada may be eligible for an intra-company transfer. This option is especially tailored for managerial or executive staff or those with specific expertise, enabling them to transition to Canadian operations without requiring an LMIA.

  2. C20 reciprocity: This category of the International Mobility Program allows specific foreign workers to come to Canada and contribute to the country’s economy and culture through reciprocal agreements. They can do this without having to go through the LMIA process.

Program requirements

Your employer doesn’t need an LMIA to support your job offer if:

  • you have been working full-time for the employer on your work permit for at least 1 year (or an equal amount of part-time work)

  • you have a valid job offer, and

  • you have a valid work permit that is exempt from an LMIA under:

  1. an international agreement

  2. a federal-provincial agreement

  3. the “Canadian interests” category

You may also be exempt from needed an LMIA for Express Entry if your current job is:

  1. Covered by an international agreement

  2. Covered by an agreement between Canada and a province or territory

  3. Exempt for “Canadian interests" Significant benefit, Reciprocal employment, Designated by the Minister, Charity and religious work.

Advantages for employers

Using the LMIA-exempt options offers several benefits for multinational corporations. For example:

Continuity and efficiency: They leverage specialized knowledge which might be lost otherwise due to U.S visa limitation

Strategic growth: Creating a more substantial presence in Canada allows an avenue for expansion into North American markets more effectively

Simplified processes: They streamline the legal and administrative burdens associated with international employee transfers

How Yanique Russell Law Can Assist

At Yanique Russell Law we understand that making sure your international or national company adheres to Canada’s immigration laws. We provide expert advice on what it takes to meet the requirements of any immigration program and ensure your company achieves its hiring goals.


For essential talent in the USA who are not chosen in the lottery and do not meet requirements for other US work visas, moving to Canada via LMIA-exempt work permits offers a hopeful option. Companies can retain vital talent, and individuals can pursue their careers smoothly, avoiding significant interruptions and the resultant negative fallouts. With the support of Yanique Russell Law you can ensure you are meeting the requirements to go through this process legally and effectively.


Not Selected in the H-1B CAP? Discover Opportunities in Canada: Exploring Alternatives for Talent Retention -

The H-1B Visa, Explained -

LMIA - exempt job offers - skilled immigrants (Express Entry) -

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