Canadians who wish to work in the US have various visa options. Most US employment visas require a sponsor company but there are other options that don’t need sponsorship. Whether or not a Canadian should have an employer-sponsor depends on which visa type they get.
TN Visa – Trade National/Trade NAFTA
Considered the easiest path for Canadian professionals to work in the US, the TN visa does not require an American sponsor. A Canadian only needs to show that they have a valid job offer from a US employer. The open position must be one of the listed NAFTA professions, and the applicant must meet the job’s educational and experience requirements.
L1 Visa – Intra-Company Transferee
This is for employees of companies that have an office or subsidiary in the US. If the company wishes to bring a Canadian employee into their US office, the company may petition for that employee’s L1 visa. Thus, it is a visa that involves company sponsorship.
H Visas – H1B, H1C, H2, And H3 – Temporary Worker Visa
H visas have various subcategories: H1B visa for foreigners in specialty occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher; H1C for professional nurses; H2 visas for seasonal workers; and H3 visas for foreigners who work as trainees in the US. Generally, these visas require the petition and sponsorship of a US employer.
Canadians who do not qualify for the TN visa often apply for the H1B visa instead. Apart from the US employer sponsorship, a job offer from the employer is also necessary for this visa.
E Visas – E1 And E2 – Treaty Visas
This visa type is not for workers as such but for individuals who will trade with or invest in a US business. Sponsorship is necessary from the American business, and the visa holder is allowed to work only with this sponsor.
O Visas – Extraordinary Ability Visas
For US visa purposes, “extraordinary ability” means the person’s skill has been nationally or internationally acclaimed. The O-1A visa is granted to educators, scientists, businesspersons, and athletes, while the O-1B is for artists and people in the film industries. These visas also require an employment sponsorship.
There are a few other visa types that may allow a Canadian citizen to work in the US. To ensure that you meet the requirements for your visa type, consult one of the experienced US immigration attorneys at Richards & Jurusik. Call us at 716-970-4007 today.