New temporary public policy to facilitate processing of some H-1B open work permit applications

Ottawa, March 18th, 2024—A new temporary public policy took effect on September 27, 2023, to facilitate certain applications that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) received under the H-1B open work permit measure, launched on July 16, 2023. This temporary public policy clarifies internal processing procedures only. We are not inviting new principal applicants to apply at this time.

The new public policy authorizes IRCC to process

  1. a small number of applications received in excess of the cap because they were submitted simultaneously to the cap being reached on July 17, 2023
  2. applications that were submitted on behalf of applicants and their family members by their immigration representatives through the Authorized Paid Representatives Portal before the cap was reached on July 17, 2023
  3. work permit applications for accompanying family members, including those who have already applied for a work permit, or who will apply for one in the next 12 months

Additionally, the new temporary public policy waives study permit processing fees for minor children (17 and under) of H-1B holders who applied for a work permit under the initial H-1B open work permit measure and now wish to apply for a study permit from within Canada after arrival, although a physical study permit is not necessary for minors to study in Canada. This will help resolve issues experienced in the application process by some H-1B applicants who were unable to submit a study permit application for their minor children.

Instructions for family members of principal applicants on how to apply under the new public policy and eligibility criteria on how to waive study permit fees are available on our website.

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