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illustration of professional confused about choosing between Canada PR and H1B Visa

US H1B Vs. Canada PR – Which One Is Better?


Canada aims to boost its economic recovery from the pandemic by welcoming over 4 million immigrants between 2021 and 2023. 

Meanwhile, Indians account for about 70% of the 85,000 US H-1B visas issued annually. 

While both the US H1-B and Canada PR visa are globally popular visas for PR, each has its own unique perks and benefits. This article walks you through all the important aspects of life in Canada on PR vs USA on H1-B and what you can expect. Read on to decide what's best for you.

Comparing H1B Visa and Canada PR Visa 

Not sure which visa is better to choose? Here’s a comparative analysis that will help you get a detailed understanding of the H1- B visa vs Canada PR?

 
 
 
Visa type
Canadian PR

Permanent visa

US H-1B

Temporary,
non-immigrant visa

 
 
 
Visa type
Canadian PR

Permanent visa

US H-1B

Temporary,
non-immigrant visa

 
 
 
Visa Validity
Canadian PR

PR visa is for lifetime. You can settle indefinitely in Canada if you hold a Permanent Resident status in the country.

US H-1B

The H1b visa is valid for 3 years, and you can extend it for the next 3 years

 
 
 
Visa Validity
Canadian PR

PR visa is for lifetime. You can settle indefinitely in Canada if you hold a Permanent Resident status in the country.

US H-1B

The H1b visa is valid for 3 years, and you can extend it for the next 3 years

 
 
 
Possibilities of getting
Canadian PR

High, especially if you have good score in English Exam

US H-1B

Limited. Depends on the sponsorship from the company you are working in

 
 
 
Possibilities of getting
Canadian PR

High, especially if you have good score in English Exam

US H-1B

Limited. Depends on the sponsorship from the company you are working in

 
 
 
Profiles In-demand
Canadian PR

IT, Engineering, healthcare sectors and others

US H-1B

Engineers, IT professionals, Teachers and others

 
 
 
Profiles In-demand
Canadian PR

IT, Engineering, healthcare sectors and others

US H-1B

Engineers, IT professionals, Teachers and others

 
 
 
Total visas granted
annually
Canadian PR

Target of over 400,000 immigrants

US H-1B

85,000 for H1B visa, 1.4 lakh capping of Green cards every year

 
 
 
Total visas granted
annually
Canadian PR

Target of over 400,000 immigrants

US H-1B

85,000 for H1B visa, 1.4 lakh capping of Green cards every year

Confused between choosing the US and Canada for immigration?

Intro

What is an H1 B Visa?

What-is-an-h1b-Visa

H1B is an employment-based, non-immigrant visa for temporary workers to work for American companies in the USA.

  • It is an employer-sponsored visa. Therefore, an employer must offer a job and petition for your H1 B visa.
  • This work permit requires a visa stamp and clearance to work in the US for the employer.

What is a Canadian PR Visa?

Permanent residency in Canada is a status granting an immigrant the right to indefinitely live and work in Canada.

To become a permanent resident, you must apply under one of the 60+ Canadian immigration programs.

Visa Pathways

Moving to The United States

The H 1B visa holder can apply for and get the Green Card while in the USA.

Options to qualify for a Green Card:

  1. Family Based Immigration
  2. Employment Based Immigration
  3. Investors
  4. Special Immigrants (Religious Workers/ Foreign medical graduates/ Permanent Residents who departed the U.S. for more than 12 months)

Canada Immigration Pathways

Canada-Immigration-Pathways

Options for Immigrating To Canada From India are:

  • Federal Economic Class via Express Entry
  1. Federal Skilled Worker
  2. Federal Skilled Trades
  3. Canada Experience Class
  • Provincial Economic Class
  • Quebec Immigration
  • Business Immigration
  • Temporary Residence
  • Family Class Sponsorship

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility-Criteria-USA-Canada

US

  • US bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited college or university
  • The degree requirement for the occupation is common to the industry
  • The employer requires a specialized degree holder or its equivalent
  • An unrestricted state license, registration, or certification holder which allows you to accept a specialty occupation
  • Education, training, or practical work experience in the specialty occupation that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree
  • Recognition of expertise in the specialty occupation through responsible positions related to the specialty

Canada

  • Be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Be present physically in Canada at the time of PR application
  • Satisfy the residency requirement
  • Not be facing an effective removal order
  • Not be convicted of any offense related to the misuse of a PR Card
  • Not be a Canadian citizen

Scope of getting citizenship

United States

A US H1B visa is not as reliable as your existence in the USA depends on the job. You will have minimal time to find a new job in the USA if the present employer lays you off.

You have to complete at least 5 years of stay on a Green Card before applying. You will also have to establish residency in a state or USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) district where you intend to apply.

Canada

You can apply for citizenship after completing 3 years (1,460 days) as a PR in the country. You will have to pass a citizenship test and file your taxes if required. Canada is definitely a better place to head for if you are looking for permanent residency.

Job Security

United States

The USA keeps changing the H1B criteria. So, working conditions for immigrants in the USA can change at any time. However, there is no job security as such in the US. It always depends on the relationship between the employer and the employee.

Canada

On the contrary, the employee retention rate is way better in Canada. But job security is not one of them. However, 85% of professionals with secure jobs in Canada had pensions. And 94% got paid when they were ill. Their visa requirements are more stable.

Book a free consultation

What is the Process of getting a US H1-B Visa?

 

Canada PR visa

US H-1B visa

Sponsorship requirements

Not required

You need an employee sponsorship. You can't self apply for a green card unless you have a PHd or are at the top of your field.

PR Pathway

Express Entry System

H1- B visa to Green Card

What does it allow you to do?

Allows you to get a Permanent Resident Status in Canada.

Allows you to arrive with a temporary work visa (H1-B) for 3 years. You can then extend the visa (for 3 years) or convert to a Green Card status.

Permanent Residence Process 

You must meet a minimum score of 65 to be eligible for Express Entry

 

If you have a good CRS score, you will receive an Invitation to Apply by the government and then receive your PR visa

After 6 years of living in the US with the H1B visa, you need to have your green card process started (by your employer) to be able to extend your H1B further

Another option requires you to leave the country for a year and reapply for a H1-B visa

Lottery system

No lottery system

 

You will receive an Invitation to Apply for a Canadian PR if you meet all the eligibility requirements and have a good CRS Score

The lottery system randomly selects H1-B applications for approval

If the number of H1-B applications received by the US is more than their annual target, the government conducts a Lottery system for employees (working in profit based organizations)

Depending on your luck, your application may be picked up

You have 3 chances to get a H1B visa via the lottery system in 3 years

How long until you get a PR?

You must have lived and worked in Canada for 3 years

Green card takes 15 to 20 years, with multiple H1B extensions

More About US H1B Visa:

Documentation for H1-B Visa

Following is a typical list of documents required for an H1B petition :

  • Copy of the passport
  • Copy of educational degrees
  • Letter of current employment
  • Copy of previous employment
  • Copy of any certifications

Application Process for H1-B Visa

Step 1: You must meet the H1B eligibility criteria

Step 2: The employer secures the Labour Condition Application (LCA) approval from the Department of Labour in the USA

Step 3: Your USA employer should file the H1B petition with USCIS and get the approval

Step 4: Foreign worker must apply for the Visa

Step 5: You must have a valid passport and duly fill the Visa application form. Then pay the fee

Step 6: Appear for the visa interview at the nearest US consulate in your home country

Step 7: Get stamped at the specified US consulate in his/her home country.

Step 8: After getting the H1B visa approval, you can enter the USA and work for this sponsoring employer.

H1B Visa Cost

The standard H1B Filing Fee is currently $460. This fee is for the 1-129 petition. The H1B visa base filing fee will be $555 from 2nd October 2020.

Processing Time for H1B Visa

H1B application processing time ranges from 3 months to 1 year to get approval. H1B premium filing receives approval within 1 - 15 days.

Planning to get a US H1-b visa? Learn more about this visa.

More About Canadian PR Visa:

Documentation for Canada PR

Here are the primary documents needed at the time of the PR application.

  • Valid passport
  • Official identity proof
  • Birth certificate or proof of age
  • Educational certificates
  • IELTS test score-card with a valid score
  • Medical fitness certificate
  • Police clearance certificate

You may need to submit additional documents depending on your case.

Application Process for Canada PR

Step 1: Check the eligibility criteria to understand if you are fit to apply for the PR or not.

Step 2: Complete your language ability tests before the application process. Sit for the IELTS exam and get the required scores. Check if you need to take a French-language test or not.

Step 3: Submit the application based on the Canadian immigration program you chose.

Step 4: Submit all required documents.

Step 5: Arrange for the proof of funds to support your stay in Canada.

Step 6: You will receive a Confirmation of Canadian Permanent Residence (CoPR) card if your application is accepted.

Step 7: Apply for the PR Card.

Note: Express Entry is the fastest way to immigrate to Canada.

Cost for Canada PR

Category

Cost in CAD

Application Fee

550

Right to Permanent Resident Fee

490

To include spouse/ common-law partner

550

To include spouse/common-law partner with Right to Permanent Resident Fee

550 + 490

To include a dependent child

150

 

Processing Time for Canada PR

5 months- 8 months is the process time for Canada PR.

Working in Canada as a PR holder vs H1-B visa holder

 

Canada PR visa

US H-1B visa

Stability

High

Very low, due to changing immigration policies

Freedom to switch jobs

Easy to switch jobs and move cities in Canada

Visa restrictions make it very risky for H1B holders to switch their jobs. H1B gives you the freedom to shift from one employer 

If you switch jobs, your new employer has to apply for your H1B, and reapply for your green card by porting your old green card application date with the new date

However, you have to go through all the processes again

Job opportunities

It is difficult to get a job due to the lesser number of cities in Canada, but you can apply for a job in the Job Bank

You have more job opportunities in the US

Business opportunities

You can be an entrepreneur in Canada and it is easy to start a business as a Canadian PR holder

less. Visa restrictions may be applicable to those looking to start their own business

 

Ten Most In-Demand Jobs in the United States

In-Demand Jobs

Average Salary

Projected Growth by 2024

Home Health Aide

$22,600

38%

Physical Therapist

$84,020

35%

Registered Nurse

$68,450

16%

Software Engineer

$98,270

19%

Information Security Analyst

$90,282

19%

Occupational Therapist

$81,910

27%

Web Developer

$66,130

24%

Data Scientist

$111,267

16%

Operations Manager

$97,730

7%

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

$64,280

26%

 

Ten Most In-Demand Jobs in Canada

In-Demand Jobs

Average Salary

NOC Code

Sales Associate

$50,255

6411

Driver

$44,836

7511 / 7521 / 7452

Receptionist

$31,304

1414

Welder

$40,927

7327

Web Developer

$62,522

2175

Business Development Manager

$85,000

4163

General Labourer

$29,250

7611

Project Manager

$90,000

0211 / 0213 / 0711 / 1221

Heavy-Duty Mechanic

$70,000

7312

Merchandiser

$48,610

6222

 

Taxation:

The United States’ tax rate for some states at the federal level is graduated. This means they are higher for higher incomes and comparatively low for lower amounts.

On an average you could expect 18% income tax. US employees can take home about $52,000 per annum on average.

Canada

Canada has a higher average practical tax rate of 28%. The survey revealed that a Canadian employee’s take-home salary is approximately $35,500 per annum on average.

Taxes are a key difference between the two countries. Your post-tax annual salary is what matters

Cost of Living

Financial Implications of US H1B Visa Vs Canada PR

Aspects

With US H1B Visa

With Canada PR

Average Salary

$83,619 - $100,461

$38,805 - $50,213

Average Tax

18%

28%

Cost of Living

$700 - $1,000 per month

$1,650 - $2,500 per month

Healthcare

No Free Treatments

Medicare Coverage

Cost of Education

$10,000 - $15,000 per year

$6,135 - $10,733 per year

 

United States

The salary structure is much more attractive in the USA job market than it is in Canada.

The estimated living costs in the US are around $10,000 - $12,000 per year, per person. This averages around $700 - $1,000 per month.

Canada

Canada offers more generous government benefits in terms of food security and health benefits. The cost of living is higher in Canada.

It is estimated at $1,650 - $2,500 per person every month and about $5,158 for a family. Still, the Canadian government compensates it with the help of a hoard of social facilities.

Key Takeaway: Cost of living is higher in Canada than in the US, but healthcare comes free or at low-cost.

Job Opportunities: Canada vs The US

Canada

United States

The Canadian economy is strong, and it is the 10th largest economy in the world

The Canadian job market offers fewer options compared to the USA

Indians having Canadian work experience can apply through the Express Entry - Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program

The USA features the biggest economy in the world. Therefore, getting a job in the USA is much easier for migrant workers

 

As the USA job market promotes innovation, there is always a demand for highly skilled workers

 

Key Takeaway: Canada portrays a fast-growing environment and is more promising to foreign nationals seeking jobs.

Average Work Hours

United States

As per data revealed by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, average USA employees work for about 34.4 hours per week or about 8.8 hours per day. This comes to about 1794 hours per year.

Canada

When it comes to Canada, the federal employees' standard work hours are 8 hours per day. It sums up to 40 hours a week, or 2086 hours every year.

Key Takeaway: You can spend more quality time at home while working in the United States.

Healthcare

United States

Health care is tied to insurance coverage in the USA. Usually, your employer will provide you with some sort of insurance plan.

No treatment is free in the USA. You must pay for the deductible. Medicare covers only specific categories, not all.

The USA globally ranked 29th in a study conducted for access and quality in 2018.

Canada

On the other hand, basic health care is free in Canada. Health care costs are also lower here. The Canadian healthcare system is more humane.

It is delivered through Medicare, a provincial and territorial system of publicly funded healthcare.

Provincial or territorial health insurance coverage is the basic requirement for Medicare. It does not include tourists, visitors, or transient passengers to the province.

Key Takeaway: Canada with its ‘Medicare’ cover is the winner.

Cost of Education

United States

Cost of studying in American universities varies depending on the institution and the program you choose to study.

Average cost of tuition and other fees for higher education in the US ranges from $3,660 to $35,830 in public two-year college courses and private non-profit four-year courses.

The United States allows every child access to their free public schools.

Also read: Mitchell Urges Biden to End Restrains on Foreign Students

Canada

Studying in a Canadian University is much cheaper than the US and has the Best Universities in the world to study in. Government funding is also provided to international students.

You have a lot of chances to earn while you study including off-campus jobs and paid internships.

The US does not allow students to work individually like Canada does. Currently, the most sought after part-time job in Canada is being an Uber driver as it is one of the highest paid part-time jobs in Canada.

Key Takeaway: Cost of studying in the US is more than Canada with fewer options for students to earn an additional income.

Permanently Living In Canada Vs US - A Comparison

General comparisons

 

Canada PR visa

US H-1B visa

Weather

Harsh winters with negative temperatures in Northern Canada. Milder winters in Vancouver and other warmer cities

Mostly mild winters and warm summers

Salary

up to 40% less than US

Higher than Canada

Housing

Expensive in Canada

On H1B, buying a house is affordable. However buying a house is risky investment due to job instability

Cost of living

Higher in big cities like Toronto (Up to 4000 CAD/month)

Lesser than Canada even in a big city in US like Chicago

Groceries

Higher due to imported goods

Affordable

Taxes

Unless your salary is above 150k or more, Canadian taxes are similar to the US (Up to 35% of your salary)

Canada has no medical taxes as healthcare is free

However, the sales taxes in Canada are higher (around 13-15%) as compared to the US (10% tax)

Auto insurance

More than 2000 dollars for Car insurance

Less than 1000 dollars for car insurance

Driving ticket

There is a severe penalty charged in Canada

Penalty is lesser than Canada

Safety

Canada is a lot safer compared to US, especially big cities like Toronto

Gun violence is seen in public places, even in good neighbourhood as owning a gun is legally allowed

 

  • Canada scores an average of 7.6 on the Average Life Satisfaction Ranking  The USA’s score is 7.0.
  • As per the World Happiness Index, Canada ranks 9th on the list, and the United States managed to secure the 19th 
  • As per the report, Population Density in the United States is 84 residents per square mile, and Canada’s population density is about 3 people per square kilometre.
  • Canada scored 79.59 points on a scale of 100 as per the Global Economic Competitiveness  But the USA beat Canada with an 83.7 points score.
  • The unemployment rate in Canada was 5.67% in 2019. In July 2020, the USA recorded an unemployment rate of 10.2.
  • Best Cities to Live in Canada includes Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa. If we take the best cities to live in the USA, you have Denver, Charlotte, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Boston, Portland, and many more.

5 Main Benefits of the USA H1B Visa and a Canada PR

 

Canada PR visa

US H-1B visa

Healthcare

Healthcare is free, but you have to pay for dental and medical prescriptions if you don't have health insurance

Quite expensive without insurance with your employer. Also includes variable pay per visit to your doctor

Education

Cheaper than the US with Top Universities in the world to choose to study

There is government funding provided for international students in Canada

Education costs are much higher in the US.

While you get merit-based scholarships in the US, there are no government waivers for international students

Post-study work

Easier to work while studying and to get a PR post-graduation

You can work part-time off campus (if you don't have a job on-campus) giving students more sources of income including paid-internships

Difficult to work off-campus during study

However the money you make on-campus in the US is much higher than what you make in Canada

Work permit for a Spouse

A Canada PR spouse can get a 'Spouse Dependent Work Permit' to work full time in Canada

Spouses of international students in Canada can also apply for an 'Open Work Permit'

After working for a year they are eligible to apply for a Canadian PR via the CEC program (under Express Entry)

Only spouses of H1B visas can work in the US via the H4 dependent visa and can continue doing so as long as the H1B holder's visa is valid

Family reunification

A PR holder can sponsor spouse and children under 22 years for a PR visa after 3 years of living in Canada

An H1-B visa holder cannot sponsor a spouse and children, but can do so upon being a green card holder

There are a limited number of visas available every year

Maternity leave

About 1 to 1.5 years of Paid maternity leaves in Canada, including some paternity leaves as well

About 5 to 6 weeks of maternity leaves and some paternity leaves

Citizenship

After 3 years of holding the PR status, you are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship

After 3 to 5 years of becoming a green card holder, you will be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship

 

Note:

  • There is no limit to the number of H1-B Visas you can have in a lifetime.
  • If your employer terminates you (a H1-B visa holder) before the end of the authorized employment period, the employer must pay the cost of your trip to move back to your home country.

Limitations of H1B Visa vs Canada PR

US H1B Visa

Canada PR

There is an annual limit to the number of petitions approved each year

Immigration to Canada could be difficult and more expensive

You can only extend the H1B visa once for a total maximum stay of six years

You may not be able to patronize some favourite chains on Canadian soil that you find in the US

There are strict dates that the H1B visa holders should adhere to; like filing petition up till 1st of April and starting work from 1st October

Housing costs are comparatively much higher in Canada

Requirement of a job offer can be a drawback as finding a sponsoring employer may be a difficult task

Lower prices of commodities in Canada have lately hurt job prospects. Ensure that you have a job lined up.

The H1B visa petitioning fees to be paid by the employer is steep and may therefore disincentivize employers from sponsoring

Living expenses and domestic travel within Canada is pretty expensive when compared to the United States

 

Need help choosing the best visa type for you? Get expert help on your visa process.

Book a free consultation

Other Important FAQs

How long can I live in the USA on an H1B Visa?

The H1B visa is initially granted for up to 3 years. But it can be extended up to another 3 years. Total stay on an H1B visa cannot exceed a total of 6 years.

What is an H 1B Approval Notice?

H 1B Approval Notice, issued by USCIS, confirms your H-1B status validity for the dates mentioned on the form.

Can I go to Canada with H1B?

Yes, you can. But you must have a valid H-1B visa in your passport to return to the U.S. from all countries except for brief trips of less than 30 days to Canada and Mexico.

Can I work in the USA with a Canadian PR?

You cannot work in the USA with a Canadian PR. You must obtain an H1 visa to work in the USA.

What does ‘prevailing wage’ rate mean?

In spite of what the name implies, prevailing wage is a misnomer. It is not the wage prevailing in a given country. It is basically the market rate rather than wage. The prevailing wage rate is normally much higher than the market rate that union workers get paid.

How do I keep my PR and H1B in Canada?

You can maintain the US H1B work visa and Canadian PR simultaneously. To keep the PR, you must live for 2 years out of 5 years in Canada.

Will I require a Canada visitor visa if I hold a US visa?

Yes, you do. Most travellers holding a US visa will require an eTA or a visitor visa to travel or to transit through Canada.

Can L2 visa holders apply for a Green Card in the US?

Normally, the l2 visa holder is dependent on the l1 visa holder. Sometimes they are included in the process for adjustment of status. This is also known as applying for a Green Card.

What is a TN visa status?

The TN status allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to work in the United States as NAFTA professionals.

Conclusion

Comparing US H1B Visa with Canada PR

Aspects

US H1B Visa

Canada PR

Job Opportunities

Many Options

Limited Options

Average Working Hours

1,794 Hours/Year

2,086 Hours/Year

Job Security

Unreliable

Reliable

Average Salary

$83,619 - $100,461

$38,805 - $50,213

Average Tax

18%

28%

Cost of Living

$700 - $1,000 Per Month

$1,650 - $2,500 Per Month

Healthcare

No Free Treatments

Medicare Coverage

Cost of Education

$10,000 - $15,000 Per Year

$6,135 - $10,733 Per Year

Scope for Citizenship

After 5 Years

After 3 Years

 

5 Important Tips before you move to Canada:

  • Ask your employer if you can work remotely from Canada
  • Have at least 9 months of expenses in your bank account
  • Don’t wait until you get a PR, start networking for jobs in Canada before you move 
  • Look for accommodation before you move to Canada 
  • Move your assets like retirement accounts, bank accounts, etc from India to Canada, before you move. 

Need help with your visa application? We can help you.

Book a free consultation

How Can Kansas Help You?  

Kansas Overseas Careers specializes in Permanent Residency Visas, Work Visas, Study Visas, Temporary visas, and Dependent Visas to Canada, UK, USA, Germany, and Hong Kong. 

Apart from these services, Kansas offers its clients personalized services such as:

  • Profile Evaluation: Professional guidance based on an in-depth assessment of the client profile to determine chances of visa success. 
  • Documents & Review: Detailed, error-free documentation based on the visa type drafted to meet specific formats.
  • Dedicated Case Officer: A dedicated consultant to assist clients throughout the process.
  • Visa Filing: Kansas ensures that the visa applications meet all the standard requirements of concerned immigration authorities and governing bodies.
  • Test Preparations: Complimentary online courses are offered to help aspirants improve their Language Proficiency for important exams like IELTS, French, TOEFL, and PTE.
  • Visa & Interview: Guidance is provided for aspirants attending visa interviews along with verified documents.  
  • Post-Landing Service: Kansas helps clients settle down in the new country with a comfortable stay after they have received their visas.

Additional services offered to job-seekers:

  • Resume Writing: Dedicated team of resume experts to craft the best resumes that meet prerequisites of immigration authorities and potential employers. This greatly improves their chances of selection.
  • Profile Marketing: Kansas is well-known for creating the best-in-class portfolios that boost applicant profiles in job-portals. And yes, this is a complimentary service!

Additional services For students looking for a study visa:

  • Admission Guidance: Comparisons between the best programs, colleges, and countries to study in, including arranged mentorship from existing students.
  • Writing Services: Admission Essays, Student CV, Statement of purpose (SOP), Letter of recommendations (LOR), and other important services offered by a dedicated team. 
  • Scholarships & Financial Aid: Offer help to find the best Scholarships programs, Education loans, Study abroad loans, and also offer help in sourcing paid-Internships.

You can expect a one-stop solution for all your visa needs from profile evaluation, documentation, application drafting to post-visa services with Kansas.

Talk to an expert now!

Topics: Migrate, Canada, USA

K Nagaraju
K Nagaraju

Nagaraj is a veteran in processing Canada visas. He proves as the best professional to handle all PR visa process.

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