Get Australia, Canada PR and Still Work on H1B Visa

Migrate to Australia or Canada using PR. Work in US using H1B. Return to US later when priority date is current. Can work remotely from Canada for short time.

Written by Anil Gupta
  Anil Gupta    Updated 6 Jan, 21

Many people are filing either Australia or Canada PR to create a back up in case the US green card country based limits are not removed. Most of these applicants are born in India and China.

They are stuck in extremely long employment based backlogs due to 7% limit on each country in US immigration law.

Can I work from Canada using my PR on H1B visa?

You can work from Canada using your PR and there is no H1B visa required.

H1B visa requires your physical presence on US soil to get into H-1B status.

H1B Stays Active?

If you are working in the US on an H1B visa, your US work authorization is not affected by your PR for any other country like Australia or Canada.

Once you are outside the USA, you are not actually using an H1B visa at all as US immigration law does not apply to you.

If your US employer is ready to pay you a salary in Canada, while you work remotely, you can do it perfectly legally as per Canadian laws. You do not need an H1B visa for this situation.

How to Keep H1B Active?

If you still want to hold on to your H1B job as your US employer does not have any Canadian or Australian operations, you will need to come back to the US.


  • You can work remotely from Canada or Australia for some amount of time but if you cross 180 days, the tax residency laws will come into play.
  • Your H1B extension might be denied if you keep working remotely from outside the US.
  • USCIS conducts site visits routinely and you may be in trouble if they do not find your working in the US on the location specified in your H1B petition.

i140 Approved, Migrate, Return in Future

Once your i140 has been approved in the US, you can safely migrate to Canada or Australia. You can even leave your US H1B or L visa job.

If you want to return to US in future when your Green card priority date gets current, you can return to file i485 adjustment of status application as long as you can find an employer to sponsor you in US.

You have two options:

  • Join the same employer who holds your current i140 Or
  • Find a new sponsor and file a new PERM followed by i140 and i485 concurrently.

You can also file H1B transfer anytime in the future with your approved i140 even if you are started living in Canada or Australia.

Return to US on L1A Visa?

If you are currently working in the US using an H-1B or L1 blanket, then you might get eligible for an L1A visa if you can work in Australia or Canada for at least 365 days as a manager.

Australia, Canada PR Validity

Both Australia and Canada offer 5 year PR based on your skills. Their merit-based system favors high skilled educated people and offers extra points for English language proficiency.

Once you get the PR, you get multiple entries and exit rights. You can also work in any job profile irrespective of what skill you used to get PR in the first place.

This is similar to the US green card.

PR Validate, Return to US

I know many people who have got both Australia and Canadian PR but have still opted to hold on to their H1B job in the USA.

They have just visited the PR country for initial validation and returned to the US.

Both Australia and Canada give you an initial entry date, which is printed on your PR. You have to enter the country at least once to activate the PR.

Once granted, it is considered valid for the next 5 years. You can migrate anytime in those 5 years.

Renew PR after 5 Years

Both Australia and Canada have residency conditions placed on their PR to motivate people to settle down in the country.

The PR renewal or extension is nothing but a ‘resident return visa‘ (RRV) that you should apply if you want to enter Australia or Canada after the 5 year PR term ends.

Resident Return Visa Conditions

  • Spend two or more years in Australia in the last five years.
  • Spend two or more years in Canada in the last five years.

If you have spent less than two years, then you have to explain why immigration should issue you RRV since you have not made Australia or Canada your usual place of residence.

If your RRV is not approved and you are outside Australia or Canada, and your PR visa is also expired, then your PR status is gone as well.

Citizenship Criteria

You will have to live and work in Australia for at least 4 years before you can apply for citizenship.

Similarly, Canada wants you to stay there for at least 3 years in the last 5 years before you can apply for their passport.

Use TN, E3 Visa to Work in USA

If you have migrated to either country, you can come back to work in the US using either E3 or TN visa if you do not want to use H1B.

  • US has a special work visa for Canadians and is known as a TN visa.
  • Similarly, Australian passport holders can come to the US on E3 visas to work.

Note that TN and E3 visa does not allow ‘dual intent’ meaning that you should not aim to file a US green card application.

On the other hand, the H1B visa allows dual intent.

Hence, even if you migrate and want to return to the US later, you should use your H1B visa to come back to the US.


Written by Anil Gupta
  Anil Gupta           

Recent discussion on forum

  1. CanadaRocks

    I am working for an US company on H1B and my wife is moving to Canada on ICT visa. We still don’t have Canada PR. I would need to travel back and forth every month or so. I know 186 days presence will make me resident. Is it legal, in both US and Canada, to travel on dependent visa to Canada and continue to work from home for my US employer, say for 179 days from Canada?

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