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.

Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta    Updated  2 Mar, 20


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?

If you are working in US on H1B visa, your US work authorization is not affected by your PR for any other country.

H1B visa requires your physical presence on US soil to get into H1B status.

The answer is that once you are outside USA, you are not actually using H1B visa at all. Once you step out, US immigration law does not apply to you.

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

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 come back to 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 US. Note that USCIS conducts site visits routinely and you may be in trouble if they do not find your working in US on the location specified in your H1B petition.

i140 Approved, Migrate, Return in Future

Once your i140 has been approved in 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 can either join the same employer who holds your current i140 or find a new one. The new US employer would need to file a new PERM first followed by i140 and i485 concurrently.

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

Australia, Canada PR Validity

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

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

They have just visited the PR country for initial validation and returned to 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 next 5 years. You can migrate anytime in those 5 years.

Renew PR after 5 Years

Both Australia and Canada have 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.

The basis for issuing RRV is that you should have spent two or more years in Australia in last five years. The same condition holds true for Canada too.

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 last 5 years before you can apply for their passport.

Use TN, E3 Visa to Work in USA

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

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

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, H1B visa allows dual intent.

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


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Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta           

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