Moving to Canada on visa with current employer

Hello All

I am looking for some advice/experience-sharing on moving to Canada with current employer before the PR is in hand.

I am currently on an H1B and working for a silicon valley company. My company has an engineering office in Toronto. I had applied for a Canada PR (FSW) 18 months ago. I received the AOR/medical/biometrics passed but the application is backlogged due to COVID travel restrictions. On personal front, me and my wife are expecting a baby towards the end of the year. Ideally, we would like to move as soon as our baby is 6 months old. Now, I really want to move to Canada at that time (mid-2021). However, I am worried that if the PPR email arrives after our baby is born, we would have to add the baby to our application and that might further delay getting the CoPR by several months given the current backlog (if baby is born after we get PPR, then we plan to apply for PR for the baby after we are in Canada, which is possible given the baby will be a US citizen).

So, I have two questions:

  1. If I don’t get PR by mid-2022, I am considering if it is a good idea to ask my company to let me relocate to Toronto on Canadian work visa. Once I am in Canada, I think it is likely that our PR will get processed much faster given that I am already in Canada. Does anyone have any personal/second-hand information/experience on this front (PR speeding up due to moving to Canada before PR arrives)?
  2. I am wondering how to handle the logistics of relocating to Canada in terms of asking my current employer to relocate me, with or without another offer in hand. I would really like to move with the same employer as I like my team, my manager and there are already multiple people working remotely from different cities, so there is a culture of remote work. I could either try to get other offers in hand from Toronto-based companies before I ask my current employer, or just directly ask them to relocate me. I prefer the latter option. However, may be I am just being paranoid, but I am worried that the company might refuse and then they will know that I don’t have a strong intention to staying in US and working for them. Any thoughts on how best to handle this?
  1. I dont think IRCC fastracks PR requests if you move to Canada. They might have a different track for inland applicants but you are not an inland applicant. You still will be considered as an outland applicant who is working/living in Canada.

  2. It depends on your situation. I moved to Toronto after discussing my options with my Manager and explaining the immigration situations in the USA. I did not have to bargain with a Canadian offer. However, I already had the PR at that time. So, I guess it would afterall depends on your company policy, how flexible they are in terms of remote working, and finally your rapport with your manager.

My advice here would be to not create these timelines for yourself unless there’s a very strong reason for doing so.

Due to the Covid-19 thing timelines for application processing has gone totally out of control, this is across the board except for inland applications which are being processed faster.

The baby comes whenever the baby comes (Congratulations btw) and the PR application gets processed whenever it does (it will, eventually).

  • If the PR gets processed before the baby comes and you and your wife feel comfortable in making a soft landing, then do that. You can always sponsor your baby after you move to Canada, it’s easy enough and they’re covered by the provincial health plan.
  • If the PR gets processed before the baby comes and your wife isn’t in a state to travel or the doctor advices against it, then wait for the baby to come and then tell IRCC about this. It will delay your application for a few months but all of you can goto Canada when the baby is added and the application is processed.
  • If the baby comes before the PR is processed, then it’s the same let IRCC know and once the application is processed all of you can land as PRs together.

Ask any manager, one of the highest costs for a company is in hiring people, so as long as you’re on good terms with your manager and team and your performance ratings are decent there shouldn’t be any issue with the relocation. Since your employer already has a presence in Canada I’m sure they’re used to relocating people. So on this part I wouldn’t really stress about it.

So yeah, just chill. Life happens at its own pace, take things as they come. You’ll gain nothing by stressing about things that you have no control over.

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Another one point from my experience, the doctors will not perform x-ray of your wife during pregnancy. In our case, they just performed medicals for my elder son and me. Then they put our case in a locked state. After the baby was born and we got the passport, we created a web request, sharing the update. IRCC responded and recommened us to continue with my wife and newborn’s medicals. The process restarted at that stage. My PR process took end to end 20 months in 2018-2019, with an inactive period of 6-8 months at the middle to accomodate my wife’s pregnancy.

Thanks @panditji for the response. Your points make sense. At this point, given the COVID situation and her pregnancy, it’s very likely we are not going to travel to Canada before mid-2020. So, looks like I will just accept the delay.

Having said that, do you see any disadvantage to moving to Canada on a visa once baby is 6 months old (and hence will be easier to travel)? I have no clue how long it will take for the PR to arrive with baby added to it. The reason I am asking is that my wife is on H4 (she is not eligible for EAD right now as my I-140 is still processing) and her career is on hold. We would like her job search in Canada to start by summer 2020. I think she will get a work permit even if I am on a work visa.

Thanks @nik ! This is useful information.

I don’t see any disadvantage in moving to Canada when your baby is old enough to travel, 6 months sounds about right thats how old our child was when we moved.

It’s a shame about how dependent spouses in the US can’t work till the I-140 is approved and from what I hear processing times have been all over the place. Timing wise it’s perhaps the best time though a small child at home can keep anyone busy and by the time your paperwork is all done the child will be ready for daycare/preschool and hopefully your spouse can then resume their career.

Thanks for the response @panditji !

Hi @nik

I have a few questions regarding your experience.

Some background: We (me and my wife) recently got re-medical request (AOR Jan 2020) since the previous Medicals expired. However, my wife is about to deliver our first child in a few days. We have scheduled the medical for myself and my wife for 2 weeks from now. In the coming days, we will inform IRCC about the birth and start the process to get SSN, birth certificate and US passport for baby.

Could you share your timeline regarding delay caused by pregnancy? Basically,

  1. How long did it take to collect all documents for baby in US (social security and passport)? I think this would normally take 3 months or so.
  2. Were you able to do Medicals for your baby while waiting for baby’s passport? Based on your post, looks like answer is no? So I suppose IRCC will not send medical form before submitting passport and birth certificate?
  3. How long did it take for IRCC to send remedical request for your wife and baby after you submitted all other documents?
  4. How long after baby birth did you get PPR for all 4 of you?

Thanks a bunch in advance!

This is what happened for our case:

  1. 3-4 months to get birth certificate, SSN and the passport
  2. Nope, you cannot get the medical done until you have the passport. You have to wait until you get the passport delivered. Once you have the passport and birth certificate, raise a web request and attach these new documents. IRCC should add the newborn to the application and explain the next steps, i.e. what additional forms you need to complete, medical requests for the mother and the child.
  3. One month or so after they received the web form
  4. 7-8 months. Practically, your application is on hold until you submit the forms after the child is born. Some minor activities are performed before that, but until all the documents are available to them, IRCC practically puts your application on hold. Most of the background and other processes will take place once you have completed all the steps after the birth of the child.

But, please note I went through this process in 2018-2019. Things might have changed since then.

All the best!!

Thanks a bunch @nik , that’s very helpful.

My only thought is whether to request IRCC to delay the medical for me and my wife as well, so we can do Medicals for all three of us together. Then we all will have same medical expiry date (which I guess is also copr date in some cases). The reason I want to do this is that we don’t want to pay 500$ per person x 2 for remedical for two of us in December 2021 and then we get another medical request for the two of us in late 2022 due to baby application delays.

Any recommendations regarding this?

Tough question to answer :slight_smile:
In my case, I completed my medical before my son was born and later completed medical for my wife and son’s medical later together.
Medical, I guess, stays valid for 12 months. However, I agree it’s little unpredicatble these days due to backlog and all.

Ok, thanks @nik !

Hi @nik. Quick question on point 4 in your response regarding putting application on hold.

Few days ago, I sent a web form informing IRCC about the birth of our newborn. Below was the response. I am just wondering how to confirm if the application has been actually put on hold? There is no update on my online account. Should I be expecting to see an update between now and March (when I am able to raise another web form and upload passport, etc for baby). What was your experience?

“We verified the information you provided. We are pleased to advise you that we have forwarded your enquiry to the responsible office.

Please rest assured that you will be notified as soon as your case is analyzed or if additional information is required.”

Hi @panditji @nik and others

I wanted to get your thoughts on something.

My baby arrived 1 month ago. We are currently waiting for her documentation. I think we will have her US passport only by mid-to-end of February. At this point, I feel we will get the final PPR for all 3 of us only by Sep/Oct 2022 or may be even later based on current delays. I am seriously considering talking to my manager about moving to their Canada (Toronto) office by end of May (when baby will be 6 months old) on Intra Company Transfer (ICT). I think I can qualify as specialized knowledge worker. There are two main reasons why I want to do this instead of waiting for PR to arrive:

  1. I really want to get Canadian Citizenship before end of 2026, since that’s when my dad turns 80. I want the flexibility to move to India for a few years to take care of him w/o worrying about whether I can return to the West. If I move on Canadian ICT visa, each day I spend in Canada counts as 0.5 days towards Citizenship. This way, the unpredictable FSW PR delay will not bother me that much as at least I am making some progress towards citizenship
  2. I really want my wife to be able to start looking for jobs and get into the job market ASAP in Canada. I think she can get a work permit when I transfer on ICT. Her career was delayed due to I-140 delays in US (still waiting on EB2-NIW I140 approval), COVID and finally baby. She really wants to get her career moving.

I have a couple of questions:

  1. Does applying for ICT in any way affect my ongoing FSW PR? The only thing left is adding my baby and doing her medical. Me and my wife got re-medical request recently which we completed last week.
  2. Any other thoughts at all on whether my plan has any kind of drawbacks?

Sorry, I realize I am basically repeating my concerns from few months ago. I just wanted some final advice/thoughts before approaching my manager about it.

Jai Shri Ram Arjun.

Firstly congratulations on the arrival of your little one, hope both they and the mother are doing great. I’m personally not familiar with the ICT route as I didn’t have to go through it. But logically speaking if your goal is to get Canadian Citizenship quickly it does make sense to move here sooner rather than later. I would still caution you about timing, the processing time for Citizenship applications exceeds a year as of the last count, one doesn’t know if this will increase or decrease in the future. So even after meeting your residency requirements you may still need to wait for a good while before obtaining Citizenship. This is why it’s my personal preference to not be tied to these timelines and let the process run its due course, it helps me not get frustrated or anxious unnecessarily.

As for your wife’s career, all the best to her whenever she makes a comeback. I’d recommend looking up childcare resources for the area before moving and if you have a preference for one to get on the waitlist. At-least here in the part of BC, childcare spots in the best rated institutions are scarce or unavailable.

Your plan does seem reasonable to me with your goal being to obtain citizenship at the earliest. Like with all things do consider some edge cases to make sure that you’re covered -

  1. Check with your employer about insurance coverage for you and your family.
  2. What happens if you move on ICT before PR approval and have to part ways with your employer? Are you going to be able to maintain status in Canada and find alternative employment, go back to America or are you prepared to spend extended time in India if needed?

Hope this helps, congrats again and all the best.

Thanks @panditji for your thoughts! It’s very helpful to have an outside perspective. I will keep you points in mind. I think it is highly unlikely I would part ways with my employer anytime in the next 1-2 years given it’s funding situation, my performance reviews and how much I currently like my job. Regarding health insurance, I will definitely inquire about it.

I wanted to touch on the child care subject. My wife is unsure about how hard it is going to be to move to a new country without a social support system when baby is still very young (6 months old) and at a time when we don’t have the habit/practice of taking care of her by ourselves. We currently have my wife’s mom staying with us in California and my brother and his family are also nearby. Also, I am on paternity leave since she was born. So it feels pretty easy right now. We don’t know anyone in Canada.

We are thinking if it makes sense to move only after baby is 1 year old, which would mean moving in April 2023 once winter is over. In that case, we wouldn’t likely need ICT. The drawback is the delay of close to 6 months in citizenship.

What was your experience raising a six month old baby in a new country with a potentially limited social circle? Did you immediately hire day care resources after moving to Canada?