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 !