US vs Canada : ADVICE!

hello All ,

firstly thanks to this community for everything ! I have learnt a lot in the past few weeks.
My situation is the following : I am a single Male 27, currently in US , came for masters with the ICt work permit approved fir canada through a Big tech company .I was all set to move
yesterday my H1 got picked up in the lottery and so now I have two options from here.

What would be the recommendation for me : to move NOW or get my i140 filed and then move applying for a PR through other programs in canada ?

if I move now , I will have to stay for 2 to 3 years to get a PR and 4 to 5 years from current timeline to get citizenship which will take out significant chunk of earning from my next few years v/s I move later after getting my i140 .

Any advice , please?

I would never live on H1B considering the instability and stamping issues. I value my Canadian PR for the stability and freedom but that’s just then my opinion and YMMV

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I think it is a hard choice and highly dependent on your priorities, what’s acceptable/what’s not, your specific family situation, etc.

At a high level, here are the reasons one might want to stay in US for next 4-5 years if they were in your shoes:

  1. You are working in a company where the US learning experience is unmatched by the experience you get in Canada.
  2. You are getting paid significantly more than what you think you would get paid in Canada, and you think that after 4 years and moving to Canada, you will never be able to come back to US and earn that kind of money
  3. You are OK with the fact that you have to pack your bags and move to India if you lose/quit your current job and don’t find another one in 45-60 days
  4. You are OK with the fact that there is a reasonable chance that if there is a family emergency back in India and you go to India, you will not be able to come back in a reasonable amount of time (due to not getting visa appointment, delays in processing, etc)
  5. You are OK to work only for your employer and don’t take any part time Gig (like consulting for a few hours, that might fetch you thousands of dollars if you are good)

Here are the reasons one might want to move to Canada immediately:

  1. You want to secure citizenship in Canada as soon as possible, and then move to US on TN visa. You don’t care about getting PR or Citizenship in US since you are already a Canadian citizen. You just care about the extra money and experience and opportunities you get by working in US. If this is the mindset, then the argument of losing higher salary for initial 4 years doesn’t matter because moving to Canada earlier means you can come back to US earlier. If you are good at your job, I don’t think you will have a problem finding a US employer. After all, lot of people who graduate from Canadian universities move to the US.
  2. You really care about being a citizen of the country where you are living, and you want to be a citizen in a reasonable amount of time (4-5 years).
  3. You simply do not want to return to India, and so you want to secure permanent residence in a first world country as soon as possible.
  4. You want your parents to come and live with you for more than 6 months, by sponsoring their permanent residence. In US, that’s only possible if you are a citizen. In Canada, you can do it as soon as you become a PR (the 2 year visa, or sponsor permanent residence through lottery)
  5. You really care about flexibility to travel to India back and forth w/o thinking about visa issues (possible with Canada PR + Indian passport OR Canada passport + Indian OCI card).

I hope you can derive something useful from my answer.


I may be wrong but Perm / 140 generally does not require you to be present in the US since it is applied based on a future job role.

I think you should follow your gut and not overcomplicate the decision. It sounds like you wanted to move to Canada because you weren’t able to secure a H1B, that has since changed since it got picked up in the lottery.

When I was single and even married before having our first child, stability wasn’t really a big concern for us at all. The cultural experience of living near NYC and enjoying all that it had to offer along with the earning potentials are unmatched anywhere in Canada and people will be lying to you if they say anything even comes close.

The only reason that we could move to anywhere in Canada and be able to buy a home (despite the insane realestate market here) is because both of us had worked and saved up some money in America. If we had moved to Canada straightaway, this particular life event would have to be deferred by anywhere between 5 to 10 years.

I would say that you should ask your employer to file a I-140 asap and not dilly dally on this so that if you were to decide to get married in the future it would make it much easier for your spouse to obtain work authorization or settle in America (if work permit or authorization was to be a factor) and also it’s better to get a spot in the queue for a green card sooner rather than later, you can always choose to abandon your spot if you choose to and in the last couple of years due to the limits in immigration caused by the pandemic restrictions the queue has moved faster than it had for the decade to 15 years before that.

If 5 or 6 years down the line stability becomes a more important factor for you, then you can always move north then.


thank you @panditji , @arjun-humain & @shackle for your answers and guiding me. thanks for sharing all your experiences in a consice yet clear way. I will be forever grateful to the community. For now, I will move on the path @panditji suggested and then apply for a PR myself, which would then buy me some time to move.

Nicely summarized.
Btw if the queue is moving faster then are you having any plans to move back to USA again?

My number in the queue is from 2018, I’ve honestly not been thinking about that very much. It was only through these forums that I got to know that the queue had started to move faster, I was honestly quite surprised that it’s at 2013/14 already.

If and when that does become current or close to becoming current we will give that a good long thought. The lower cost of living and better weather are definitely appealing but uprooting and moving again also feels daunting, we have it pretty good here.

What about you? Are you thinking of moving back (if/when) it becomes possible?

Very well summarized. I actually prefer this answer to my own :grinning: I tend to heavy lean towards pros and cons listing, and refining them over time, which is probably not the right approach for @rsher60.

In my case, I made the mistake of delaying the EB2 I-140 processing (previous company wasn’t very supportive, but I was also not pushing very much). Due to this, we ended up in a situation where my wife was not able to work in US (after she came to US to live with me). I then changed my company and the new company applied for EB2-NIW and I recently got I-140 approval. This approval came at almost the same time as when I received Canada PPR. So now I have decided to move to the Canada location of the same employer and live as PR in Canada. If someday my priority date is current, I will think about going back to US. I think something along these lines is generally the right approach for most people.

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Most answers here have summed up all the scenarios and decision making process, and ultimately it is up to you to make the final decision based on your personal preferences.
Personal story: One thing that I did not mention in my post from 3 years ago is that a week after I moved to Canada, I came to know that my H-1B visa was selected in the lottery on the 4th and final attempt (company got the receipt a week after I moved). For a few days I was in two minds but really I had no choice since I had done everything necessary to move and there was no going back. Interestingly, a few months later I came to know from the lawyer that I had received a RFE and since I was no longer working there they could not respond, and therefore the application was considered abandoned.
Looking back, if I had received my Canadian offer a few weeks later and decided to stay in the US, there was no guarantee that the H-1 would have been approved (not sure what the RFE was for). In a sense the timing was just pure luck and it all happened for the good, because since 2019 I’ve never given a single thought to “visa/residency issues” while in Canada. Personally for me the peace of mind is the most important.
For those working in the field of computer science, we are lucky enough that we can keep honing our skills in any market and still be in demand in North America, work remotely etc.

As @arjun-humain aptly put it, you need to think about the pros vs cons of staying in either country, and whether you are ready to spend a few years in Canada to received the citizenship and then make the final decision and have the safety net, or take a calculated risk to stay there while reaping the benefits.