Trump extends freeze on some work visas

Shelby Thevenot
Published: January 7, 2021

U.S. President Donald Trump is extending a moratorium on temporary work visas for tech and other occupations.

With just weeks left in his presidency, Trump extended the previous immigration freeze until March 31, 2021. This means hundreds of thousands of foreigners workers will not be able to get visas to enter the U.S.

The proclamation affects workers in several sectors, such as tech workers, seasonal workers in tourism, and certain au pairs. Trump signed the proclamation, on the grounds that the admission of new workers posed "a risk of displacing and disadvantaging United States workers during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak."

Before the moratorium was extended, it was opposed by business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Associations of Manufacturers, which filed lawsuits, NPR reports. They argued that the immigration freeze hurt the U.S. economic interests.

Find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration

President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office on January 20. At the time of writing, it appears the Democrats are poised to control the senate as well. A Senate majority will make it easier for the Biden administration to pass immigration reform since they will have control of three branches of government. However, it remains to be seen if immigration reforms will be a priority given the COVID-19 crisis.

H-1B holders have immigration pathways to Canada

The H-1B is one of the visas affected by Trump's proclamation. These visas are typically for foreign nationals working in tech-sector occupations in the U.S.

Since before the Trump administration, H-1B holders have pivoted north to immigrate to Canada.

Canada has a number of pathways to permanent residence for tech workers.

The Global Talent Stream is one example of an expedited work permit that allows Canadian companies to bring in foreign tech talent to work in a matter of weeks. These workers are either hired by one of the designated high-growth companies, or have a job offer in an in-demand occupation.

Also, Canada's most popular immigration pathway, the Express Entry system, is well-designed for tech workers.

Express Entry is an application management system for federal high skilled immigration programs, and for some Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Candidates submit their profiles into the Express Entry pool to be ranked on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest scoring candidates get invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through regular Express Entry draws.

Tech workers are well-positioned to get Canadian permanent residence through the Express Entry system. Typically, tech workers from the U.S. are well-educated, have skilled work experience, and a high level of English language proficiency. All of these factors are highly valued on the CRS.

Furthermore, there are a number of PNPs that specifically target candidates with tech experience, such as B.C.'s weekly Tech Pilot draws, and the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Tech Draws.

Find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit to discover your Canadian immigration options.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Related articles
Ontario and British Columbia invite candidates to apply for provincial nomination
Swimming dock on an Ontario lake.
Helpful advice for newcomers landing in Canada: A post-arrival checklist for newcomers to Canada
When you arrive, you will have to go through a process to confirm your identity.
IRCC invites 3,200 candidates in category-based Express Entry draw for French language proficiency
A view of the lake at Banff during a summer sunset
IRCC invites 3,750 candidates in third Express Entry draw of the week
More candidates have been invited in IRCC's most recent Express Entry draw.
Top Stories
Study finds more newcomers are considering moving to escape housing costs
Frequently asked questions about visas for students, workers and tourists coming to Canada
Ontario and British Columbia invite candidates to apply for provincial nomination
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Provinces
Ontario and British Columbia invite candidates to apply for provincial nomination
Swimming dock on an Ontario lake.
More jobs now eligible for Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Occupations Stream of Ontario’s PNP
Niagara Falls as seen from above
British Columbia and Manitoba invite PNP candidates in latest draws
BC and Manitoba have invited candidates in latest PNP draws.
Alberta launching new AAIP pathway for law enforcement professionals
Alberta is launching a PNP stream for law enforcement professionals
Link copied to clipboard