How to Work Legally in the US as a Canadian Citizen

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In order to cross the border and work legally in the United States, Canadian citizens must receive US work visa or permit from their US-based employers. These firms will serve as the legal petitioner; while the employee will be the beneficiary. Employers will be the ones to apply for a work visa in behalf of the employee once they decide to hire an applicant from Canada.

4 Types of US Work Visa for Canadian Job Seekers

According to, the US immigration law classifies these work permits into four types:

1. H-1B Visa

Uncle Sam issues this non-immigrant work visa to applicants seeking full-time or part-time work in a “specialty occupation.” In layman’s term, these are the jobs that require professional skills, a bachelor’s degree, or relevant experience. Examples of these are:

  • Accountants, computer analysts, web programmers, web designers, engineers, or financial analysts
  • Advanced degrees such as M.D., J.D., MBA, and Ph.D.
  • Fashion models with “distinguished merit or ability” or with a national or international recognition
  • Foreign owners of US companies with bachelor’s degree or higher in a specialized field

2. TN Visa

This US work visa was created under the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, US, and Mexico. Under this work permit, Canadians may work as a pro in the US if he/she:

  • Qualifies under the “Professionals Under the North American Free Trade Agreement” list;
  • Possesses the specific criteria for that profession;
  • Applies for a position in the US that needs someone in that professional capacity; and
  • Goes to work for a US employer.

3. L-1 Visa

This US work visa applies to intra-company transfers from an affiliated Canadian office to one of its US offices. To qualify, the employer must be doing business in the US and have an existing relationship with the Canadian firm. Moreover, the employee must have been working for the affiliated employer in Canada for at least one continuous year within three years prior to being issued an L visa. He or she must also be going to the U.S. to render services as a manager or executive. Employees will be granted an initial three-year L visa.

4. O-1 Visa

This US work visa is used by a small portion of individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the arts, science, education, or athletics (O-1A). People who have demonstrated a record of great feat in the motion picture or TV industry (O-1B) are also included. Actors, singers, scientists, professors, writers, or pro athletes are eligible to apply for this, too.

To increase the chances of receiving job offers from American companies, aspirants must be equipped with the best resume format and cover letter. For more helpful guides and blogs, or expert resume and CV writing services, you can visit our website at

Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels

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