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September 17, 2020

Canadians Can Still Apply for L-1 Work Permits Despite Immigration Restrictions

Since April, two major presidential proclamations have been issued restricting the entry of immigrants and non-immigrants. Proclamation 10014 suspended the entry of certain immigrants, and Proclamation 10052 suspended entry of foreign nationals seeking admission as non-immigrants pursuant to an H-1B, H-2B, J, or L visas. Although these policies freeze a large portion of the immigration system, the suspensions only apply to individuals outside the United States who don’t already have a valid visa. For Canadian citizens, this is good news. 

Since Canadians are visa exempt and don’t generally require a non-immigrant visa in their passport, the suspension of H-1B, H-2B, J, and L visas doesn’t apply. Canadians can still enter the United States under H-1B, H-2B, J, and L status, and these individuals can also still apply for new or renewed L-1 work permits with CBP at the border. 

In addition, now is actually a good time to apply for a US work permit at the border because traffic is at an all-time low due to the restrictions on non-essential travel. This means that CBP has resources available to process applications expeditiously and efficiently. Furthermore, CBP has also taken active steps to implement precautionary measures to protect travelers from exposure to COVID-19, which has eliminated the need to quarantine in Canada for individuals who frequently cross the border for work.
 

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