There is no requirement that U.S. employers employ Canadian citizens on any work visa for a specific period of time. Work visas are usually valid for a finite period of time, such as three years for H-1B visas and TN visas. However, that does not mean that the employer must continue to employ the Canadian citizen for the entire three-year period. In fact, employment may be at-will, meaning that the employer can fire, terminate and/or otherwise layoff a Canadian citizen on a work visa at any time.
In many cases, U.S. employers have the affirmative burden of filing petitions and providing supporting documentation when hiring Canadian citizens. In fact, U.S. employers owe several obligations, both to the beneficiary/employee and to the USCIS, depending on the type of work visa the Canadian citizen employee is under.
Filing a work visa petition on behalf of a Canadian citizen can be daunting for U.S. employers – especially if it is their first time. The mountain of application forms, supporting documentations, and filing fees can easily overwhelm an employer. One of the biggest concerns for U.S. employers is to ensure that they are complying with the USCIS in maintaining their obligations as petitioners of a work visa for a Canadian employee. We will briefly outline some of the general obligations that employers owe under some of the more common work visas.