Canadians exempt from new U.S. visa rules, immigration lawyers’ group says


OTTAWA — A group representing thousands of American immigration lawyers says the U.S. government has told it that new restrictions on work visas there don’t apply to Canadians.

A “practice alert” for the 15,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association, issued late Wednesday, says a liaison committee it has with U.S. Customs and Border Protection has confirmed that exemption.

President Donald Trump this week ordered a suspension on several types of visas allowing foreign citizens to work in the United States, on the grounds that his country’s pandemic-rattled economy doesn’t have enough jobs for Americans as it is.

But Canadians who want to work in the U.S. without immigrating permanently don’t necessarily need those work visas.

Immigration lawyer Henry Chang tells The Canadian Press that Trump’s proclamation Monday left Canadians’ status uncertain.

But he says it’s now clear that so-called visa-exempt Canadians aren’t now lumped in with others who won’t be eligible to work in the United States.