USA’s take on immigration gives Canada its spotlight

Canada benefits from H1B confusion

Recently, a report was released on a job market analysis of North America done by CBRE (Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis). The report clearly showed that Canada was gaining over the US on the migration of high-skill workers. Apparently, the conundrum created by confusing immigration policies of the US is helping Canada. Skilled workforce is shifting to Canada from the USA.

CBRE found that Toronto gained 80,100 tech jobs between 2013 and 2018. This means that a net brain-gain of 57,634 gave Canada an edge. The scenario placed Toronto ahead of Silicon Valley and Seattle.

The gains from the skill inflow was evident for Vancouver too. It came fifth with a net brain-gain of 11,160.

CBRE identified many factors for this phenomenon like the robustness of educational system. The organization also found another major reason for the situation. It observed that the recent US immigration policies led to the shift of flow of tech workers to Canada.

The USA’s immigration policies are painting a poor picture of immigrants. The assumption that the immigrants are liabilities is affecting the policies. The new immigration rules let government officials deny green cards or other visas to immigrants.  The denials are made on the grounds that immigrants could use safety-net programs like food stamps and Medicaid.

Going totally in contrast with restrictive US visa policies, Canada welcomed more skilled workers with its visa policies. The focus on developing a conducive ecosystem for skill migration has paid off well for Canada.

The spike in the flow of tech talent is not new for Canada’s provinces though. The uncertain working conditions in the US has made skilled international professionals concerned. The visa processing delay and inconsistent adjudications have only worsened the situation in the US. These have led them to put their trust in Canada.

Envoy Global, a global workforce management company, conducted a study in 2019. They found that 65% of employers find Canada’s immigration policy better than that of the US. 38% thought of expanding their operations into Canada. 21% revealed that they already had an office in Canada.

It’s been observed that the US government has been increasingly denying H-1B visas over the past few years. The move had affected the working of many service professionals. They act as petitioners for H-1B visa seekers.

The H-1B denial rate of the US has reduced in 2019. This is evident from the higher number of H-1B applications accepted by the USA recently. Even then, the assurance has not fully set in. Hence, tech companies who power these service processes may still be skeptical.

The policies of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will matter a lot in reversing the situation for US. The policies to be enacted this year, and the legal battles it will win, will matter a lot. It will play a huge part in building faith in workers and employers.

A case in view is the court fight over the government’s attempt to end the H-4 EAD visa. This visa allows spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the US. The decision in this case can influence the preference of professionals between the US and Canada.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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Anshul Singhal

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