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H1B uncertainty makes many tech firms turn to Canada

Posted on August 7, 2019
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Facing uncertainties around the H1B Visa Program, many tech firms are now turning towards Canada. Processing delays at the USCIS is on the rise. Tech firms claim that opening up an office in Canada and importing the workers there is much more effective.

President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Marketa Lindt, addressed the US House of Representatives in July.  Speaking on the USCIS delays, she said that skilled professionals are now choosing destinations other than the US. Talented professionals who wish to avoid processing delays and inconsistent judgement are now moving away from the US.

Envoy Global conducted a study earlier this year. The study says that 80% of employers expect their foreign headcount to remain the same or increase this year. 95% of employers feel that sourcing foreign skilled workers are important to their business.

As per Envoy Global’s study, 65% of employers consider Canadian immigration policies to be more favourable than the US. 38% of employers are actively thinking of expanding into Canada. 21% of employers already have an office in Canada, as per Dice.

A helpful factor for tech firms based in San Francisco, Seattle and New York is that Canada is just a short plane ride away.

The Trump Govt. has put in tighter measures for the H1B Visa Program and the H4 EAD. Canada’s fast visa processing stands as a stark contrast to that of the US.

The USCIS has increased the number of RFE (Request for Evidence), especially from outsourcing firms. The USCIS has been asking information regarding the type of work, projects involved and vendor agreements. There has also been a rise in the number of H1B rejections.

In May, President Donald Trump introduced a migration reform plan which would make the US immigration system more “merit-based”. The US would hence, select candidates who had extraordinary talent, worked in specialized vocations and had an impeccable academic record. This reform will significantly affect how tech firms in the US hire foreign candidates.

At present, the US selects 12% of immigrants based on their employment and skills. 66% of immigrants are chosen based on their family ties and 21% on humanitarian and other grounds.

Trump’s new reform plan would change the statistics to 57% of immigrants being chosen based on their skills and employment. 33% of immigrants will be chosen on family ties while 10% on humanitarian or other grounds.

Canada, in the meanwhile, is making good use of the USCIS delays by attracting more tech professionals to the country.

If you are planning to migrate to Canada, browse through latest Canada Immigration News & Visa Rules.

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