Indian techies are increasingly looking at Canada as the American Dream turns into an H-1B nightmare.
During the few years of Trump’s presidency, with controversial visa regulations and travel restrictions imposed, it somehow has resulted in a benefit for tech recruitment and investment in Canada. Industry analysts are predicting that India's information technology (IT) outsourcing industry, worth around $108 billion and employing some four million people, will start looking elsewhere if the US restrictions are enacted. Three bills have been introduced in the US Congress seeking to revamp the H-1B visa programme, which India's IT sector uses to send thousands of highly-skilled workers to the US every year.
Canada has historically courted immigrants to propel economic growth. Now, at least 1 in 5 Canadian residents were born abroad; in Toronto, which has a thriving Indian community, more than half are foreign-born. No wonder, with such developments happening in the neighboring country, it has now become a preferable destination for Indian techies, also. The Canadian government under, Justin Trudeau is also working very hard to ensure that Canada indeed becomes a preferable destination for Indian Techies, luring hard to Indian IT companies inviting from California to Canada. The tech ecosystem in Canada has attracted the top firms such as Amazon and Uber from Silicon Valley. There are reportedly plans to create cyber cities in Vancouver or Victoria and populate it with intelligent Indians. This was an answer by Justin Trudeau posted on Quora, on a question – Why should the best engineers in the world come to Canada?
Justin Trudeau posts, “Our global talent stream will facilitate two-week work permit processing time, so companies in Canada will be able to bring in highly-skilled international workers, including engineers, quickly and efficiently. It will give employers a faster and more predictable process for bringing in top talent and new skills to Canada. We want to help high-growth companies bring in the talent they need quickly by slashing the processing time for a Canada visa application from six months to just 10 business days”.
Additionally, in 2017, Justin Trudeau has also announced the fast-track Global Skills Strategy programme which processes applications for those employed in tech occupations in a short span of 2 weeks. Moreover, Canada’s Express Entry programme allows high-skilled talent in areas such as the software development, engineering, medical, and other academic professions to migrate to the country in under 6 months even without securing a job.
In the US, where the H-1B was created in 1990, part of an immigration overhaul signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. The H-1Bs cost employers from $1,710 to $7,700, depending on factors such as their size and how much they depend on foreign staff. Trump has since called for broad cuts to legal immigration and accused the H-1B system in particular of stealing jobs from the US workers. Not only is the H-1B visa binding to one employer and the US citizenship hard to obtain, family members of immigrants are also at a loss. Most spouses of immigrant workers aren’t allowed to work in the US. Therefore, now while the US has increased visa scrutiny, Canada has only become friendlier. Stats say that between 2016 and 2017, the target for Canada’s economic class visas for skilled workers—the category most used by Indian immigrants—was hiked up from 160,600 to 172,500. It is also that there are not any anti-immigrant and so-called alt-right groups in Canada, but they haven’t gained the same traction as in the US and Europe. No wonder, the Indian techies are increasingly looking at Canada has is also well reciprocated by the host country.