As we’ve noted previously, while the U.S. raises obstacles delaying or preventing professional and specialized talent from getting visas to work in or immigrate to the U.S., Canada is smoothing the way and beginning to reap the benefits.
Time recently published an in-depth look at this. Some takeaways:
– “The United States allows about 140,000 immigrant skilled workers to become permanent residents annually; Canada, a country with one-tenth of the population, welcomed 160,000 skilled workers on the track to permanent residency in 2017 and hopes to get that number to nearly 200,000 by 2021.”
– One international recruiting company “has 70,000 skilled tech workers looking to relocate to Canada and Europe; it does not help these people go to the United States because the process is too difficult.”
– Economic research suggests that “every high-paying tech job created in an economy results in five more openings.”
– “While 95% of global start-up and venture capital activity took place in the United States in the mid-1990s, today it’s about half.”
One point in the article merits clarification. It notes that the administration supports high-skilled immigration and to that end has backed the RAISE Act that would create a points-based system. However, the RAISE Act would not increase from current law the total number of high skilled employment visas available, and has several poison pills that would discourage many high skilled individuals from immigrating to the U.S., such as those with families having to leave behind any children who are 18 or older.
Moreover, the administration’s actions speak louder than words: increased delays and denials of petitions for professional and high skilled workers, proposed elimination of employment authorization for spouses of these workers who are waiting in “green card” backlogs, and other measures all signal a more hostile attitude towards legal immigration of high skilled talent than the overtures that Canada is making.
Canada’s gain is the U.S.’s loss.