U.S. Policies Making Skilled Immigration Harder is Benefiting Canada

A recent article highlights how changes in U.S. immigration policies since 2017 are causing both foreign-born specialized knowledge professionals and the U.S. corporations that need them to increasingly look to locate in Canada rather than the U.S.

(W)hile the US has made it more difficult to employ tech workers from abroad, Canada has streamlined its own tech immigration policies. In turn, Canada has become a technology hub. Recently a number of US tech companies, like Amazon and Microsoft, have expanded their offices in Canada.

The article notes that processing slowdowns and increased denials, evidenced in government data, make an already inadequate system that caps most H-1B professional specialized knowledge worker visas at 85,000 annually, even more unworkable both for employers, and for the talented foreign-born individuals who might want to work for them.

The article follows on the heels of another article highlighting the concerns of large corporations that U.S. immigration policies may make them less competitive globally.  While  they may may be able to solve their hiring problems by expanding their operations in Canada, smaller tech companies may not have that option.

Canada suffers from a similar aging population and shrinking workforce as  the United States (though on a much different scale), and has responded in recent years by aggressively opening its doors to immigrants, from refugees to international graduate students, to specialized knowledge workers.  It appears those efforts have begun to pay off for Canada,  as we’ve written about previously, resulting in record population growth and corresponding jobs growth in 2018.

The U.S. administration should reverse course and consider taking a page out of Canada’s playbook.