Amid persistent uncertainty over the H1B work visa programme in the United States, talented techies from India are likely to bypass the USA and head to Canada for work.
According to data provided a print media portal, Canada approved 4,400 applications until December 31 under the Global Skill Strategy programme it launched on 12 June, 2017.
The initiative is aimed at attracting top professional and managerial talent from overseas.
Indian nationals, mainly employed in the information technology (IT) sector are making it the single largest source country of foreign employees, about four times the second-largest –China.
“In the global race to attract the investment of innovative companies, competitors in the European Union, as well as the United States, have considerably larger pools of talent and labour to draw from than we do in Canada,” said Lindsay Wemp, a spokesperson for the department.
The Trump administration unveiled measures last month to effectively tighten rules on the hiring of H-1B workers by US firms at third-party locations, Hindustan Times reported on 24 February.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which issues overseas work visas, said in a statement that H-1B petitioners, or employers, will now have to “show by a preponderance of evidence” that the beneficiary will be employed in a “speciality occupation”.
On the other hand, Canada’s Global Skills Strategy aims to help innovative companies in Canada grow, flourish and create more jobs for Canadians by facilitating the faster entry of top professional talent.
Global Skills Strategy is aimed at attracting high-skilled workers and offers two-week processing of these temporary work permits.
“What we’re seeing here is the movement of people who just didn’t feel comfortable because of the anti-immigrant sentiments in the United States,” Ravi Jain, a leading immigration lawyer in Toronto, said.
Jain, who practises immigration law with the firm Green and Spiegel, also said an additional attraction that Canada over the US was that many families requires two incomes and in most cases, there were limitations in America on spouses working if their partners were employed on H1-Bs.
“There’s a lot faster processing for IT workers, for instance. It’s nearly instant. It’s a wonderful time to be practising immigration law,” Jain said.