SKILLED, FOREIGN WORKERS ARE CHOOSING CANADA OVER AMERICA
It is a heartbreaking moment when a person who lived for nearly a decade in America is being told that he might have to leave the country he grew up in. According to a normal person, after completing their studies in America it would be easy for them to switch their temporary student visa onto some sort of permanent status.
It is very difficult to digest for them when they are told by a lawyer that it didn’t matter how long they lived in the US, how quickly they adapted to American life, or even how excellent their grades were in school.
They have to convince a company to sponsor them for an H-1B visa – a painstaking process that randomly selects winners from a lottery, takes months and often costs thousands of dollars or they have an option to marry an American to get permanent status otherwise there is no alternative.
Not to be dramatic, but they are honestly completely devastated. They don’t mean it to come across as entitled, or that I thought it would be a guaranteed in. But when they are told how it works, they feel completely devastated.
Not long afterwards, they start googling “how to move to Canada”
There are many skilled, highly educated foreign workers who have tried to get a coveted H-1B visa in recent years, failed, then turned to Canada as the next-best option.
Sometimes they end up by finding a company who is willing to sponsor them for H-1B visa, but sometimes the US government deny their request. They are only able to stay in the US by enrolling themselves in a course like MBA.
On 1st April, the processing of paperwork to get H-1B visa was opened, in which about 200,000 people applied but only 85,000 will ultimately be drawn in the lottery.
But because of what immigration lawyers and experts call a crackdown on the H-1B process by the Trump administration, even those who win the lottery are guaranteed nothing.
Many workers are ultimately denied an H-1B visa months after they win the lottery, typically on the grounds that their jobs aren’t technically considered “speciality occupations.”
An immigration lawyer at the international law firm told INSIDER that US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has become much more challenging to work with under the Trump administration.
It is being estimated that more than half of the H-1B cases nowadays are stalled by “requests for evidence,” or RFEs, a complicated request for additional documents that can take months to resolve and often end in denials.
Every single case filed seems to be getting pushback from the government and they have to fight for it even when it should be very straightforward. It is also being told that petitioners can file motions for reconsideration or appeal the decisions if they believe they were wrongly rejected. It’s not some blind, computer-generated lottery but if it doesn’t work out after trying 3-4 times then their backup plan in Canada.
People get astonished by knowing how much easier is Canada’s immigration process is. It seems like it would be really favourable for them. Moreover, it seems like the way their systems design has common sense. Everything that they are going through in the US is for a 3-year visa that’s tied to a company. In Canada, this is a residency to live, permanently. They have a pretty advanced system. It’s basically merit-based. It’s not some blind, computer-generated lottery.
Unlike in America, skilled immigrants in Canada don’t need jobs before they arrive, nor employers to sponsor them. Under the country’s Express Entry program, prospective immigrants are evaluated under a points-based system. If they earn enough points, they can then apply for permanent residence – the Canadian equivalent of a green card – which sets them on a path to citizenship.
The youngest, most educated, and English-fluent candidates are awarded more points under the system, and then they’re ranked against other candidates. The people who rank above the cut-off score are invited to apply for permanent residency.
Also, the processing time for permanent resident cards under the Express Entry program are often speedy and can take as little as a few weeks, or up to six months.
Canada has rushed to greet the influx of immigrants America has rejected, taking advantage of Trump’s increasingly strict immigration policies and luring young talent away from the US, Though it’s unclear exactly how many failed H-1B applicants have also tried their chances in Canada.
Canada’s government is on pace to accept 330,000 immigrants in 2019 and bring Canada’s immigrant population up to 1% of the country’s total population by 2020.
Many American companies are infuriated that they’ve faced so many bureaucratic hurdles to hire talented workers they’ve sought out. Some US companies are even considering expanding to Canada, in part due to its immigration policies.
It is more like a trend that could seriously damage American businesses and decrease the country’s global competitiveness, in the long run.
It is becoming more and more difficult to work as an immigrant in American immigration economy. That makes the American innovation economy less attractive. There is a risk that top global talent will take their skills and ambition to a different country.
People get terrified at the idea that after all their effort, and the years they spent here, they have to return to their home country, where jobs are scant and opportunities are rare.
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