In the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration and refugee restrictions, the rest of the world has been waiting to see if the temporary suspension put in place by Seattle’s federal judiciary will hold out. In the meantime, Canada has decided to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding Trump’s immigration ban by inviting tech-savvy or business-oriented foreign nationals to move north.
Since the immigration ban was introduced in late January, Canadian immigration lawyers have observed a noticeable rise in inquiries from immigrant entrepreneurs and highly-skilled tech workers residing in the U.S. Amidst rising concerns, Canadian provinces see the situation as a prime opportunity to attract those who are caught in residency and employment limbo by the federal court decision (and Trump’s failed attempts to appeal it). For many immigrants currently working under the H-1B Visa Program, the pending immigration ban poses a larger threat to those whose jobs or family circumstances require travel overseas.
While foreign workers cautiously await news regarding the future of U.S. immigration, entrepreneurial teams across the Canadian provinces are now offering practical destinations for international talent. For individuals working for companies in California’s prominent Silicon Valley, relocation to Vancouver provides ample opportunities to match with U.S. offices already established in the city. In the province of Quebec, Microsoft’s corporation is already making plans to expand its Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in Montreal, whereas Ontario is home to industry research for self-navigating cars.
Although offers for relocation more or less serve as a back-up plan to Trump’s immigration restrictions, Canada has much to gain by attracting H1-B workers to areas that are exhibiting prominence in tech-related fields. As statistics have shown, characteristics of a city’s success rely on communities focused on innovative strategies that not only push the envelope in cutting-edge research but cultivate industry breakthroughs.
On the contrary, U.S. industries have much to lose if the country’s best innovators choose to move north, as many of the largest American-based tech firms are staffed by foreign nationals through the H1-B program. From an economic standpoint, immigration restrictions that could potentially displace H1-B employees would essentially undercut future industry growth that immigrant entrepreneurs and skilled workers provide. For colossal tech companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google, their successes serve as a reminder to the benefits skilled immigration brings not only to the U.S., but to the world.
However, Canada’s determination to attract the skills and innovation of foreign nationals goes beyond American soil. Beginning in early March, the Government of Canada is launching the Atlantic Pilot Program designed for immigrants seeking employment abroad. Similar to Canadian initiatives geared towards the U.S., the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island are making a collaborative effort to incorporate foreign skilled workers and international graduates into Canada’s labor force.
Mandatory work experience, level of education, and job offers needed depend on whether the individual is applying as a skilled worker or an international graduate student. The most important factor to keep in mind is that all potential applicants must have a job offer from a designated employer in an Atlantic province (excluding Quebec) prior to immigration to Canada. Each program requires the applicant to select his or her National Occupational Classification (NOC), which is designated as Skill Type 0, A, B, C, and D. In short, these classes break down into management positions (i.e. mine managers), professional occupations (i.e. doctors), technical and skilled trade workers (i.e. restaurant chefs), intermediate jobs (i.e. butchers), and labor jobs (i.e. oil field workers).
While applicants can accept job offers outside of their occupation, they must still meet the necessary employment criterion outlined by the NOC.
There is no doubt that foreign nationals conducting business or working in the U.S. are concerned about Trump’s travel restrictions, and whether or not they will even be able to remain in the country. In respect to immigration, the Government of Canada is a leading advocate of newcomers and recognizes the contributions immigrant entrepreneurs and skilled workers provide the country’s economic growth and cultural diversity.
Even more, those who immigrate to Canada can take advantage of the many benefits that are provided across the provinces including free healthcare, childcare services, and top-rate schools and universities. Canadian residency offers immigrants not only safety and stability, but the opportunity to live, work, and study in a country regarded as one of the best in the world.
At QICMS, we provide immigration solutions for business-minded individuals and their families seeking permanent residency in Canada. Contact our offices today to speak with one of our top immigration specialists.
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