Nearshore Americas

Canada Opens its Doors to Laid-Off H-1B Workers

Canada devised a new immigration policy in order to recruit laid-off foreign computer professionals on H-1B visas in the United States.

The program, dubbed “Tech Talent Path,” will go into effect on July 16, allowing these professionals to relocate to Canada and work for a new firm. Their spouses and dependents may also apply for a temporary residence visa.

The program is part of Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy, according to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, who added that the country would soon tweak its policy further in order to attract top tech talent from around the world.

The United States grants H-1B visas to high-skilled foreign tech workers. In 2022, as many as 200,000 of these work permits were issued, the highest in the program’s history, according to the State Department. Around half a million tech workers are in the US today on H-1B visas.

Canada’s new policy is seen largely as a means to assist digital start-ups whose expansion has been stifled by a scarcity of skilled workers.

All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and at least one year of work experience in the technology industry, as well as be fluent in English.

Although Canada will only accept 10,000 H-1B visa holders, there may be more foreign computer employees wanting to work in the US.

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Nearly 200,000 tech workers lost their jobs in the US in the first five months of this year alone. H1-B visa holders are often among the first to be laid off. Unless they can find another work within 60 days, such visa holders are forced to return to their native country.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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