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Indian Workers Flock to Canada in the Wake of Trump’s H1-B Cutbacks

As the H1-B visa program in the United States experiences severe cuts, many Indian nationals are choosing to trade their jobs in the U.S. for the chance to immigrate permanently to Canada. Thankfully, there are many immigration options available for Indians who wish to move to Canada, and the immigration success rate for citizens of India is higher than any other country.

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The H1-B Program: Cutbacks under Trump

The H1-B visa was incredibly popular in the United States prior to the election of President Trump in 2016. The H1-B visa enabled U.S. companies to hire foreign workers to fill skilled positions in their companies. In the past decade, nearly 3 million H1-B visas have been issued, with the majority going to workers in tech-related fields. Of all H1-B applications received, 65% came from Indian nationals, showing that the program was extremely popular among Indians.

Under President Trump, the H1-B visa program has experienced extreme cutbacks. In 2016, under President Obama, 87% of all H1-B applicants were approved. In 2017, President Trump’s first year, this approval rate dropped to only 58%. The Trump administration also introduced changes making it much more difficult for H1-B visa holders to extend the stay of their visa, which is usually limited to a maximum of 3 years.

While the United States may be putting up roadblocks, making immigration much more difficult for Indian nationals, Canada has been doing the exact opposite. Since 2016, the number of Indians immigrating to Canada has more than doubled.

Indian Citizens: Most successful applicants for Canadian immigration

In 2017, Indian citizens were the most successful group in Canadian immigration. In Canada’s Express Entry system, the central system for managing immigration applications, 42% of all invitations for immigration were issued to Indian citizens. As well, those with experience in tech-related occupations found more success than any other field.

Canada’s immigration system also allows skilled workers to apply directly for permanent residence if they qualify for a program. If granted permanent residency, a person is given the right to live and work anywhere in Canada, plus access to Canadian universal healthcare and social services. Many H1-B workers find this attractive as their status will not be dependent on holding a certain job.

How to immigrate to Canada?

There are many options for Indian citizens who wish to immigrate to Canada. This list highlights the best options for Indian nationals who also qualify for the U.S. H1-B visa.

Express Entry - Federal Skilled Worker

Express Entry – Federal Skilled Worker: This program is for those with at least one-year of skilled work experience. It is highly competitive, using the complex Comprehensive Ranking System to give all applicants a points-based score. Only the most competitive applicants will be selected for immigration. In 2017, 42% of all invitations through this program were issued to Indian nationals.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): Each of Canada’s provinces runs its own immigration program, allowing the province to select immigrants meeting its specific economic needs. There are several PNPs which seek workers with tech-related experience. The provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia, all have tech-focused immigration programs.

Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW)

Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW): The province of Quebec runs its own skilled worker immigration program. Similar to Express Entry, candidates are ranked using a points system and then certain candidates are invited to apply. QSW recently underwent changes and is relaunching its program in September.

Work Permits / Intra-Company Transfers

Work Permits / Intra-Company Transfers: Certain Indian nationals may be eligible for a Canadian work permit. Often, a job offer will be required to obtain a work permit. However, one significant exception to this is for intra-company transfers. If your employer is part of a multinational corporation with offices in Canada, you may be eligible to be transferred to an office in Canada, without too much paperwork!

Learn more about your eligibility for Canadian immigration by completing our free assessment. A member of the Canadim Team will review your eligibility and contact you to discuss your options!

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