US Immigration News

Why Are Indians Dropping H1B Visas and Choosing Canada?

3 minute read
"The United States is losing its much sought-after skilled Indian immigrants who are getting increasingly attracted towards Canada given the outdated H-1B Visa policy. Indian talent is moving towards Canada in large numbers given the national attitude towards immigration in the US."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Aug 10, 2021
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The United States is losing its much sought-after skilled Indian immigrants who are increasingly getting attracted towards Canada given the outdated H-1B Visa policy. Indian talent is moving towards Canada in large numbers given the national attitude towards immigration in the US.

What Is the Main Reason Why Indians Are Choosing Canada Over the US for Immigration? 

The main reason why so many talented Indians chose to move and work in Canada over the US is because of the per-country quota limit on employment-based visa programs. The US has set the limit on the number of immigrants that will be invited from different countries, annually. Due to this, countries with high levels of immigration to the US end up facing a backlog of immigration applications due to high demand. 

Stuart Anderson, executive director of National Foundation for American Policy made this point to urge Congress to take action. Without Congressional action, the backlog of applications for Indians in all three employment-based visa categories would increase from an estimated 9,15,497 applications to a considerable 21,95,795 applications by 2030.  

This means by the next decade, there will be more than 2 million people waiting for an employment-based visa in the US for years or even decades. This is the main reason why so many highly skilled foreign workers are choosing to immigrate to Canada over the US. 

Given the level of difficulty in obtaining a US Visa, many immigrants find Canada’s easy-to-understand immigration system as a more beneficial option.

How Does This Affect the US Pools of Talent and Labor Needs?

Between the 2016-17 and 2018-19 academic years, the number of Indian international students who enrolled in graduate level computer science and engineering universities in the US declined by more than 25%.

This represents a great decline as 75% of all full-time graduates enrolled in computer science in the US are international students.

During the 2016-17 academic year, two-thirds of all computer science graduates enrolled in US universities were from India. This decline needs to be addressed in order to preserve future foreign talent and the US labor market needs.

Why Are Indian Students Opting for Canadian Universities?

The overall decline in the number of Indian immigrants coming to the US has also affected the number of Indian students enrolling in US universities.

This can be attributed to the increasing number of Indian students choosing to study in Canada. The number of Indian international students coming to Canada increased by almost 127% between 2016 to 2018, according to the data provided by the Canadian Bureau of International Education.

Simply put, Canada has different immigration policies and programs to facilitate the entry of foreign workers as compared to the US. Every year, the US denies over 100,000 H-1B Visa applications, sending millions of US-educated students to other countries, ultimately contributing to the development of their economy.

What Can Be Done to Improve These US Immigration Policies?

It is very important for the US to update its immigration policies to reflect a more 21st-century approach. Congress is also working on new legislation to advance research and innovation in critical technologies to come in league with China.

It is high time that Congress eliminated the H-1B Visa country caps and considered an overall reformation of the immigration system. Experts are urging Congress to expand dual intent visas to allow international students to apply for permanent residence in the US after graduation.

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