The Canadian government's initiative to invite H-1B visa holders from the United States under the Open Work Permit program has witnessed overwhelming success. In a remarkable feat, the initial 10,000 slots offered under this scheme were filled within just two days. With up to 75 per cent of H-1B visa applicants being Indians, the program has provided much-needed relief, especially to retrenched Indian-Americans.
Opportunities for H-1B Visa Holders and Their Families and STEM Work in Canada Initiative
The Open Work Permit program enables H-1B visa holders to work in Canada for a period of three years, without requiring a job offer or college acceptance from a Canadian institution. Additionally, spouses and dependents of successful applicants can also live, work, or study in Canada for three years, providing a unique opportunity for families to relocate together.
The Canadian government has also launched the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Work in Canada initiative, targeting candidates with experience through the Express Entry draw. This further expands the pool of eligible beneficiaries of the Open Work Permit scheme.
Why Canada is Attracting H-1B Visa Holders
The Canadian government's decision to invite H-1B visa holders has sent ripples through the US immigration system. Canada's immigration department has strategically capitalized on the uncertainties faced by H-1B visa holders in the US, such as the tie to employment and limited time to find new sponsorship after job loss. The ongoing layoffs in the tech industry have heightened concerns for many H-1B visa holders, particularly Indian nationals, about their future in the US.
Another significant factor is the challenging path to permanent residency in the US for Indian H-1B visa holders due to the country-based green card quota system, leading to extensive wait times. In contrast, Canada offers a relatively smoother path to permanent residency, making its Open Work Permit scheme an attractive option for those seeking a more secure future.
Canada's Smart Move to Attract Global Talent
Elon Musk's praise for Canada's scheme reflects the strategic brilliance of the country's immigration policy. By relying on the American immigration system to select skilled immigrants, Canada has managed to entice some of the world's best talents to its shores. With the US Citizenship and Immigration Services reporting a significant number of H-1B visa holders losing their visas, Canada's offer provides a viable alternative and opens doors to a stable and promising future.
Canada's Open Work Permit scheme for H-1B visa holders has proven to be a resounding success, attracting a considerable number of Indian applicants and others seeking a more stable and secure future. By capitalizing on the uncertainties of the US immigration system and offering a smoother path to permanent residency, Canada has strategically positioned itself as an appealing destination for skilled immigrants. As the program continues to run for the next year, it is expected to continue fostering a diverse and talented workforce, bolstering Canada's position as a leader in emerging technologies and the high-tech sector.