Toronto is becoming a new superpower as Immigrants choose Canada over the US. Due to the new immigration laws of the US, the silicon valley’s undisputed stand as the number one tech hub might be in danger
In the past few years, thousands of workers are moving to Toronto. This has helped the city become one of the fastest-growing tech hubs. Most of the immigrants are avoiding the US to escape from the rules made by the trump’s administration
Recently, Trump also announces the temporary suspension of US visas. These visas are issued annually to the migrant workers. Every year, the US allocates 85000 visas for foreign skilled workers.
This year with the temporary suspension, Trump’s administration also says that this is indirectly a threat to local job opportunities. Meanwhile, Canada is taking this opportunity to welcome people across the world.
Since 2013, the number of jobs in Toronto is increased by 54%. Several Canadian companies are utilizing this opportunity very well. According to a study in 2016, 25% of the total workers in Canada are immigrant workers.
Recently, Trump’s government declared that non-immigrant students with F-1 and M-1 visas, who are taking online classes are not eligible to stay in the country. To oppose that a lawsuit filed against the US Visa policy by 17 U.S States.
Along with these states, the District of Columbia also filed a lawsuit, stating that this decision is unlawful. This lawsuit filed in the US District Court in Massachusets says that this decision should be reversed
This new policy also affects the students who are taking non-online classes as well. This prohibits such students to not take more than one class. Also, it prohibits taking three credit hours online to stay in the country.
According to a report, there were around 194556 Indian students in various academic institutions in the US until January.
Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin are some of the states filed against this newly changed policy
The Massachusets Attorney General says that Trump didn’t even try to explain this senseless change in the policy. This new policy also brings a dilemma for schools to select between keeping their international students enrolled or protecting the campus
Earlier, Harvard and MIT also filed against the policy that prevents students to stay in the country. Unless they take an in-person class, they should move out of the country.
It comes an exciting new from the UK government. The UK extends the P.h.D. post-study visa. This news will benefit the Indian students as the biggest group of international students
The UK government also announces a more streamlined version of the visa process for the country. And also, the British government pledges to make job securing easy for international students.
According to these new changes, international students who complete P.h.D. from Summer 2021 can stay up to 3 years in the country and work. Also, the government believes that this will encourage the students to secure high skilled jobs and contribute to the economy
The government is also looking to add further improvements once the student route opens up in the UK point-based visa immigration system. Also, the government is looking to streamline the entire process.
Some of the changes are eliminating study time limits at the PG level and allowing students to switch to other types of visas anytime, anywhere within the UK, etc.
The government also expects that these new changes will improve the relationship between the UK and India. Hence, leading to strong research & education systems
This also strengthens the existing systems like UKIERI and Newton Bhaba. The entities aim to drive academic links and research collaboration between the two countries.
These changes are believed to be part of the British government’s strategy. Ultimately leading to making the British a superpower in Science and Research.
The government also plans to add a new Office for talent in 10 Downing Street. This new office will consist of government officials across various departments. These officials aim to make the immigration smoother for scientists, researches, innovators, etc.
Recently, US President Donald Trump decided to suspend all the new H1B visas and other work permits. Now the engineers look at Canada after the US suspends the visas. Canada has a more open policy for immigration.
Canada’s staffing firms observed a huge surge in inquiries over the past few weeks. One of the CEO’s of a staffing firm says that the increase in the number of visits to the website and email queries are reportedly high over the past few weeks.
He also says that several companies are also inquiring about their own employees whose situation might be in trouble with the suspensions. Shortly after the US visa suspension is announced, the Immigration Minister of Canada responded to it.
He says that Canada believes that immigration will help them recover better and quickly. He also adds that Canada has a plan to attract the best and brightest talent around the world. Canada also has express entry program and Global Talent Stream to help innovators, engineers, and entrepreneurs.
Canada is also very vocal about encouraging immigration. Earlier to COVID, Canada said that it would like to welcome around 1,00,000 people to become permanent residents of the country between 2020 and 2022. So, now engineers look at Canada after the US suspends visas
Out of the 74,000 permanent residents who came to Canada this year, 24% are Indians. In 2016, 39,705 Indians went to Canada as permanent residents. This number increased to 85,585 in 2019.
US President Donal Trump suspends the issue of new H1B work visas in order to restrict the entry of foreign workers. This is also to create employment opportunities for locals. Several companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Paypal, Apple are unhappy with Trump’s decision
The visa suspension rule will come into effect from June 24 and will remain until the end of this year. This move is expected to open up around 525,000 jobs for US workers.
Here is how several companies and CEO’s reacted to this
Alphabet Inc’s Google:
The CEO of Alphabet Sundar Pichai tweeted his disappointment saying that Immigration contributes a lot to the development of the country and also Google. He also adds that the company will stand with the immigrants and expands opportunity for all The chief of Youtube Susan Wojcicki says that Immigration is central to the America’s story and also their own family. According to the stats by USCIS, Google received 2,678 approvals for H1B visas in 2019.
The company says that they oppose the Administration’s short-sighted decision to pause high-skill visa programs. Welcoming the best & the brightest global talent is critical to America’s economic recovery. They will continue to support these programs & efforts to protect the rights of immigrants The company has the highest H1B approvals for the year 2019 which is 3026
Apple says that the nation always found strength in the diversity. The company also believes that there is no prosperity without both 1136 H1B visas are approved for Apple in 2019
The CEO of the company tweets that it is a bad policy and this doesn’t make America better Box Inc. received 21 H1B visa approvals in 2019
The company says that by keeping the talent outside of the country will not help recover the country. Also, the nation will benefit a lot if we promote the talented people from around the world Facebook recieved 1518 visa approvals in 2019
President Brad Smith tweets that now is not the time to create uncertainity. Immigrants play a vital role at our company and support our country’s critical infrastructure. They are contributing to this country at a time when we need them most, Microsoft recieved 1701 visa approvals in 2019
The CEO tweets that by creating these new restrictions for the immigrants who help this country is disappointing. This will slow down the progress of the nation Paypal recieved 271 visa approvals in 2019
The CEO tweets that As we plan for recovery from the COVID-19 crisis let’s focus on common sense & fair immigration policies. H-1B workers should be treated with respect & dignity. They generate real innovation & growth . . . benefiting us all and fueling our economy. We embrace all our Ohana, Salesforce recieved 267 visa approvals in 2019
“Very much disagree with this action. In my experience, these skillsets are net job creators. Visa reform makes sense, but this is too broad,” the CEO Elon Mush tweets Tesla recieved 117 visa approvals in 2019
Along with these several companies, CEOs, analysts unhappy with Trump’s decision.
For the Indians seeking American jobs, it is a huge blow with the suspension of H1B visas. This ban will last until the end of the year. Along with the H1B visas, several other foreign work visas are banned until the end of 2020. Several reports say that Sundar Pichai is disappointed with this visa ban
According to the Trump administration, this visa ban is to protect the US-based workers. This move is a planned one in this crucial election year. These new regulations will come into effect from Wednesday
H1B visas are the ones through which American firms can hire foreign skilled workers in specialized fields. The data shows that before the pandemic, around 85,000 visas are issued every year and 60,000 are availed by Indians.
This move is going to affect the Indian IT industry. The Indian IT professionals will have to wait furthermore until the end of 2020.
In April, Trump signed an order which targets the people living outside of the US. They can migrate to the USA with some exceptions. Earlier, Trump has also banned the issuing of Green cards for lawful permanent residency. With the Green cards, the holders are eligible for any jobs on par with the US citizens.
Trump ignored the opposition of legislators, businesses, and human rights bodies while announcing this ban.
Google’s CEO, Mr.Sundar Pichai is said to be disappointed with this visa ban. He says that Immigration has contributed a lot to the American economy and its success. It also helped the US to become a global leader in the tech industry. Along with Sundar Pichai, several industry experts expressed concerns over this move by Trump
In the current situation, the US companies have reduced hiring to a greater extent. The officials who process visas are also being furloughed. Both these things can have adverse effects on the Indian techies who wants to go to the USA.
Previously, last week the American Federation of Government Employees which consists of 70,000 employees have pointed out that around 11,000 officials of USCIS will be part of the layoffs. Being a self-funded agency, the USCIS depends on the application fees for all its activities. The current fee schedule could bring an amount of $3.41 billion in the form of average annual revenue for USCIS, in FY20
An immigration lawyer said that if these layoffs indeed happen, this will delay the visa renewal process for people whose visas are set to expire in the near future.
Since the last decade, visa applications have consistently increased every year. This indicates the continued demand from the tech workers to go and work for US companies. In March 2020, the USCIS has received around 217,000 H1B-visa applications. In FY19, around 190,000 applications were received.
Every year around 65,000 H1B visas and 20,000 L1 visas are granted. This number includes the renewals as well. Also, the US government will give 60 days for the renewal of visas
USCIS have seen an increase in Visa applications each and every year since the last decade
With the widespread of coronavirus, most of the companies have stopped hiring. According to a survey by the US Labor Department, around 40 million Americans have lost jobs since March.
According to the 2016 census data, around 2.3 million immigrant workers are working in the US and 25% of them which is 5.75 lakh workers are from India. These people will be affected a lot if the extensions of visas are delayed.
In the worst-case scenario, for some of the individuals, it is taking 8-10 months for processing the visas. People are complaining that if these processing times increase further, the job vacancies will be filled by then.
On Tuesday, the government of Karnataka has renewed its request to the US government to set up a visa center in Bangalore. The Karnataka government also promised to provide its support to implement fresh investments in the state. This happened during the video conference between the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, Dr. CN Ashwath Narayan, and the US Consulate General in Chennai.
Dr. Narayan has spoken to the press by saying that nearly 70% of the South Indian people who are traveling to the USA are from Karnataka. He said that he made it clear about this situation to the Consulate and has renewed the interest to set up the Visa center
He also assured that the state government will provide any kind of support to the companies which are planning to move their base to Karnataka or set up their branches in the Karnataka, post-COVID scenario.
Further, he added that Information Technology, Biotechnology, etc departments have started talks with several countries in order to improve the relations. He said that Chief Minister Yediyurappa is also keen on this. He also announced that the government is looking to help the companies which are planning to shift from China, through Investment Promotion Taskforce.
It was also told that the government has already done several land reforms and modified labor laws in order to smoothen the experience for any company planning to set up its branch in Karnataka. He finally concluded by saying that the US Consulate General had appreciated the government of Karnataka in its efforts for setting up a Visa center.
Indian IT companies and service providers are likely to apply for H1B visas for the next fiscal year, which starts in October. Even though the lockdown and immigration restrictions were set by the two countries, IT companies still look forward to applying for the visas.
The Immigration lawyers said that clients were filing applications for the candidates who were selected by a lottery draw last month.
The H1B work permit is usually granted for three years only after the approval of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS). Rajiv S. Khanna, managing attorney at Immigration.com has said that he does not see a greater impact in filings from his office. He also said that most of the workers are needed urgently and can work from home. He further added by saying that in order to continue the business continuity, these petitions are filed.
The situation in the USA is not so encouraging for the Indian companies since Trump has taken administration. The US technology companies are being favored compared to the Indian IT companies. In 2018, in the top 10 companies to receive visas, 8 were of US origin, such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook. The rest 2 companies in the top 10 belong to Indian origin. Although, the Indian nationals account for 60% of the overall H1B visas issued in 2019.
Tech Mahindra said that it is planning to file the applications for selected candidates only after synchronizing with the processing time by USCIS. The company is also looking at the demand requirement in the USA and only according to that trend it is planning to file the applications. The Chief Executive officer of Tech Mahindra has said that the company is filing very few applications for the last few years.
While this is the situation with Tech Mahindra, Infosys and Cognizant did not comment on this visa issue.
Once the petition is approved, the Indian IT companies will be bound to the US rules. According to USCIS, there are no penalties for filing fraudulent petitions/applications. But the US Department of Homeland Security has said that there will fine or criminal penalties for such fraudulent cases.
Some companies are even looking to file the applications slower, almost nearing the deadline on June 30. Last month, a temporary suspension on the Green card approval has been issued by the Trump administration, with a provision to review non-immigrant visas within 30days.
With the widespread of coronavirus, all the countries have imposed lockdown. This has become difficult for the visa holders and green card applicants as the US government has requested for the documents essential for the renewal. But in the latest news, the US government has given an extension of 60 days for these candidates.
On Friday, it was announced by the USCIS(The US Citizenship and Immigration Services) that a 60day grace period will be allocated for the candidates who are applying for Green cards or H1B visa renewals. This period includes the request for evidence, continuations to request evidence, notices of intent to deny; notices of intent to revoke; notices of intent to rescind and notices of intent to terminate regional investment centers; and filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.
In an official statement, the USCIS has said that it will consider a Form I-290B which can be received up to 60 days from the date of the decision. It also added that several protective measures are being taken in order to protect the immigration workforce and to minimize the consequences for the candidates who are seeking immigration services.
The Indian Embassy in the US has started contacting the individuals stuck in the country and are willing to return home once the restrictions are lifted. This announcement was made after the Indian government decided to bring the people who are stuck in the US.
The Ministry of External Affairs has commented on the issue of bringing back the individuals to India saying that they cannot give definite answers in this situation due to the imposed lockdown around the world. But the government is assessing the situation and will come to a decision which will favor the Indians stuck in the other countries.