Canada is seeing in influx of professional Indians, motivated by more restrictive immigration policies under the Trump administration and the difficulty of obtaining green cards in the United States. The number of Indians obtaining permanent residence in Canada has more than doubled since 2016. Given current trends, Indian scientists and engineers will likely continue to see Canada as an attractive alternative location to make their careers and raise a family.
The number of Indians who became permanent residents in Canada increased from 39,340 in 2016 to 80,685 up to the end of November 2019, an increase of more than 105 percent, according to a National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) analysis of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada data. Full-year Canadian statistics will likely show more than 85,000 Indian immigrants in 2019.
“Canada is benefitting from a diversion of young Indian tech workers from US destinations, largely because of the challenges of obtaining and renewing H-1B visas and finding a reliable route to US permanent residence,” said Peter Rekai, founder of the Toronto-based immigration law firm Rekai LLP.
In the United States, the denial rate for H-1B petitions for continuing employment has become much higher since Donald Trump came to office in 2016.
Due to the low number of employment-based immigrant visas (green cards) and the per-country limit, an Indian-born professional might need to wait decades before obtaining permanent residence in the United States.
Many US and Indian technology companies have opened affiliate offices in Canada. The Canadian government, for its part, has streamlined its work permit process for tech workers and provides a clear path to permanent residence. There are other factors why Canada is more attractive and easier to settle in including overseas university entry and the relative ease and short time frame to be given full residency.