As H-1B Hiring Escalates, Firms Moving Jobs to Canada: Study

A new study shows companies plan to hire more H-1B candidates domestically, but are also shifting jobs to Canada.

Envoy Global recently released a study on immigration trends, and found U.S. companies are increasingly moving jobs to Canada to avoid the confused state of H-1B and other work visa programs. Around 65 percent of respondents say Canadian policies are “more favorable” than the ups and downs of the U.S. program(s).

Some 38 percent say their company is “considering” Canada as an expansion destination for new staffers, while an additional 21 percent say they’ve already established at least one office in that country. As the report goes on to note, Toronto added more tech jobs than Seattle, Washington D.C., and the “Bay Area” combined, and the province of Ontario is home to over 1,700 tech companies. (It’s unclear if “Bay Area” means San Francisco, Silicon Valley, or a combination of the two.)

A full 63 percent of companies say they are increasing their presence in Canada. Breaking that down, 35 percent say they are both sending more people to Canada and hiring more foreign nationals there. Around 13 percent say they are simply sending domestic talent to Canada without hiring foreign nationals, while 15 percent are only hiring foreign nationals to work there.

While Envoy Global’s study isn’t unique to tech, or even the H-1B visa, the correlation between the rapid expansion of tech jobs in Canada and the H-1B program’s befuddling state can’t be ignored. The U.S. government vacillates between restricting H-1B and changing the program, with the most recent proposal placing ‘premium’ applicants into the general lottery pool.

Canada plans to add over one million new permanent residents over a three-year period, with 330,800 eyed for 2019 alone under new immigration rules. Most (58 percent) will arrive via the Express Entry system, and many of them will be granted visas under the Skilled Worker Class, Experience Class, or Skilled Trade Class. Though there’s no specific tech worker provision in the Canadian system, the huge uptick in tech jobs suggests the applicant pool alone will be a driver for tech in Canada.

Will more foreign nationals going to Canada open up more jobs for U.S.-based workers stateside? The expansion of foreign offices may provoke some concern that companies will stake a larger claim to making their home in Canada should they find the visa program friendlier there. A quick look at the H-1B program domestically shows why companies are looking north; premium processing for H-1B visa applications yo-yos between ‘suspended’ and ‘open-but-with-changes,’ while end-around plays from the Trump administration on the H-4 spousal work visa make life at home harder for foreign-born tech employees.

Though one study shows Trump’s H-1B moves have been largely effective, outsourcing firms are suing on behalf of tech workers and hiring companies who feel H-1B denials are too frequent and restrictive.

62 Responses to “As H-1B Hiring Escalates, Firms Moving Jobs to Canada: Study”

    • I am from Hyderabad and we only like people from my region. Many times we run a matrimony biodata along with interviews to find a marriageable boy for our cousins. getting an h1B with a job and ready to get into family wed lock.

      • This is called nepotism and is unethical in the US, as well as using discriminatory hiring practices based on marital status.

        And you just admitted that you are also breaking immigration law with H1B by not considering candidates with work authorization already in place, NOT TO MENTION not hiring the most qualified candidate in the pool.

        This is exactly why the H1B program is a problem, not to mention that the pools largely go to South Asians.

        And then I hear South Asians complain about changes to the H1B program because it is being flagrantly abused at the cost of the US labor market and economy.

      • Alos, eating rice with your fingers, and never wash. Then,claim fake 15 years of experience in any technology, then ask your colleague to do I pull the project from github

  1. No big deal, either if they go to Canada or not. Unemployment is at 4% and going down, so you have to thank your president because he promised to get rid of the H1B problem and he did!!!

    …..just not the way you thought

  2. anonymous

    H1B getting issued to genuine or highly paying Firms like Amazon apple etc .. All opposition from USCIS is to avoid lower paying H1B employees and use it genuinely high skilled.Now shifting to Canada defeats whole purpose.

  3. I live in Florida and have received probably over 50 contacts from “recruiters” from other states. All the “recruiters” are foreigners. Judging by the names and accents I would guess Indian or Pakistani. Is the H-1b used to get “recruiters” in the US? Is that considered a high tech job or a job that Americans won’t do? I started checking and I’m not the only one who gets these contacts. There’s a discussion link on Indeed: https://www.indeed.com/forum/gen/Job-Interviews/Experience-Suspicious-Recruiters/t534774/p2
    Does this have anything to do with H-1b visas?

    • Same here in the Northeast. It’s reprehensible what is going on in this country.

      I just had a phone screening with an Indian and I literally couldn’t understand a word he was saying. Here I am an American in my own country and get passed over for a job by a non-American who can’t even speak the language.

    • These “recruiters” work offshore and are destroying the recruiting business (as if it wasn’t bad enough that offshore workers destroyed the tech industry). It’s just another way for India to dominate the tech industry in the US.

      I avoid ALL Indian recruiters. They are often working for the big Indian consulting firms (Cognizant, TCS, HCL, WiPro, & Infosys). They usually are looking for American applicants in order to turn them down after giving them a 15 minute quiz via Skype. If you miss one question, they deem you to be inadequate and do not hire you. I suspect that this is a method for fulfilling legal requirements to seek out US Citizens, (and then saying they couldn’t find any who are qualified).

      I refuse to work for an Indian consulting company in the US.

  4. By all means, go to Canada. H1-B visa holders send every dime they make back home. It’s called remittances. Remittances drain the host economy while enriching the recipient economy. It’s a lose-lose compared to hiring local nationals who re-invest in the local economy.

  5. Indian recruiters will try to get your permission (or lie about having it) to submit your resume to companies which pay a fee for each placed candidate. Once your name is on their ‘list’ of candidates for their client, that client has to pay 2 months salary to the Indian if you’re hired.

  6. Good. Let’m freeze in Canada and help ruin Canada’s tech sector like they did ours. I’m sure this is another way to get into this country: Get Canadian citizenship then walk over the border for a job in the US. South American illegal aliens are flying to Canada and walking across the border, much easier then going through Mexico.

  7. JK Palmer

    Indian based/owned companies now predominate in the contract IT world. Companies like Tata pay kickbacks to get the people placed and their work is shoddy at best. Poor coding that performs slowly when it is bug free. 4 days to load 2.1 million members to a healthcare enrollment database is ridiculous. Anthem has so many Indian workers that some meetings aren’t even conducted in English. And US workers have to get up early in the morning to attend meetings with offshore workers in India.

    • True that. English is only used a secondary language. Most of the time when they converse, they use filler words from their regional language, therefore making it harder for the English-speaking populace.

      • They also have very little English reading comprehension skills. I can’t count how many times they answer a different question that was asked of them. I don’t know how businesses continue to put up with this

  8. Chuck Tudor

    …outsourcing firms are suing on behalf of tech workers and hiring companies who feel H-1B denials are too frequent and restrictive.

    Too frequent and restrictive? Are you kidding me?
    Fine… go to Canada. The only downside I see for you is that you’ll be LIVING IN CANADA!
    The upside? You won’t be driving down hourly rates in the U.S. Besides, you’ll love the Canadian healthcare system… you really will.

  9. This is a scam article by Indian tech firms who are going out of business. America invented the modern tech scene. We don’t need the whole world’s trash to run our technology.

    • Julia B

      How better could you have said this. Right on point.
      In addition, American tech companies need to invest more on Americans. A good way to fill those hard to find advanced skills is to go to schools, recruit more of new graduates and train them very well. From internships to early professionals and up. I believe that interested IT students with at least a bachelor – up to PHD level are able to comprehend and master company goals. Then, give them opportunities within the company to soar and fill up more of those positions. Change company policies, focus on how to retain workers also, treat them right as well.
      What I see mostly is that companies go for the ‘gold platter’ employees with years of experience and more and more from Asia, India, China, ….going as far as seeking to bring them in? Where did ‘these advanced skilled’ employees gained their experience and skills? Are we American IT professionals not up to it?
      Hmmm….. It is about time tech industries reconsidered their hiring methods. This way H1B visas would be sparingly.

      • Sonny Boykin

        The first thing we must agree is that we as Americans need to understand occupational mobility. Once we destroyed the unions, the American worker lost all leverage to fight the big companies. Americans must accept the realities of relocating for an opportunity. That said it is safe to say that the Indian worker is exploited, the American worker is betrayed and the social system is put under undue pressure. If Indians take 70% of all the H1B visas, i wonder why their country is still underdeveloped with all the skills people they have.
        Remittances reverse resource exploitation
        Greeedy American Companies let the Indians get into their talent procurement process and corrupt the process.
        Companies hire any skill level H1b and give them a title to meet regulations
        One solutions would be;
        For everyone H1B hired the company will pay for On the job training of 3 willing body Americans.
        If the American worker being displaced in over 60 and under 65.. the company pays 65% of their wage until they go to retirement.

        • Hi,
          Since you were asking on why India is still underdeveloped…… it might probably be because India allowed Great British and European folks to enter their country for the trade purposes and believing in them. Otherwise, India was a Richer country than any other until then and not at all dependent on any other country. India may need some time to become Richer again having all of it’s complex hurdles to pass by…One simply can’t a single point and say why it is not like that or what would it have been so…. All these current economic policies will not easily fit into India’s civilization.

  10. Byron ClaghornByron Claghorn

    The Tech-Visa/Permit situation is primarily motivated by greed to get the necessary skills at a lower cost and overhead than the cost of American workers just like the prior trend to shift US jobs Off-Shore .
    Trump is addressing this just like he did by doing, what was considered impossible — bringing Manufacturing Jobs back to the USA and USA workers and by moving to control illegal immigration, H-1B & Visa abuses that are negatively impacting American workers, even USA Tech Workers.
    However, there is an even greater reason to change to an “Employ American Tech and other USA Skilled Workers” — You only learn a small percentage of your knowledge and skills in school and training programs — Typically, you acquire some of your Most-Valuable Knowledge, Experience and Skills on-the-job and in a diverse range of technology, skills and areas.
    When foreign workers are hired, companies gain an immediate benefit from this advanced training, experience and lower cost — But the Company and the USA loses this ‘Investment in ‘Advanced Skills & Experience’ when they pass it on to other countries and other companies for a ‘Short Term Gain’.
    All the while, the USA pool of Tech Workers and the USA economy have been cheated of significant revenue and the valuable Experience and Skills that USA Tech Workers could have gained, is lost to both the Workers and the Companies in the USA that avoid investing in their own tech-workers and citizens by over-using H-1B and similar programs.

  11. Who has allowed the Indians to cheat and ruin the system ? It is the corporations and politicians in the US who knowingly have allowed people with fake resumes and degrees to get visas. Everything is made so simple and easy for the Indians that it is a joke. I have even heard of Deal India where Indians don’t have to take a driving test in the US, and they have never even driven a car in their life. It happens even in the US Universities where one Indian professor has all Indian Teaching and Research Assistants and the Americans are pretty OK with it. The Indians have transferred their greed and corrupt practices to the US to such an extent that it seems irreversible now. Their work output and work quality is at best poor. It is even evident from the poorly designed websites and applications. Enjoy the fruits of your preference for Indians over rest of the world !!! and best of luck to Canada !

  12. Stephen

    Somehow Indian H1B meet the “6 years experience” for a software, that has only been released to the public for 3 years, in job requirements. Many of the IT managers in large corporations (like Satya Nadella at Microsoft) and especially US government agencies are Indian, which presents a security risk. Note that Muslims are only 20% of India’s population but over 50% of Microsoft’s H1B hires.

  13. Standing on the corner

    Not shedding a tear. Besides I got allergic to the smell of curry in the workplace hallways and elevators for breakfast and lunch. I miss the days of, Chinese food, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, pasta and salads. Really. So… bye.

  14. They failed to mention Plano Texas, which is one of the fastest growing tech centers in the U.S. As a result the Asian population here is exploding. I have nothing against any ethnic group, but it IS kind of weird when you try to be friendly to people, say hi, nod your head and give a short wave or something and they look at you like your a rock or an alien from outer space. My neighborhood became 80% Indian in about 5 years and most of them are not friendly to the indigenous population. Really, it seems like America is becoming too diverse too fast. It’s not like foreigners are trying to blend in and assimilate. Instead they’re forming vast communities of self-likeness.

    • Well observed! Not only in Texas, they are fast spreading throughout USA. Those who do not have an idea about lawn maintenance, buy a house in a sprawling community full of other Indians.

  15. Steamed

    The recruiting industry is my *trigger*, don’t get me started! Recruiters are UNSKILLED LABOR. The typical recruiter is a young, uneducated *girl* who lacks ambition, and I’m talking about the American ones. It’s bad enough when they speak perfect English! A recruiter called me just last week, as I just described – classic! – presuming to give me career advice! Meanwhile, her last job was driving for Uber, so, are you in SHOCK? And she’s telling me what I’m qualified to do, even though I’ve been in the IT business for 30 years! Give me a F*****ing break! I actually wrote to my state rep last year, saying there should be laws that forbid a recruiter from disqualifying someone from a job for reasons having anything to do with the “form and style” of a resume – which is STUPID! But goes on all the time! “Gaps” in the resume should not be a reason to make someone – with two STEM degrees! – unemployable, obviously! It’s insane that any company would think it’s easier to “move to Canada” than look a little harder at all the resumes archived at Dice, Indeed, etc. Pure insanity! Again, the recruiting industry is UNREGULATED, and doesn’t know what it’s doing.

  16. Steamed

    The recruiting industry is my *trigger*, don’t get me started! Recruiters are UNSKILLED LABOR. The typical recruiter is a young, uneducated *girl* who lacks ambition, and I’m talking about the American ones. It’s bad enough when they speak perfect English! A recruiter called me just last week, as I just described – classic! – presuming to give me career advice! Meanwhile, her last job was driving for Uber, so, are you in SHOCK? And she’s telling me what I’m qualified to do, even though I’ve been in the IT business for 30 years! Give me a freaking break! I actually wrote to my state rep last year, saying there should be laws that forbid a recruiter from disqualifying someone from a job for reasons having anything to do with the “form and style” of a resume – which is STUPID! But goes on all the time! “Gaps” in the resume should not be a reason to make someone – with two STEM degrees! – unemployable, obviously! It’s insane that any company would think it’s easier to “move to Canada” than look a little harder at all the resumes archived at Dice, Indeed, etc. Pure insanity! Again, the recruiting industry is UNREGULATED, and doesn’t know what it’s doing.

  17. Government should stop foreigne students OPT (Optional Training Program) after completeing their masters and they try to get job with fake resume and Indian recruiters are help them to get job with those fake resume and they apply for H1-B visa and stay in USA. Government should put restrictions after they complete their Masters go back to their home country

  18. PennyWize

    Hmmmmm, We need to impose a wage tariff, an equalization tax and also a remittance tax. The reason there are so many H1B Indian workers in the U.S. is because they are cheap NOT because they are better and at the end of the day we all know this. Otherwise you would see a ton of German or Japanese tech professionals pouring into the U.S. market. Most companies that import H1b workers rely on the 80/20 strategy (20% which are U.S. employees oversee and guide what the 80% Indian H1b workers are doing) If we place a taxation to force Indian H1B workers to compete on a dollar to dollar level then the Microsofts, Intels, Honeywells, GE American Express and the like will have less incentive to do this. Another thing we can do is a 500% remittance tax, this will remove the incentive that Indians have for sending money home. The H1B visa is damaging the American economy.

    • By taxing them, or putting burden on them not necessarily resolves the issue. The real problem is the corporate greed. We all know 1% top wealthy equals 99% people wealth. To solve this, we cannot just punish others and let them demotivate to come and thereby automatically resolve issue. By doing this, we are creating or reducing their purchasing power which ultimately impacts negatively on american products or services which they consume. If you do not have purchasing power you are not going to buy ford or gm car, which in turn you are not a customer of american company. Politicians make the topic of H1B as a problem but in that process, lots of people who do not know or understand deeply the real situation, would think that H1B are enemies. but they are not. Unless everybody on main stream, equal level, no one can be real happy.

  19. PennyWize

    Dice didnt post my original, I will try again. We need to tax remittances going to India. This will lower the incentive for them to come in the first place. Indian H1b visa workers are brought in to the U.S. UK and Canada because those countries have strong currencies and Indian currency value is so low they end up being the lowest bidder in this game. Otherwise, we would see tons of Germans and Japanese tech professionals. Also, we need to impose a 90% displaced worker tax on these H1b visas.

  20. Actually, when you look at the root cause of all these problems, and why H1B workers moving from India to US for jobs and they do everything that they can to get jobs, the main reason is human needs. Most of Indians who come to USA are from poor to middle class family, many of them are good, many of them are shy, many are crook which they should not be, many have skills and some may not have, BUT unless they have been given an opportunity to work with the main stream, its not going to be good for economy in general. if they do not have purchasing power, how american products or services can be sold to them. In big picture, equality, equal purchasing power matters which helps everybody on both side. rest of matter are short term issues.I am not in the favor of them, but I feel the economy of US or India or any country in the world is always inter-dependent among people. By thinking that they are getting our jobs, means we are un-necessarily creating hates about them. But they are not among top 1% who owns 99% people wealth. by stopping H-1Bs to come in US would not solve the real problem, instead it adds to the problem of real need of talented people required in this country

    • Rah,
      That is just empty rhetoric. You must be one of the PR pros that work for the globaists in charge of outsourcing the U.S. indians need to create their own economy and they also need to get grip on their out of control population crisis. Dont talk about the 1% when India stillnhas the cast system. It needs to fix itself.