Will Biden’s H-1B Policy Impact the Tech Industry’s Canada Migration?

During the Trump administration, many technology companies opted to shift operations to Canada. With the Biden administration now firmly in place (and supposedly changing the rules around the H-1B and other visas), will that trend continue?

Various studies over the past several years, including ones by Envoy Global and commercial real-estate investment firm CBRE, found major Canadian cities such as Toronto and Vancouver gaining tech jobs at a steady pace. “Talented international professionals choose destinations other than the United States to avoid the uncertain working environment that has resulted directly from the agency’s processing delays and inconsistent adjudications,” Marketa Lindt, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told a U.S. House of Representatives hearing in July 2019

However, the Biden administration has rolled back many Trump-era laws that contributed to that “uncertain working environment,” including Trump’s H-1B ban. While it may take some time for Biden’s actions to fully play out, the denial rate for H-1B applications noticeably dropped between the first two quarters of fiscal year 2020 and fiscal year 2021, which could encourage U.S. tech companies of all sizes to invest more heavily in immigration-related hiring.

For critics of the H-1B, that dip in denial rates is bad news, because it could open the door to what they view as a major abuse of the system—consulting and business-services firms applying for tens of thousands of visas, then subcontracting the workers to other companies at low rates that undercut American workers. While the Biden administration’s first regulatory agenda, published this summer, hinted at an intention to “modernize” H-1B requirements, actual details of any visa transformation are scarce. If the administration wanted to ease many critics’ concerns, it could issue guidance that restricts the visa’s use to very highly specialized (and highly compensated) cases. 

In the meantime, Canada will continue to push for tech talent and companies, potentially transforming cities such as Toronto into powerful rivals to U.S. tech hubs such as Silicon Valley and New York City. “Winning” that battle isn’t just a matter of immigration policy; each country must present the right mix of tax incentives, funding, and policies considered favorable by tech startups and giant companies. 

5 Responses to “Will Biden’s H-1B Policy Impact the Tech Industry’s Canada Migration?”

  1. Rolling back Trump policies is taking revenge on Trump or on US Citizens for whom he is President for?
    What’s the idea of these policies, importing refugess from south, afghan (blanket visa without knowing their background), promoting h/l visa fruad, family chain green cards and quick green cards? Where the US Born Citizens will go for their survival?
    The country in deficit and some states are in draught but still importing? spent billions in other nations and failed and now importing them and allocating funds in budget is correct?

    People leaving jobs or not going to work because of stimulus checks etc are just fake. People not getting jobs because of h/l, h4, visitors or illegals taking away the jobs. If there are random raids again to verify I-9’s in work places (especially retail/wareshouses), compare H/F1 Visa student fake resume at client and actual resume for H1 visa, US Citizens will get back their jobs.

    And H/L Visa program is fraud with easy money to Indians. It has big network. So sad that they are controlling the US laws with their network.Most of the Indian companies pay 80% of the billing to visa holders so they might made more money in some places.
    Most of the companies from India are women based on paper to get clients (in reality no woman sit in their office). They certify as national minority and woman owned and grab all sorts of clients including federal. Then starts internal bribing (if possible).
    Same indians don’t let outside people to do business or get jobs in India but they take over US jobs.
    If US continues family chain citizenship and green card-citizenship, no surprise if corruption enters in every government deparment in the US similar to India.
    All these can be fixed, firstly let USCIS not dependent on visa fees.

  2. jake_leone

    Biden is throwing the U.S. workforce under the bus. Facebook recently settled a case (with the Biden administration) involving 2600+ counts of discrimination, against local U.S. STEM workers, for 4 million dollars. The case had a face value of 260 million dollars. And those 2600+ cases of discrimination, they occurred over just a 1.5 year period.

    Why did the Biden administration shut the case down?

    As a corrupt pay-off to Big Tech.

    That’s what a 100 million dollar campaign donation can get you. Facebook saved 260 million dollars, and 2600+ American Techies (who were better qualified than the foreign workers Facebook was protecting from local competition, by Facebook’s own admission to Federal Investigators) are denied their rightful equal chance to compete for a job at Facebook.

    Because foreign workers are indentured to Facebook forever until Green Card day, and they won’t blow the whistle on dreadful and abusive data policies at Facebook (that apparently can cost billions of dollars in fines). Zuckerberg paid 5 billion in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, just to avoid having to testify about it (the abuse came right from his own orders).

    But that 2600+ cases, over just a 1.5 year period is nothing. Facebook has probably done this 18,000 times over that last decade. Further, other Big Tech companies Apple, Google, Microsoft use the same tactics of discrimination against local U.S. workers, for jobs located here in the United States.

    You know, I could care less if all the low level tech work goes to Canada. What we don’t need here in America is a bunch of lying, bribing Oligarchs controlling what we do in matters that are critical to our national security. And guys like Mark Zuckerberg think it is okay to control what information people have access to, he is completely wrong on that, all information is critical for the intelligent and persuasive minds to hash it out and find the TESTs that will show us the correct path.

    The only way we can live with centralized, monopolized, Social media, is if we regulate it. And with that regulation has to come the acceptance that Social Media is the NEW town square.
    And so carries the same kind of regulation that we have for all public spaces. Namely, civil discourse is not controlled. Anyone who attempts to control our civil discourse in a public place, is violating our constitutional right to voice our opinion.

    Further, any place that Social media exists, will not be at peace, until the people get an an uncontrolled view of the news. Any controlled view, especially one that is geared towards amplifying a single political perspective (which is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg is doing, with the Facebook’s news feed), is going to create conditions where people wind up with closed minds. It is absolutely necessary, for our coexistence with centralized social media, that people adopt a mindset that allows them to accept that there may be (which includes there might not be) a TEST that proves their point of view incorrect.

    That NON-acceptance of the TEST possibility is what fuels riots in countries all over the world right now, because without accepting that TEST could prove your view wrong, you are stuck in a dogmatic ideological circle. That dogmatism includes dogmas that exist within the scientific community. But, at least, the scientist know that the open and free debate (without black-listing or banning) is critical to discovery.

    Facebook and Twitter have yet to learn this lesson. They never will, because the reinforcement they get is from dollars (and not sense). And they give out that same kind of reinforcement to our corrupt political leaders. That is why Facebook (and all of Social media) needs a serious reorganization (if that affects profits, too bad). The change is critical to our democracy and open social discourse.

    As many religious leaders have shown, and as Mark Zuckerberg has shown, closing down alternate conversations is very lucrative. And using money as a the reinforcement reward for you company, makes your company a potentially destructive and evil force in your community. Because you will be motivated to shut down conversation because they turn off parts of your audience. If you can’t see how evil and destructive that could be. Can you at least accept that only by testing out alternative can we actually know where damage is occuring to our social fabric from the conversations that are controlled for the sake of dollars by Facebook and Twitter?

    • Terence Somers

      Well this can be a lot simpler than it looks. The “so-called Indian Staffing Firms” just need to be removed from the equation. As a contract I.T. worker myself I am totally fed up with these characters calling, writing and simply trying to place their fellow Indian countrymen (and women) in American jobs. Everybody knows these firms pay off handsomely to Big Tech to be able to operate and just hang around. This is not nearly as much about the visa candidates as it is about the snakehead recruiters. Unfortunately, in Indian politics and day to day culture corruption, and dishonesty are commonplace, even rewarded. A little known fact about all of this is something called dual intent. The terms of an H class visa are that you will not stay, you can execute a pair of 3 year work terms and return to your country. However, dual intent allows you to make application for residency immediately after being granted your H class visa. If there were no dual intent many would simply not come to America to work but I am also guessing the idea of America over India from a quality of life standpoint is appealing to many. These individuals are abused by the snakeheads and employers and if they are not compliant they are sent packing.

  3. Un-freezing access to the US in the middle of a pandemic to allow people mostly from India (single digit vaccination rate and huge infection levels) – when mainstream media had already given examples of faked vaccination certificates and faked covid tests on flights from India. LCA and visa applications that are not properly audited. Cheap, inexperienced foreign workers displacing US workers and blocking access for our own new grads. Permission for the family of these visa holders to work in the US without any established (or faked) labor need. Indian managers in the US who openly say they will only hire people from India. This needs to stop.