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H-1B Visa Caps Causing U.S. to Lose High-Skill Jobs to Canada

Updated: Feb 17, 2021

The U.S.’ outdated immigration system is hurting our country’s businesses and economy by forcing employers to move high-skill jobs abroad. H-1B visa shortages are causing the U.S. to lose talent, jobs, and therefore taxable income, to neighboring countries, such as Canada.

On April 6, 2018, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) met the 65,000 H-1B Visa regular cap and 20,000 H-1B advanced degree exemption cap for the fiscal year 2019. USCIS received 190,098 petitions during the filing period (94,213 for the regular cap and 95,885 for the Master's exemption cap).

The congressionally-mandated cap has led companies that were unable to secure U.S. visas, such as H-1B, for their high-skill positions to seek alternative options. Many are turning to Canada’s comparatively open immigration policy, where employers can obtain work permits in as little as two weeks under the Global Talent Stream program. This allows sponsoring U.S. companies to retain the high-tech jobs through remote work.

Business immigration attorney Danielle Atchison of Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm has seen this first-hand:

“It is widely known that there are not enough H-1Bs available to meet the need in this country,” Atchison says. “In fact, Canadian companies continue to reach out to me about helping our clients set up operations in Canada. These companies set up office space, remote working technology, and manage all of the legal and administrative processes related to bringing talent to Canada. Some clients have already turned to Canada as a business resource and many more are looking into the possibility.”

Business Immigration Attorney Mira Mdivani of Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm explains that their clients, U.S. employers, are frustrated that they are unable to keep high-tech jobs within their communities and that they have to move these jobs to Canada and other countries that welcome the high-tech labor.

“High-tech labor shortages are real, and U.S. employers should have legal tools and an appropriate number of work visas to attract needed international talent, especially in the areas where not enough trained professionals are available in the U.S,” Mdivani says.

It is in the best interest of the U.S. economy for companies to retain these high-skill jobs within the country’s borders; however, the current state of our immigration system is making this increasingly difficult.

Ana McMullen | Compliance Specialist CORPORATE IMMIGRATION COMPLIANCE INSTITUTE 7007 College Blvd., # 460, Overland Park, KS 66211 USA Email :

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