U.S. immigration -- are Canadian tech workers still welcome?

British Columbia tech workers who had their eyes on jobs in the United States may be having second thoughts. A website that represents almost 10,000 companies and serves about 1.5 million individuals seeking jobs, recently revealed the results of a study in which over 175,000 job offers and interview requests from the past 12 months were examined. The results show that the employment of tech workers from foreign countries is considered more carefully than before. This is likely due to the current uncertainty about U.S. immigration policies.

Reportedly, last year, there was a 60 percent drop in interview requests to foreign workers by U.S. companies from the second to the fourth quarter. It then increased slightly, but the second quarter of this year remained low, at only about two-thirds of the number of requests in the same period of 2016. An executive order signed in April now ensures that only the highest-paid and most-skilled applicants for H-1B visas are approved.

A spokesperson for the website said tech talent worldwide still finds the United States a desired or attractive place to pursue their futures. However, foreign talent appears less interested or hesitant to submit job applications for employment opportunities in the U.S. tech industry. The rate of foreigners accepting interview requests over the last two quarters of last year was said to be 4 percent lower than before.

While the U.S. tech industry remains interested in welcoming foreign talent, it is not always clear whether companies will be allowed to do that. However, British Columbia tech workers who believe they may qualify as "most-skilled or highest-paid" tech workers are free to apply for H-1B visas. It is often a challenging process, and many applicants seek the support and guidance of lawyers who focus on helping Canadian residents with U.S. immigration issues.

Source: mercurynews.com, "Trump effect: U.S. firms wary of hiring foreign tech workers", Queenie Wong, Aug. 10, 2017

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