Trade and business groups in the United States recently expressed concern about the loss of access to exceptionally talented tech workers from across the border such as British Columbia and other international origins. The matter arose from suggested U.S. immigration changes to H1b visa holders and their spouses. They urged the U.S. administration to continue allowing the spouses of skilled international tech workers to apply for legal jobs as was permitted in the Obama era.
The Information Technology Industry Council published the letter on their website in which they made the call to the government. Members of the Council include Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft Corp., along with ten other concerned national business groups. The letter also mentioned the fact that competing tech companies in countries such as Australia and Canada do not face the restrictions that new U.S. regulations might bring.
A regulatory notice published by the Department of Homeland Security indicated that the 2015 decision to authorize the spouses of H1b visa holders to seek U.S. employment would undergo partial changes. Reportedly, most of the non-U.S. workers in the tech industry are H1b holders. Authorities say the rule-making process is ongoing, and a final decision is pending.
Tech workers from British Columbia — or their spouses — may be wise to consult with a lawyer who is registered on both sides of the border before finalizing their plans. A skilled lawyer who is experienced in dealing with U.S. immigration issues and up to date with the rapidly changing laws could assess the circumstances and ensure requirements are met by H1b visa holders and their spouses. Relocating to another country for work purposes is a big step, and being unprepared may cause unnecessary complications.
Source: reuters.com, “U.S. tech trade groups urge Trump to let spouses of H1b holders to work“, Salvador Rodriguez, Yeganeh Torbati, Jan. 18, 2018