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Will employment immigration be impacted by President Trump?

Change in a neighbour’s yard can often cause a trickle down effect on the other side of the fence. When the neighbour in question happens to have the world’s largest economy, that effect could be significant. In the wake of the recent victory of Donald Trump in the Presidential election, many Canadians may be wondering how his new policies will affect employment immigration to the United States.

It can be argued that the west coast of North America is actually the technological centre of the continent. California’s Silicon Valley is certainly a world leader in the tech industry. In order to keep up with their local demand for skilled labour, numerous California companies look outside the United States for workers, including here in British Columbia.

Many skilled workers enter the United States on an H-1B visa. These visas are offered in limited supply each year and, according to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, they typically run out within a few days. While President-elect Trump has expressed his opposition to the H-1B visa, he has also stated a desire to attract highly skilled immigrants. At least one tech-sector CEO is concerned that international students will avoid the United States in the future, and that the talent pool of skilled foreign labour will be diminished.

For now, the future is somewhat unclear. It seems likely, though, that the demand for skilled foreign workers will continue in the United States. Residents of British Columbia who wish to seek employment south of the border might want to talk to a lawyer who really understands employment immigration. He or she may be able to help find the right path to success below the 49th parallel.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Trump’s shocking victory could squeeze Silicon Valley on immigration, trade“, Paresh Dave and Tracey Liencontact, Nov. 9, 2016