Indians turning to Canada due to immigration policies, US lawmakers told

Indians turning to Canada due to immigration policies, US lawmakers told

MUMBAI: “Highly skilled foreign nationals, including international students, are choosing Canada over the US,” said Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP). “This has happened in response to how difficult it is to work or obtain permanent residency in H-1B status in the United States, and the relative ease of international law. students and foreign nationals working in temporary positions and then seeking permanent residency in Canada.”
Anderson testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. His opening remarks came during a hearing organized by a group of US lawmakers on the title ‘Oh, Canada’. How outdated US immigration policies push top talent to other countries.’ The aim was to understand how Canada’s immigration laws and procedures are helping to attract top talent in the hope that these learnings could inspire needed immigration reform in the US.
Anderson provided details of the steady decline in the number of Indian graduate students coming to the US for further studies and pointed to the rising numbers of Indian students going to Canada. These figures are from before the pandemic.
For example, the total number of Indian students in computer science and engineering declined from 86,900 during the academic year 2016-17 to 64,950 for the academic year 2018-19. This drop of 25 percent is evident, as 75% of full-time graduate students in computer science are from overseas. Additionally, during the academic year 2016-17, two-thirds of international students in this specific field were from India, Anderson explained.
Anderson said that the number of Indian students going to Canada is increasing. Citing data from the Canadian Education Agency, the executive director said that increased from 76,075 in 2016 to 172,625 in 2018 – an increase of 127 percent.
Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has always emphasized that a significant percentage of international students, including students from India, go on to become permanent residents, which is tantamount to obtaining a US Green Card. The number of Indians admitted as permanent residents in the country increased by 116 per cent from 39,705 in 2016 to 85,585 in 2019.
“Overall, Canada’s immigration policies for facilitating the entry of talented individuals are much better than those of the US. Before Congress exploded in 1990 demand for smartphones, e-commerce, social media, cloud computing, and daily use of the Internet US established policies. High-skilled technical labor. The world has changed since 1990. US immigration policy has not,” Anderson stressed.
under canada global skills strategy programme, many temporary visa applications for highly skilled foreign professionals are approved within two weeks. There is also a non-numeric limit on high skilled temporary visas. The Government of Canada has made it easier for employers to attract and retain talent.

In contrast, the US H-1B program has numerical restrictions on high-skilled temporary visas that prevent most foreign-born applicants from working in the country in a given year.
In March 2021, sponsored US employers filed 308,613 H-1B registrations for cap selection for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022. The annual quota is 85,000, which includes a masters cap of 20,000 for individuals with advanced degrees from a US university. “This means that more than 72 percent of H-1B registrations for highly skilled foreign nationals were rejected before an adjudicator could evaluate the application,” Anderson said.
In Canada, there is no per-country limit and foreign nationals can often transition to permanent residency after working for a year on a work visa. The country has made it easier for international students to obtain a post graduation work visa. The country maintains a program for graduating international students more liberal than the optional practical training in the US.
After graduation, international students in Canada become eligible for a three-year postgraduate work permit. At least one year after proficient employment In Canada, international students receive a significant advantage through the points system for the convenience of permanent residency. In some provinces, there are programs (with numerical limits) that allow foreign nationals with a master’s or PhD from a Canadian university to obtain permanent residency, including, in many cases, without a job offer.
Meanwhile, in the US, the annual limit of 140,000 employment-based green cards, which includes dependent spouses and children of the principal immigrant, is too low. That annual limit also includes a per-country limit of 7 percent for each country, which puts a burden on potential employment-based immigrants primarily from India, but also those born in China and the Philippines.
In employment-based second preference (EB-2) under the current law, and because of the limited number of green card issuances, the current backlog of 568,414 Indian citizens would require an estimated 195 years to disappear. Congressional Research Service (CRS). If no remedial steps are taken, the total backlog for all three employment-based categories for Indians will increase to an estimated 2,195,795 persons by FY 2030 from the current figure of 915,497 estimated.
“We must let that number drop: Within a decade, more than two million people will be queuing for employment-based green cards for years or decades,” Anderson said.
He explained that the points system works mostly in Canada because it operates under a broad mandate that would likely be considered an unconstitutional delegation of authority from Congress to the executive branch in the US. That broad mandate in Canada allows the government the flexibility and ability to respond to employer needs.
However, it is impossible to implement that part of the system in the US due to the country’s different government structures. It can also take years for a US federal agency to publish and enforce a regulation.

Instead of a points-based system, Anderson suggested that an increase in the annual limit for H-1B temporary visas and employment-based green cards or the exemption of specific categories of people from the annual limit would provide the needed flexibility.
He pointed to recommendations made by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), doubling the annual number of employment-based green cards, eliminating per-country limits and creating startup visas for immigrant entrepreneurs Because many innovations have been realized. through entrepreneurship.
The NSCAI had also advocated for increasing the usefulness of H-1B visas and creating a new “emerging and disruptive technology” visa. In addition, it advocated that allowing dual intent for F-1 students would facilitate the admission of international students. It also states that international doctoral students in STEM fields should be exempt from the annual limit for green cards.
Anderson also pointed to proposals for the Citizenship Act, which would help improve the immigration system and address the green-card backlog. For critics, he had a parting shot – “It’s the immigrants whose efforts led to the vaccines for Pfizer and Moderna!”


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