U.S. immigration climate could help Canadian job market

With increasing concerns over changing U.S. immigration policies, more international job seekers are turning to Canada, and this could mean a boost for companies seeking to fill much needed technology-related jobs.

A recent report from Indeed Canada found that Indian job seekers looking to work abroad are twice as likely to turn to Canada for those jobs than they were two years ago. At the same time, less of those workers are looking to the U.S.

“This could prove a boon to the Canadian tech industry since many of the top searches from India are for jobs in that sector,” the report stated.

Indeed’s research included cross-border job searches from 58 countries and found that between August 2016 and July 2018 the number of Indians searching for jobs in the U.S. fell between 50 to 60 per cent, while the number looking to Canada increased from six to 13 per cent.

“To be sure, people in India are still more likely to search for work in the U.S. than Canada, but the gap has narrowed,” the report said.

While Canada isn’t gaining all the job interest away from the U.S. it is becoming increasingly more popular for international job seekers overall, with the Canadian share of cross-border job searchers rising in 41 of the 58 countries analyzed in the report. And in 16 of those countries, including Mexico and Brazil, the interest in the Canadian job market is gaining, as interest in the U.S. falls, with India experiencing the most noticeable shift.

Source: Indeed Hiring Lab


The report stated a possible reason for the change could be in response to “the recent tightening” of the U.S.’s temporary workers visa program for highly skilled occupations, such as engineering and mathematics. At the same time, the Canadian government is investing in bringing more highly skilled workers to our job market.

On Wednesday, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced even more changes will be coming to the program, known as H-1B visa. India news outlets are reporting that this will have “the most dramatic impact on Indians, who make for three-quarters of all the beneficiaries on the temporary skilled-worker visa program.”

Findings from the Indeed report support the idea that these workers are now looking to Canada, with the majority of job seekers from the area searching for highly skilled roles that would be affected by changes to the H-1B such as mechanical engineers and software developers. The report also stated that “Canada’s share of outbound searches from India saw a noticeable uptick toward the end of 2017 as tighter H-1B requirements came into effect.”

Canada may see even more interest in the coming year as the newly announced changes are set to take effect in January.

Source: Indeed Hiring Lab

But north-of-the-border has its own unique benefits, outside of being simply ‘not the U.S.’; there is also a booming tech scene across the country that is getting worldwide attention.

Indeed’s report stated that even before the change in immigration policy, as early as 2016, there were the beginnings of a shift in international tech workers looking for Canadian-based opportunities.

As Canada’s tech scene continues to grow with increasing investment from international companies and the federal government, and if the U.S. immigration policy becomes more and more limited, Canada’s tech sector may be that an increase of workers that will be needed to fill the shortage of tech workers that will be felt by 2020. 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Meagan Simpson
Meagan Simpson
Meagan Simpson is a staff writer for IT World Canada. A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, she loves sports, travelling, reading and photography, and when not covering tech news she can be found cuddled up on the couch with her cat and a good book.

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