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Canadian tech group lures anxious H-1B tech workers from U.S.

Communitech, a Kitchener company that advocates for the Canadian tech industry, has spent $100,000 on nine full-size billboards stationed at key points along Highway 101 from San Francisco to Santa Clara in California. The provocative billboard campaign in Silicon Valley is aimed at enticing tech workers who are worried and anxious over President Trump’s work visa (including H-1B) ban to move to Canada.

The billboards ask, “What if my visa gets cancelled?” and “What if I lose my job and health insurance?” against the red and white backdrop of the Canadian flag. Underneath, there’s the Communitech website address.

“All these people [who] potentially won’t be able to work in America are absolutely top talent from around the world,” said Communitech CEO Iain Klugman.

“The message we’re trying to deliver to them is to say, ‘Hey, you know what, if you can’t work or you lose your job, we would like you to think about Canada.'”  

Workers who contact Communitech will get information about Canadian work permits and job boards, including opportunities across the country from Viatec in B.C. to Volta Labs in Nova Scotia, said spokesperson Candace Beres. 

See also H-1B rejected? Know your Canada immigration options.

What if my USA visa is cancelled and I lose my job and health insurance?

Skilled foreign workers like those who rely on the H-1B visa are highly prized by Canada’s federal and provincial governments, which have tailored their immigration policies and programs in recent years to facilitate the entry of such workers.

See Why and How to Immigrate from USA to Canada.

Many Canadian immigration pathways select immigration candidates using points-based systems that reward education, English language proficiency and skilled work experience, among other factors, leaving many H-1B candidates well-positioned to pursue Canadian permanent residence as a result.

Canada’s Express Entry system is a case in point. Introduced in 2015 to manage the federal pool of high-skilled immigration candidates, Express Entry awards points for factors including language, education, age and skilled work experience through its  Comprehensive Ranking System, or CRS. H-1B visa candidates are potentially suitable for Canadian permanent residency via any of the three Express Entry economic immigration programs:

For example of the latest Express Entry visa draw, see Express Entry invites 3,300 in Canadian Experience Class draw of August 20, 2020.

A job offer from a Canadian employer is not required in order to be eligible for Canadian permanent residence through Express Entry. However, the system awars additional points to those who already secure a job.

Find out if you are eligible to enter the Canada Express Entry pool