Thursday, December 1, 2016 (photo courtesy of Sortable)
Canada has passed some new regulations making it easier for skilled workers to emigrate there from the US. More specifically, our northern neighbors are after our coders and tech-savvy citizens, trying to reverse what was perceived as a drain from Canada over the years.
Just before Donald Trump won the presidency, a Kitchener, Ontario startup called Sortable used Trump’s photo in a tongue-in-cheek ad to hire software developers from the states. When the advertisement appeared on Facebook, it grabbed international news coverage, capitalizing on similar celebrity promises to head north or to Australia.
Christopher Reid, Sortable’s co-founder, said that he was really targeting Canadians that were working in the US. But because it did cause quite a social media response, Canadian lawmakers took note and went into action. Since the election, Ottawa has issued some new rules and regulations making it much easier for highly-skilled foreign workers to enter Canada.
The net effect? Trump’s election could put the Canadian tech industry back on the circuit, so to speak. For years the Canadians have been complaining about the “brain drain” to the United States – especially to high tech areas like Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston, and Washington, DC. But will this easing of regulatory restraints be enough?
The new regulations are designed to reduce the waits for a visa down to only two weeks instead of the usual 26 week wait period. And beyond this reduction, the new rules allow workers to get short term visas for things like company training programs or short term staffing needs. You can find out more information here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/immigrate/skilled/index.asp.
Is it working? Sortable said that the US traffic to their site increased more than 200% since the ad appeared, and those who did apply mentioned the election and political climate in the US in their cover letters.
Other Canadian companies have been quick to take advantage of the post-election reaction to Trump, but so far there hasn’t been a rush to cross the border according to immigration officials. So is the plan going to be to continue these recruitment ads? The Canadians seem to be a bit more courteous on that front. The consensus was that they would be respectful of the new president-elect, and not add to the rhetoric that seems to be dividing our country. Don’t you just love our neighbors to the north?