Indian IT workers made up more than 35% of the 4,400 professionals seeking a Canadian visa under the country’s Global Skill Strategy program, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
There are also reports that several Indian H1B visa holders already working in the United States are thinking about going north, under fear of becoming victims of hate crimes.
Since coming into office, Trump has been making life harder for skilled foreigners working in the US.
To begin with, he temporarily suspended premium processing of H1B visas, which extended the time gap for obtaining the visa. This preceded a spike in visa processing fees and an increased minimum salary requirement for applicants.
As a result, there was a sharp decrease in Indian students enrolling in US universities in 2017 compared to 2016, and the homecoming of US-based Indians has spiked.
On the other hand, Canada is becoming friendlier for Indian IT professionals.
Last year, the country agreed to speed up visa processing for people with technology skills. Today, an Indian IT professional can obtain a Canadian work visa in just two weeks. By comparison, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes between six and seven months, or longer, to approve the H1B visa.
In addition, Indian IT services firms are expanding operations in Canada. Tech Mahindra, for example, has set aside US$76 million for investing in Canada over the next five years.
Furthermore, Indian technology startups are increasingly forging alliances with their Canadian counterparts, agreeing to develop solutions in emerging technologies together.