“Oh, Canada” is a refrain more U.S. companies, high-skilled foreign nationals and international students are listening to in response to more restrictive immigration policies in the United States.
The Trump administration has made it more difficult for international students to stay or work in America and new international student enrollment at U.S. universities declined over 6% in the 2017/2018 academic year, while Canadian universities are attracting international students at record levels. The number of international students in Canada increased 16% in 2018, after rising 20% in 2017.
It’s not just international students choosing Canada. “Sixty-three percent of employers surveyed in the Envoy study are increasing their presence in Canada, either by sending more workers there or by hiring foreign nationals there,” reported the technology news outlet Recode. “More than half of those did both. Another 65% of hiring professionals said Canada’s immigration policies are more favorable to U.S. employers than U.S. policies. Of those surveyed, 38% are thinking about expanding to Canada, while 21% already have at least one office there.”
To better understand the Canadian immigration system and what may be attracting U.S. businesses, I interviewed Peter Rekai, founder of the Toronto-based immigration law firm Rekai LLP.
Stuart Anderson: Is it your experience that U.S. companies frustrated with current immigration policies are moving more people and resources to Canada?
Peter Rekai: Definitely. Canada is becoming a destination for high-skilled foreign workers who can’t get new or extended status in the United States. Sometimes U.S companies just “park” these workers in Canada, hoping to get them eventually into the United States. However, many other U.S. companies have opened affiliates in Canada to which they are transferring their foreign workers on a long-term basis.
This articl originally appeared on Forbes