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USA's Restriction on Overseas Workers Opens Doors for Rest of the World

February 2017, 16
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USA's Restriction on Overseas Workers Opens Doors
The proposed changes to the H-1B visa regulations proposed by the Trump administration, has sent shock waves throughout the international tech community with fears that the restrictions on foreign workers working in the USA under the H-1B visa programme, will heavily hit the tech sector in India and other countries that send a large number of workers to the USA.  However, this has led to a wave of interest in tech vacancies in other countries.  Canada, Japan, and Australia see the USA visa restrictions as a huge opportunity to attract not only the very best tech talent but also to massively increase tech investment onto their shores. The Japanese government has already made moves to make Indian tech applications quicker and easier.

In Canada, there has already been an upsurge of interest from foreign investors and start-ups, nervous of setting up in the USA under the threat of tech talent shortages.  However, a group of entrepreneurs has launched ‘True North’, a new start-up aimed at encouraging worried H-1B visa holders to make the move to Vancouver, Canada.  Vancouver has long been trying to create a tech hub to rival Silicon Valley and they now see this as the perfect opportunity to court both the investment and talent that has traditionally headed to California.  Located only 2 hours from California, Vancouver is suddenly being seen as not only a viable alternative to Silicon Valley but indeed a preferable one in terms of the very best talent and environment to do tech business in.

Vancouver is not alone, as other countries as well are trying to take advantage of the crisis being caused by H-1B visa uncertainties.  Europe, Japan and Australia are all working hard to put in place systems, to allow Indian tech experts into their country to boost talent and investment.  Those that remain in California and across the USA, are hoping that the Trump administration will take note of their protestations and temper the new proposals.  But if the administration is not prepared to do this then many are willing to make the move overseas.   Many entrepreneurs and investors have noted how it is ironic that a president, who is so pro-business, is prepared to potentially do so much damage to the tech sector which has long been seen as the future for business.  It remains to be seen what happens, but it seems that Indian tech specialists will be welcomed – if not in the USA, then in Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan.

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