A warning bell for US lawmakers as immigration and policy experts suggest that the highly sought-after Indian talent is now getting attracted to Canada in huge numbers.
Far away from the United States as the US is still using outdated H-1B visa policy.
Why Would This Happen?
The leading cause is said to be the per-country quota on issuing employment-based green cards or permanent residency.
The point was raised by experts on Tuesday, urging Congress to act quickly to prevent the Indian talent from moving to Canada.
According to Stuart Anderson of the National Foundation for American Policy, without Congressional action, the total backlog for all three employment-based categories for Indians would rise from 9,15,497 to 21,95,795 by fiscal 2030.
As part of his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee-Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, he noted, “Within a decade, more than 2 million people will be waiting in line for years or decades for green cards based on employment.”
Anderson added that highly skilled foreign nationals, including international students, are choosing Canada over America.
His explanation was to address how difficult it is to work in the United States in H-1B status or gain permanent residence. The relative ease with which international students and foreign nationals can work in temporary position and then apply for permanent residence in Canada.
How Would This Affect?
The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) estimated from government data that in the years between 2016-17 and 2018-19, the number of international students from India studying computer science and engineering declined by 25 percent.
The declines hold a great significance as the international students represent approximately 75 percent of the full-time graduate students at US universities in computer science.
During the 2016-17 academic year, two-thirds of the international students at the graduate level in computer science at US universities were from India.
Indian Students Attracted Towards Canadian Universities
Further, he mentioned that the number of Indian students coming to America is also reduced as the number of Indian students attending Canadian universities increased from 76,075 in 2016 to 1,72,625 in 2018, increasing 127 percent, as per the data provided the Canadian Bureau for International Education.
In simple words, he said that Canada’s immigration policies are much better than America’s for facilitating the entry of talented individuals.
The United States has turned away millions of qualified, highly-skilled, and often US-educated individuals going to other countries to contribute to their economy due to more than 1,00,000 H-1B cap submissions denied annually.
A 21st Century Approach Is The Need Of The Hour.
According to Sudip Parikh, CEO and Executive Publisher, Science Journals, American Association for the Advancement of Science, immigration policies must reflect a 21st-century approach, just as lawmakers are now working on legislation to advance research and innovation in essential technologies to compete with China.
It is further urging Congress to expand dual intent visas to include foreign student visas (e.g., F-1 visas) to allow them the option to apply for permanent residency and adjust postgraduate immigration law to ease entry to work for skilled graduates.
Several organizations have proposed that green cards be ‘stapled’ to international students in specific, targeted fields of study only if they graduate with a diploma from these institutions. He urged Congress to exempt higher education and research institutions from the H-1B visa cap.