Looks like America’s loss is indeed Canada’s gain as it offers easier immigration for professionals
It’s no secret that the long immigration waiting times and the green card backlog has been dissuading some Indians from seeking an American residency.
Looks like America’s loss is indeed Canada’s gain as numbers do tell that Indian interest in a Canadian PR or permanent residency is on an astronomical rise.
According to a National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) analysis of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada data, the number of Indians who became permanent residents in Canada in 2022 was 118,095.
Interestingly, the number of Indians who became permanent residents in Canada in 2021 was even higher at 127,940. The numbers dipped in 2020, probably owing to Covid-19 and the registered numbers were at 42,870.
The numbers have been consistently rising as in 2019 the numbers were at 85,590 and if we look at the numbers now there is over a 200% jump in permanent residencies granted to Indians.
The rise in the number can be seen by a simple comparison to the numbers about a decade ago. In 2013, the number of Indians who sought permanent residency in Canada stood at 32,828.
The immigration numbers also suggest another important development – the numbers saw a sudden spike post Covid. Immigration consultants have been reporting that the post-Covid world saw a greater number of people willing to explore an alternate residency.
Situations like war in Ukraine, better healthcare facilities, environmental pollution etc. played decisive factors where people sought work, study and investment options to head to foreign shores.
Meanwhile, the American immigration choked with a long line of Indians seeking permanent residency played out as an important factor to dissuade people from thinking of making America their foreign home.
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Canada with its proximity to America, plenty of study options and easier immigration policies along with an expansive Indian diaspora already there seemed like the next best option.
The Express Entry Program launched in 2015, was aimed to attract highly skilled immigrants. The program came with a processing time commitment of six months for 80 percent of the cases seemed for many Indians a much stress-free option to settle abroad.
What makes Canada potentially a better immigration destination is also the fact that there is no annual limit on temporary high-skilled visa like the cap on H-1B in the United States. H-1B visa in the United states comes with its own share of challenges and many Indians were scared-off listening to stories of hardships.
Amy Bhatt, author of High-Tech Housewives, a book that explores the problems H-4 visa holders, a majority of whom were Indian highly qualified professional faced while on a dependent visa in the US, agrees that not just H-4, even to maintain the primary H-1B visa status in the country, is a feat riddled with paperwork and uncertainty.
She says, “If you are on an H-1B visa, the primary problem could be the feeling of being trapped by your company and this is also something that has been a critique of the H-1B program for workers.”
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“In order to move their position and even to have their jobs reclassified it can be an expensive, time consuming and laborious process,” she says. “It requires the company to be actually, sort of being part of sponsoring and re-classifying a job and making sure that all of the paperwork is filed correctly so that H-1B workers are not out of status or out of compliance with the policies that govern the H-1B visa.”
Compared to these immigration policies, Canada continues to offer easier immigration for professionals and thus is seeing an increasing number of Indians willing to try the Canadian residency program.