As many immigrant techies shun the USA, its neighbour has rolled out the red carpet.

What would entice tech talent to quit good jobs in Silicon Valley or New York and trade them for over the border Cities like Toronto or Ottawa? For many the triggers were the restrictions placed on immigrant tech workers holding an H1B visa and what many say feels like a never ending wait to get a green card in order to really settle down and feel immigration-safe. Rising anti-immigrant sentiment under the current President’s administration did not help. For many they do not want to spend the best years of their life and career on a restrictive visas and such high levels of constant immigration related stress, anxiety and uncertainty.

Part of the current exodus of tech workers from places like Silicon Valley; pushed out by a less welcoming American government and immigration system, they are now being lured in by more opportunistic and skilled immigrant-welcoming countries such as Canada, where new tech job vacancies are forecast to reach 200,000 by 2020.

The incredible need for Countries around the World to attract highly skilled talent, now more than ever, means that those Countries who are not competitive and are not taking the time to develop immigration programs that are attractive and welcoming to foreign workers; are really being left behind, and right now the USA is being left behind compared to many other Countries around the World that are presenting better opportunities and attracting more skilled foreign workers through their doors, such as Canada.

As the USA continues to make it immigration-harder, Canada is making it easier in a strategy that by the time America wakes up to the cost of discouraging immigrants; Canada’s STEM and tech sector will have secured some of the best talent from around the world. At this stage Canada definitely appears to have a winning strategy over the USA.

When it comes to STEM talent, Toronto is still king, but studies show cities across Canada are also proving competitive; especially Ottawa, Waterloo, Hamilton, Quebec City, and Halifax among Canada’s top markets.  

Tech has become a force for city building;  technology has become woven into every traditional component of a region’s economy and the future of many Canadian cities seem inextricably linked to the prospect of becoming a tech or start-up hub.