Trump’s immigration policy has foreign tech talent looking north of the border


U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted this morning promising changes to the H-1B skilled-worker visa program that would “bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship.” The assurance followed a front-page story in The Washington Post about tech workers leaving the U.S. for Canada over troubles with the program. (Washington Post)

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Talking point: The Trump administration’s actions on H-1B so far have made the process more complex for applicants and have increased uncertainty for holders. The president imposed additional scrutiny of applications by executive order in April 2018; in November, the Department of Homeland Security proposed prioritizing applicants with master’s and doctoral degrees. It is also difficult for H-1B holders to get citizenship because of annual limits on the number of green cards issuable to people from a single country. Data first reported by The Logic shows that thousands of immigrants have left the U.S. for Canada using the Liberal government’s new skilled-worker program. That trend is likely to continue, unless Trump’s tweet signals a real change in his administration’s immigration policy.