CDI Corporation

Canada attracting foreign engineers away from Silicon Valley

It’s undeniable that Silicon Valley has become the center of the tech development world, but this truth hasn’t stopped hubs of IT innovation from developing in other nations. Canada represents one such emerging tech environment – due in no small part to immigrants who originally planned to hold such jobs in the U.S.

According to Bloomberg, a significant number of highly skilled tech workers from all over the world, who’d attended school and held jobs in America on H-1B visas issued by the Department of Labor, have begun moving to Canada to find work or are making concrete plans to do so.

Vikram Rangnekar, a Mumbai native and former LinkedIn employee based in Silicon Valley, was one such individual. He moved to Toronto in fall 2016 instead of waiting for his permanent resident card application to clear. Several months later, he developed a website called MOVNorth.com, as a resource for H-1B visa holders with talents like his interested in Toronto’s prospects. The Canadian city is particularly appealing to foreign tech workers, as immigrants comprise half of its population.

Rangnekar told Bloomberg he knows offhand of more than a dozen computer engineers who’ve come to Canada like he did, and his site receives nearly 100,000 visits per month. Additionally, about 250 people have paid subscriptions to the site and are actively planning Canadian moves.

On the other end of the spectrum, a significant number of native Canadian STEM college graduates are now seeking work outside the nation. A study conducted by the University of Toronto found about 25 percent of recently graduated IT and engineering students from top Canadian universities end up finding employment abroad. This could further benefit any immigrants with tech experience who have an interest in Canada, as the nation’s tech employers may need to deal with a greater number of job vacancies.