Every year, foreign nationals seeking work in the United States face the daunting H-1B visa application process and the infamous “lottery." While it's not a traditional lottery, the name has stuck due to being easier to say than the "computer-generated random selection process.”
Once the golden ticket for overseas workers to enter the U.S., its allure has faded due to its tough rules and near insurmountable odds of receiving a visa. Instead, a new alternative has arisen north of the U.S. border.
Canada has opened its borders to foreign tech workers by creating more pathways for this talent to thrive in the “Great White North.” This includes a solution for U.S. companies seeking to retain their highly-skilled employees who may be affected by the H-1B visa lottery.
Before I reveal the innovative Canadian answer, let's examine the key numbers involved in the H-1B Visa system.
The H-1B Visa System by the Numbers
In this system, no applicant receives preferential treatment based on their country of origin, salary, education, or other factors. Instead, the process involves these key numbers:
- 65,000 spots in the general lottery.
- 20,000 additional spots for the "master's cap," reserved for applicants with advanced degrees from accredited U.S. universities who were not selected in the first round.
- In 2023, a record-breaking 484,000 people registered for the 85,000 available visas, resulting in a 26% chance of selection for applicants.
- About 31% of registrations requested consideration under the master's cap, where the success odds have increased by 16%.
- Singapore and Chile citizens have 6,800 spots specifically reserved for them.
Tech Workers: Canada Wants You!
The Canadian Government recently introduced a work permit initiative designed explicitly for H-1B visa holders in the U.S. The rapid uptake of the allocated 10,000 spots sparked discussions about a potential expansion.
No more lotteries
The shortcomings of the H-1B visa system are evident, causing numerous challenges for companies seeking to acquire and retain tech talent in the U.S. However, a groundbreaking solution has emerged, eliminating the need to rely on chance, bypassing the lottery registry, and eradicating the waiting and hoping.
The EOR solution
By partnering with an Employer of Record (EOR) companies can relocate their tech workers from the United States. or overseas to Canada. Thanks to Canada’s easy and efficient work visa system, highly skilled tech employees can move to the Great White North with the same job, salary, laptop, and U.S.-based manager.
How it works
A recognized Employer of Record (EOR) in Canada can legally employ remote workers in Canada for U.S. and global organizations.
Step 1: The EOR sponsors the employee's Canadian work visa - including workers currently in the U.S. or overseas.
Step 2:The worker moves to Canada.
Step 3: The Canadian EOR employs the worker, which takes 60–90 days.
What do workers need to qualify?
- Be a tech worker or manager of tech workers.
- Have a tech degree or tech experience.
- Earn a salary of over CAD$86,000.
- Have a job offer from a Canadian company (A Canadian EOR can provide this.)
Key stats of the program
- There is a 99% success rate.
- Successful applicants receive a 2-year work visa.
- Spouses and partners of Global Talent Stream (GTS) applicants may get an open work permit, which allows them to work in Canada for any employer.
Wave Goodbye to Lotteries: Adopt a Smarter Approach
The H-1B visa system presents numerous challenges for foreign nationals seeking work in the United States, with its lottery-like selection process. However, a new and exciting alternative lies in Canada, which has opened its doors to foreign tech workers, providing them with more opportunities to thrive in the "Great White North."
Through a strategic partnership with an Employer of Record (EOR), companies can relocate their tech employees to Canada, avoiding the uncertainties of the H-1B lottery. With a 99% success rate and numerous benefits, this solution offers a promising pathway for companies and skilled workers. So, bid farewell to lotteries and welcome a brighter future in Canada for tech talent.