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Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

Indians students and white-collar professionals are ditching the “American dream” to pursue a Canadian one because of the increasingly restrictive visa and immigration policies of the Trump administration.


  • There are growing rumors and expectations that the U.S. President is going to scrap or freeze the H-1B visa programme and the optional practical training programme that allows graduate foreign students to intern in the US, because of the high unemployment rate due to coronavirus.
  • New analysis of US government data shows Indian STEM students and skilled professionals were already veering away to Canada.
  • In the 2016-17 academic year, almost 70% of international graduate students in computer science at US universities were from India.

Canadian Dream

  • It is acknowledged that Canada is benefiting from a diversion of young Indian tech workers and students from US destinations, largely because of the challenges of obtaining and renewing H-1B visas and finding a reliable route to US permanent residence.
  • The number of Indians who became permanent residents in Canada rose by more than 115%.

H-1B Visa

  • The H-1B is a United States visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act, and it is one of the most popular visas for foreigners visiting the US for business or trade purpose.
  • It is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
  • Speciality occupations include specialized fields like IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, medicine, etc. which usually require a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • US employers wishing to bring in staff for long-term assignment prefer H1B visa because its application is quicker than applying for a US Green Card.

-Source: Times of India

March 2024