With the US closed for immigrants till the end of 2020, what’s the way ahead for US employers? They cannot afford to simply shut shop and wait for 2021 before resuming normal operations. Offshoring, which means moving some operations and processes overseas, is the most obvious solution.
And the best offshoring destination for US employers? Neither India nor Vietnam! It’s definitely Canada. And for very good reasons too.
A skilled tech worker can get a work permit in Canada in just two weeks. The path to permanent residence is clearly defined and a skilled worker can become a Canadian permanent resident in just 12 months. This makes Canada a win-win choice for employers and foreign workers alike.
Unlike the US, immigration is an integral part of Canada’s macro-economic and financial strategies. It’s aging population and low birth rate combined with high public debt compels the government to attract more immigrants to maintain fiscal balance.
There’s more to Canada than just its immigrant-friendly policies. Canada is a developed country with infrastructure and facilities at par with the best business destinations across the world. It has a strong manufacturing and industrial base and has invested heavily in ramping up its technology sector.
Canada is a developed market with strong financial institutions and top-class infrastructure including transport and logistics. Further, it is definitely more accessible to US employers as compared to emerging countries like India, Brazil, or Vietnam.
Big Pool of Talent
Canada has overtaken the US and has emerged as the preferred destination for foreign STEM students. This means US employers offshoring to Canada can look beyond foreign skilled workers and explore young international students graduating from Canadian universities.
The immediate and long-term benefits of access to such a labor pool will far outweigh the miniscule cost savings of offshoring to a less-developed country.
Tactical and Strategic Sense
If the restrictions on immigration is temporary and unlikely to continue into 2021, then offshoring will be a temporary thing for US employers. So, moving work to the offshore location setup in Canada will be a simpler exercise than dealing with the complications involved in getting work done in India or Vietnam.
Further, the H-1B program is no longer a stable option for US employers seeking to hire foreign skilled workers. The lottery system means selection of the candidate required for your business is a matter of luck than any logical policy.
And then there have been policy changes, adverse administrative decisions, and general uncertainty over the program. These issues will continue even if the suspension is lifted, which means offshoring to Canada makes strategic sense for US employers.
Big US employers like Alphabet and Facebook had begun strengthening their presence in Canada even before the pandemic and the consequent suspension of immigration.
Now that US employers cannot access foreign talent within the country, it’s obvious that Canada is going to become an even more popular destination for foreign employers and skilled workers alike.