From Time: Tech Companies Say it’s Too Hard to Hire High-Skilled Immigrants in the U.S. — So They’re Growing in Canada Instead
On a recent Tuesday, Neal Fachan walked down a dock in Seattle’s Lake Union and boarded a blue and yellow Harbour Air seaplane, alongside six other tech executives. He was bound for Vancouver to check on the Canadian office of Qumulo, the Seattle-based cloud storage company he co-founded in 2012. With no security lines, it was an easy 50-minute flight past snow-capped peaks. Later that day, Fachan caught a return flight back to Seattle.
Fachan began making his monthly Instagram-worthy commute when Qumulo opened its Vancouver office in January. Other passengers on the seaplanes go back and forth multiple times a week. Fachan says his company expanded across the border because Canada’s immigration policies have made it far easier to hire skilled foreign workers there compared to the United States. “We require a very specific subset of skills, and it’s hard to find the people with the right skills,” Fachan says as he gets off the plane. “Having access to a global employment market is useful.”
Business and education groups warn that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may court disaster if the agency implements a new electronic system for H-1B petitions without sufficient testing and input from employers. The registration system, based on a regulation finalized in January, is expected to be used in April 2020 for the FY 2021 H-1B cap season.