Finding companies that sponsor F1 visa international students is going to get harder in 2018. While nobody knows for sure what will happen with H-1B, employers don’t like risk and uncertainty. It’s already difficult for international students who want to work in the US after graduation.
A lot of international students studying in the US are now looking at working in Canada as an option. Finding jobs in Canada as an international graduate similar to the US; you still need a job offer from a Canadian company. But the visa process is smoother and less restricted. There is no lottery process for the H-1B. Instead, they have a point allocation system. In places like Vancouver, they’ve introduced a Global Skills Strategy that fast tracks visas, some in as little as two weeks, for highly skilled technology workers.
If Canada interest you here are a few resources to help you get started if you are thinking about moving to Canada.
Advice from a Canadian Immigration Attorney
Information provided by immigration attorneys is the smart way to start exploring your options.
Immigrating to Canada is easier than the US but still not easy
To get a job in Canada, companies still need to sponsor you, local references help you, local work experience is important, and knowing Canadian laws and cultural norms are necessary.
To get hired in Canada you still need experience and skills. As one Canadian immigrant describes it in a detailed Quora post on immigrating to Canada:
The Canadian Experience dilemma is very real. Hiring managers are reluctant to hire new immigrants….In short, the Canadian experience dilemma is little to do with your technical expertise, and herein again lies a disconnection between new immigrant’s expectations and reality. Immigrants think because they have 10 years of experience and a Masters Degree from their home country, they are entitled to do the job they had back from their home country. For example, here’s a quick lesson in Canadian culture – for corporate jobs, education is secondary to experience and soft skills. This is very different from, say, the Indian culture, where education is extremely important.
The same author provides more information on how to get jobs in Canada for international graduates in this post: How to get a job in Canada as a foreigner
Giving up a US Greencard to immigrate to Canada
For some nationalities, the wait for a Greencard is upwards of 20 years. Read about an Indian H-1B worker who moved to Toronto instead of waiting to get a Greencard in the US. He offers an interesting perspective on the challenges of building a global career in the US:
As a H1B the wait time for getting a Greencard is getting longer and for some like those born in India it’s closing in on 20 plus years. Think about that, you will spend your entire productive life time on a highly restrictive visa. Yes, some of you will say the high salaries are worth it. But remember there is an opportunity cost and you will pay it. Also the slightest slip up or downturn can put you and your family on a plane back home. This sounded pretty unreasonable to me and not something I could get myself to accept for the long term. All the while your friends that choose other parts of the world are enjoying their citizenship’s, launching startups, bringing over their parents, traveling the world and enjoying their life while maybe not making as much as you.
Learn which industries want you
Learn which industries are most open to international graduates and immigrants to Canada. Skilled technology workers with 5 years of experience are in high demand in British Columbia (BC). Other tech hubs like Ottawa and Toronto are also good options for tech workers immigrating to Canada:
Indeed research shows that US tech workers are more likely than the typical US job seeker to search for a job in Canada. These workers are most interested in tech hubs such as Ottawa or Toronto. For Canada, this represents an opportunity to attract highly skilled talent. Some of the roles most popular with US tech-job seekers are software engineer, database administrator and machine learning engineer.
More information on jobs in Canada
Finally, get your immigration details directly from Canadian immigration attorneys. Keep up to date on Canadian hiring news from immigration lawyer blogs. A good resource for international students is Studyhub.canadavisa.com. You can get up to date information, find immigration attorneys, and connect with other international students interested in Canada.
Remember, no matter which country you want to work in, you need to build your communication and research skills. Learn which companies are the best in Canada, including which companies students want to work for.