Canadian Province Pitching Itself as H-1B Alternative

Ann All

The United States isn't the only country struggling with tweaking its immigration process to ensure that highly skilled and/or educated foreigners are allowed to enter the country while not giving them an unfair advantage over native-born residents in competing for jobs, a charge often leveled by opponents of the H-1B visa.


In this post from May, I wrote about efforts under way in the UK, Australia and Canada to give increasing weight to potential immigrants' education and employment histories.


In the U.S., much was made of Microsoft's announcement last summer that problems in obtaining enough H-1B visas factored into its decision to open a software development center in Vancouver, British Columbia, a Canadian site conveniently close to Microsoft HQ in Redmond.


Perhaps inspired by this example, at least one other Canadian province, Alberta, is making it clear that it "welcomes H-1B holders and their families" on its immigration Web site, a fact that blogger Greg Siskind calls "just embarrassing" in light of failed efforts to reform the immigration system in the U.S.

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Jul 21, 2008 3:47 AM Weaver Weaver  says:
Funny!Siskind of Immigration Law Weekly ( should be embarassed that he allowed the abuses against H-1B workers to prevail for so long. (Greg Siskind, I'm talking about benchtime and illegal deposits paid by migrants to obtain the H-1B among others.) Compete America published the costs involved with H-1B. Here are the Attorneys share...The CompeteAmerica estimate (range) of H-1B legal fees and costs, $ 1,810.00 per application and $2810.00 are shown below. Attorneys fees H-1B Initial Petitions @ $ 1,810.002002 = $ 198,332,560.002003 = $ 196,432,060.002004 = $ 296,023,690.002005 = $ 212,740,160.00Total = $ 903,528,470.00 Attorneys fees H-1B Initial Petitions @ $ 2,810.002002 = $ 307,908,560.002003 = $ 304,958,060.002004 = $ 459,572,690.002005 = $ 330,276,160.00Total = $ 1,402,715,470.00 These are only initial H-1B petitions, Compete America did not provid informaiton on H-1B continuing employment approvals. Whats the matter Mr. Siskind, Canada cutting into your profit center?The article, methodology and links are here:'s cost estimates of wages displaced by guest workers who are now moving to Canada to work under the NAFTA TN visa.Skilled guestworker salay impact If the highly skilled guestworker only stayed in the country for one year -- we would have the following yearly impact.Year __ Guestworker Median compensation __ Guestworker Impact per yr.2000 __ $52,000.00 __ $9,789,156,000.002001 __ $55,000.00 __ $12,156,485,000.002002 __ $53,200.00 __ $9,367,083,600.002003 __ $52,000.00 __ $8,550,932,000.002004 __ $53,000.00 __ $10,688,245,000.002005 __ $55,000.00 __ $10,425,635,000.002006 __ Not available(* Known median compensation of H-1Bs assumed to be fair market value)The problem is that H-1B and L-1 visas are not single year visas, they mature at five, six and seven years. Once the system is full of six year (avg. H-1B, L-1A, L-1B visas) the wage hole in the domestic economy is potentially $60,977,536,600.00 ongoing per year.$61 Billion, per year in wages that are not available to Americans. Reply
Jul 24, 2008 7:12 AM MS MS  says:
Thank you Alberta, finally a solution to the H1B abuses and glut. Please take them all and the companies that employ them. I am sure the USA will survive even thrive without them. Reply

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