Give us your poor, your hungry — your high-tech workers

U.S. adds to Canadian shortage
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/05/2001

In a move expected to seriously hamper the ability of Canadian businesses to find high-tech talent, legislators in Washington are almost certain to pass a bill before the new year that will nearly double the number of IT professionals who can enter the United States from other countries.

There has been much pulling of hair and wringing of hands about the U.S. stealing Canadian employees. To address Canada’s own shortage of at least 40,000 IT professionals, organizations have been stealing talent from Europe and emerging high-tech hot spots like India and the Far East, a practice facilitated by simpler immigration policies.

But U.S. businesses have been complaining that they aren’t able to import staff in the same way, effectively handcuffed by unreasonable restrictions on the numbers of H1-B visas being issued by the government. The H1-B is the visa used to fast-track technology workers into the country.