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    Oh Canada: Silicon Valley Startups Likely to Send Foreign-Born Workers North

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    A Silicon Valley company has created an offshoot as a “backup plan” to move foreign-born tech industry workers to Canada with protected status, as US President Donald Trump’s immigration and visa plans have caused much uncertainty.

    On Monday, it was reported that the Trump administration has drafted another executive order aimed at urging businesses to try hiring at home first. To do so, the order takes aim at the H-1B work-visa, a program that the tech industry relies on for hiring foreign engineering talent.

    “Our country’s immigration policies should be designed and implemented to serve, first and foremost, the US national interest,” the draft proposal, obtained by Bloomberg, reads. “Visa programs for foreign workers … should be administered in a manner that protects the civil rights of American workers and current lawful residents, and that prioritizes the protection of American workers — our forgotten working people — and the jobs they hold.”

    The prospect of a potential order led a small group of Silicon Valley cofounders to create a new company in Canada. The company, called True North, is offering a $6,000 package that includes airfare to Vancouver, two nights accommodation, and a day with immigration professionals who will walk applicants through the process. 

    “While we fight Trump’s anti-American immigration orders, we must also keep our community physically intact. If we direct all the affected H1Bs to a single refuge then we will have enough energy in one place to be powerful. If we allow him to scatter us across the planet, we lose a lot of that,” the website continues. “Since the election, a few of us have been working on a solution. We’re rolling it out as a for-profit operation as we want to market it aggressively and independently. “

    Additionally, the independent program allows applicants to keep their current job (provided their employer supports the move), “but have the option to work via a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary providing you alternative protected status in the event of changes to employment regulations in the US.”

    “This is a turnkey backup plan for H1-B holders working for an American company. This plan makes it simple for you to immediately gain the necessary paperwork to set up a Canadian work and residency status similar to what you have in the US, so that you avoid disruptions or uncertainty relating to changing U.S. visa regulations,” the company’s website reads.

    The company is planning to have its Vancouver office ready to go in just a few weeks.

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    Tags:
    H-1B, Visas, True North, Donald Trump, Canada, United States, Silicon Valley
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