Canada new magnet for U.S. job hunters
In a reversal of historical flows, immigration lawyers report a surge of calls from Americans who want to move north. Statistics bear out their observations: A record number of Americans applied for temporary work visas last year, Immigration Canada statistics show, spurred largely by the contrasting health of the two countries’ labour markets.
On one side of the border, 14 million Americans are out of work – the equivalent of more than 40 per cent of Canada’s population. On the other side, some employers – particularly in Alberta’s oil sector – say they can’t find enough skilled workers, prompting the country’s federal immigration minister to publicly muse last month on how to admit more skilled Americans.
“It’s reverse brain drain,” says Toronto-based immigration lawyer Sergio Karas. “There are a lot of disgruntled people who say ‘America is letting me down.’”
He sees several shifts – Canadians who married Americans and live in the U.S. are now returning to Canada because of better job prospects in professional areas like law and finance.