On November 7, 2020, Joe Biden was finally declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election resulting in an expression of optimism regarding the future of the relations between the United States and Canada. The relationship between the two countries has been strained with the Trump administration over the past four years. Soon after the presidential announcement, the Canadian government remarked that this transfer of power in the United States will result in “more stability and predictability” to the relationship. It is anticipated that the Trudeau Liberals and a Biden-led administration are more aligned ideologically and thus will have an easier time at cross-border collaboration.
Here’s a rundown of how the Trump administration has impacted Canada specifically with regard to high-skilled immigration and international students:
- High-Skilled Immigration: The Trump administration focused most of their energy on restricting H-1B visas with the goal of “protecting American jobs.” With H-1B visas allowing highly educated and skilled individuals to become employment-based immigrants and ultimately American citizens, these measures unquestionably resulted in these foreign workers turning to Canada in search of stability and new opportunities with its welcoming and consistent immigration policy as well as its admirable management of the pandemic.
- International Students: Similarly, the Trump immigration team made sure to break the link between international students and their capacity to work in the United States upon graduation which proved to be a deterrent for many potential international students and likely resulted in them turning to Canada instead.
What a new Biden administration means for Canada
While Canada has clearly benefitted from the restrictive immigration policies implemented by Trump in choosing to welcome newcomers, Biden does have a more open stance on immigration. As such, there could be new competition for global talent as Biden intends on increasing the number of highly skilled worker visas granted in the U.S and wants to focus his presidential term on reversing all of Trump’s actions to make it easier for immigrants to enter the U.S. However, as we previously noted here, while reversing these policies could be a crucial component of Biden’s immigration plans, it is surely going to take a concerted effort to address and undo all the policies that Trump has brought to the table over the past few years. After all, although it appears that Biden’s administration will have a largely positive impact on Canada in general, we will have to wait and see if a competition for global talent actually plays out and how that will affect Canadian immigration in the long run.
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