I have started my Express Entry application and very soon I will say goodbye to US , I don't mind the cold in Canada. I will have freedom to change jobs, won't be an indentured servant. I will also get permanent residency fast. US green card for Indian citizen is around 10 years backlogged.
I suggest it's best for you to apply for the Canadian Express Entry for skilled workers.
And at the same time they lobby the Congress for an increase in H1B visas claiming there aren't enough US workers, they send out ads asking for ten years experience in HTML5 and CPU design, offering $30k for an "entry level" position, and say they can't find anyone here to fill it. Of course not, your requirements are insane and the wage is equally insane.
Yes, there are plenty of companies using H1B ethically, but for every ethical H1B, there are 5 unethical ones. It's a disservice to both American workers AND foreign workers.
PS: I'm not anti-immigration. I'm very much pro-immigration. What's that? You're intelligent, hard working, and want to come to my country to work your butt off and get rich? COME ON OVER! All I want is an immigration system that's fair to everyone, both those coming in to get a fair shake and have protections, and those of us already here, preventing immigrants from being used as cheap replacement labor.
Companies like these use up most of the H1B slots such that truly skilled high tech jobs that pay well, and would accept H1B if they could, are going unfilled. This is why you see so many U.S. companies setting up branches in Europe and Canada.
During that switch, the idiosyncrasies of the US' broken immigration system played a major role in my salary negotiation with my new employer. Many have an opinion that Indian H1Bs are unskilled. I am not going to judge them. AFAIK , I went through many rounds of interviews (whiteboard,project,cognitive) and I am pretty much sure I have engineering skills which are in demand. I am brave enough to state that I have more mathematical skills than many of my American counterparts.
Let me explain the idiosyncrasies of the US immigration system for an H1B worker.
While I was making the switch , my current employer came to know about my interview (possibly through a mole in my team) and the manager wanted to send me back to India. So he started the process of cancelling my petition.
So now I was under pressure to switch. The new employer knows that I am on H1B and they low balled me. This employer is not a body shop. This employer is simply trying to take advantage of my visa restrictions. Since my previous employer was in the process of cancelling my petition , I had no other choice but to accept the offer and join the new employer.
Your petition and visa is tied to your employer. Your job & freedom is under their mercy. If your employer cancels your petition , you are an illegal alien from the very next day. There is no grace time. (think about booking flight tickets, selling your car, breaking the lease and what not. Imagine school, kids and their state of mind. Its a mental torture).
So I joined my new employer and started working. I am beginning to feel that I am assigned a lot of work than my American counter parts , but I am not given any recognition and I am pretty much sure , I will be the one to get the lowest appraisals , because I cannot bargain. If my new employer fires me , I am an illegal resident from the very next day. I cannot search for a job , because there is no grace period. No employer will hire me because my petition would have been cancelled by then.
Not only Indian companies exploit H1B workers. American companies does that too.
Remember , American is a capitalist country. No employer whether Indian or American care about H1B workers. They just exploit them to the maximum extend because of this broken immigration system.
How to change it ? Immigration reforms like employer portability will be a good start.
But I am not waiting on these to decide my career & future. I have applied for the Canada Express Entry system and qualify with high points. My visa & permanent residency will not be controlled by employers in Canada. Soon I will say goodbye to this country. It has taught me many good things to remember and bad things to forget.
You hit the nail on the head. This is why rather than more H1Bs we need a better H1B.
IMO doing away with the lottery and granting the visa to the <N> highest paid applications would go a long way to make things better.
It would kill H1B sweatshops, motivate employers to look for American candidates a little harder and make it easier for companies willing to pay H1B workers well to fill the positions they cannot fill locally.
It's also a proposal that - I feel - could gain bipartisan support in congress. Unfortunately, I don't hear many people speaking out in support of it.
ps : I never visited aboard, don't want to travel aboard just because i'm a cheap labour :)
<typo-2> who is in America are not technically
I am not really sure if I should be taking this up considering the ridiculous cost of living in the Bay. Also, I don't know how much I'll be saving at the end of 2 years considering the fact that my wife will be travelling along with me (she doesn't have a STEM degree).
Although there are these cost of living calculators they just take into account a lifestyle that is 'just enough' to get by.
I do have some questions regarding working/living in the Canada. Is there an email I can reach out to you for some questions and advice? Would appreciate it. Cheers
Also, if H1B worker wants long term stability and wants to stay in the US beyond the 6 yr period, then the employer needs to apply for Permanent Residency (Green Card). The H1B worker needs to employed for that employer for the entire duration of that GC process. The icing on the cake is that the H1B worker needs to find new employment within a month of being terminated or leave the US. Again, possible in a good economy but near impossible in a bad one.
All in all, this creates the perfect hostage scenario with H1B workers pursuing stability till they get their green card.
Never switch before the petition is approved.
But the poster's employer has probably applied for a green card. Since the poster is Indian, that is a 10+ years process (4 for China and 1 for everyone else). If the poster changes employer (or accepts a promotion), the 10 year clock is reset to 0.
So for all practical purposes, the poster is locked to the employer. He is also locked at the same level and pay. Employers love this since they get an experienced person locked in at the same pay for a decade or more. Obviously this reduces wages for everyone.
This couldn't be more wrong. there is this little thing known as AC21 clause where you can change employers after some part of your green card has been pending for more than 6 months. This doesn't reset the green card clock at all if you're waiting to be current, but you do have to do the first couple phases again with the new employer (which are really quick)
I have seen many people I know use this to change employer with no problem. If someone under green card is unable to change employer, chances are they just can't find a better job.
Also it is wrong that you can't accept a promotion. For example going from software engineer to senior software engineer is fine. As long as the new position is at least 51% similar to the previous one you are fine, and it is easy to prove on paper with a little bit of magic with your lawyers.
Also wrong that you are locked at the same pay... Seriously I have never heard this yet, where did you get that? I know plenty of people (and myself included) who while waiting for the green card got multiple raises with no problem.
The AC21 allows you to change employer when you have filed the I-485. That is step 3 of the 4-step green card process. One can't file the I-485 until the "priority date" is current. That is not an issue if you are from any country other than India, China, or Philippines. Else you are looking at a delay of 4 to 11 years. So as I said, not practical for the poster who is from India.
Technically it is also possible to accept "normal career progression" changes in employment, i.e., promotions and raises, as you correctly pointed out. However in practice, what constitutes as "normal" is subjective, completely at the discretion of a visa officer. For a long time, this was very easy and a formality. In the last 1-2 years, the Visa Officers have become anal about this. Cases are being audited for something simple like Data Scientist using Python to Data Scientist using R (actual anecdote in my company).
Also visa officers are going back to approved cases from several years ago and retroactively denying them on some technicality like the above. So even if you know cases that were easily approved in the past, they can be suddenly denied and the employee can retroactively become "undocumented" for the past several years (again actual anecdote).
My experience (as an employer) is that it's become much harder over the last year or so to get the re-application through. At the very least they tend to have substantial delays. I'm not aware of the underlying reason.