Will US clamp down on H1 visas make Canada attractive for Amazon HQ2?

Amazon t8bgq4k
Dec 28, 2017 26 Comments

Finding good candidates has always been the biggest bottleneck to getting things done in my experience at Amazon. The tightening of US visa rules has it made it harder to recruit. Worse, many of my foreign colleagues are finding it harder than ever to get their visas renewed.

Could the worsening US immigration environment be a sufficient reason for Amazon execs to choose a location in Canada for the new headquarters? From what I hear it is much easier for professionals to get work visas in Canada than in the US.

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 26 Comments
  • Amazon Inductor
    Just curious, which H1B clamp down are u guys talking about? I thought Amazon’s salary and position is not affected by the current H1B tightening regulations
    Dec 28, 2017 5
    • Microsoft / Product
      Karsa

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      startups
      Karsamore
      But trump said mean things.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Amazon t8bgq4k
      OP
      The process for applicants now takes significantly longer. Far more scrutiny is now occurring on applicants who are being asked for much more information. Draft legislation will make H1 visas even harder to get.
      https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/12/05/trump-administration-slows-visa-approvals/jMunwvFWmF8JJnGFVW5NPN/story.html
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft Hgbxhj
      Approval through the lottery? Or approval after you get it and once you are applying for the stamp at the US embassy?
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Apple GuerreroSt
      Not lottery. He’s talking about RFE’s.
      Dec 29, 2017
    • Amazon loOK76
      As an H1B myself, I welcome the clampdown. I personally (and others at Amazon) have nothing to worry except bureaucratic burden. Most rfe would be accepted, as they have been for vast majority of Amazonian I've spoken to. This is a massive blow to my mortal enemy, the guy from infy and tcs who will clog up the system
      Dec 29, 2017
  • Microsoft / Product
    Karsa

    Microsoft Product

    PRE
    startups
    Karsamore
    /yawn
    Dec 28, 2017 0
  • Apple GuerreroSt
    It’s not clear that Amazon (or Apple/Google/Facebook/Microsoft for that matter) are affected much by the uptick in RFE’s.

    Obviously if Amazon is having a hard time keeping their people here, they would strongly consider Canada. But it is not clear that is the case. I do not know a single person in the companies mentioned above who got rejected for their H-1B renewal or application (except lottery rejections).
    Dec 28, 2017 3
    • Amazon t8bgq4k
      OP
      I know of several people on my amazon team who are facing a bigger hassle getting their visas renewed than in the past. I am being asked to help people write in depth papers detailing how our team benefits the company as part of the visa renewal process. We never had to do this before.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Apple GuerreroSt
      Yes, there are more RFE’s - requests for evidence - which is what you’re submitting evidence for. After you submit your case, it can either be approved or rejected. Since H-1B is a temporary visa, renewal requires proving that there is “still” a worker shortage for that type of job, and whether their position still meets the definition of specialty occupation - after all, the job market and the candidates available change over the years.

      But I do not know anyone at a Big-N company who was actually rejected.
      Dec 29, 2017
    • Amazon ttamazon
      Most of my friends have rfe while going for visa extensions. It is unnecessary nightmare for months. Two of my teammates got so frustrated that they took the transfer to Canada even after eventually getting visa extension.
      Dec 30, 2017
  • Accolade pnwking
    Its a viable option. Amazon hires a ton of recently graduated students. Most of them are masters students who eventually need h1b. Even the experienced workforce has more than 20-30% immigrants( product and tech). So immigrants form a bulk of their workforce. With the clamp down on h1b, they need to find another location where they can hire people without having to worry about immigration and competition from other major companies. My money is on Toronto!
    Dec 28, 2017 0
  • Amazon / Product Gucci Gang
    I don’t understand why this question keeps coming up other than wishful thinking on the part of H1 holders and Canadians.

    HQ2 will not be in Canada. Yes, Amazon files a bunch of H1 requests but there’s no way the company is going to decide on Canada just because it will be easier for H1 applicants to get a green card there.

    With “MAGA” folks in charge there’s no way in hell its going to be Outside the US especially since US cities have fallen over backwards to accommodate Amazon.
    Dec 29, 2017 4
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      Agree. It's amazing how much H1B holding green card wait folks assume (wish?) their situation is a key criterion. Hell no!
      Dec 29, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng Dgah
      This. American people voted for president Donald and agree with his views. He is doing the right thing. H1b is way too lose now
      Dec 30, 2017
    • Amazon krait8960
      58.5% of American people voted. Without arguing right versus wrong. Your opinion in the American people's vote is skewed by the missing votes that were most probably prevented by a system rigged to undermine minorities...
      Jan 8, 2018
    • Amazon / Product Gucci Gang
      Krait, not argument there. I would also add, I don’t think DC plays a role in this. Regardless of who is in charge, I still don’t think it would be in a Canadian City. Just adding that with MAGA it’s extra difficult to imagine it being in Canada.
      Jan 8, 2018
  • Apple / Eng
    DEADBEEF🍻

    Apple Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    DEADBEEF🍻more
    I don’t think so. If it was a crushing burden to attract talent, they would be writing enormous checks to congress to open the flood gates and telling them it’s either invest at home or invest abroad.

    Either way, they still need to attract American workers, and most Americans wouldn’t want to move to Canada.

    What’s happening now with immigration puckering up is transient. Amazon wouldn’t bet the farm so to speak to invest in 50k jobs in Canada based on what is likely a transient slowdown in immigration here.
    Dec 28, 2017 1
    • Intel ifpu54
      Amazon is the largest corporate lobbiest in DC.
      Dec 28, 2017
  • BlackBerry QR🎄🦍🤖🔐
    No. Canada is not that great to begin with. Cold weather, limited opportunities and the culture can be a bit much for many people
    Dec 28, 2017 0
  • Google / Eng
    eYiX63

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Airbnb
    eYiX63more
    Amazon has received a lot of goodwill by announcing the HQ2 project. 400+ cities have submitted proposals, many of which screw over their residents to give huge tax breaks to Amazon.

    Choosing a non-US city at this point in this political climate will be PR suicide. No way that's going to happen
    Dec 28, 2017 1
    • Amazon GVcY23
      I guess it is already happening and is not limited to Amazon. Google also is scaling presence in Canada. I guess countries with less restrictive immigration regime are seeing more interest
      Dec 28, 2017
  • Expedia thankful
    Not chancr. Canada too liberal
    Dec 28, 2017 1
    • Amazon eek a 🐁
      So is Seattle but Jeff committed to it over less liberal nearby cities. In fact California is clearly in the running and is just as liberal as Canada.

      The H1B crackdiwn DEFINITELY makes Canada attractive. But so do the billion dollar subsidies offered by other cities so I think it's a horse race.
      Dec 28, 2017
  • Amazon / Eng $123.47
    Amazon will not be affected by new H1B rules. If they are, it's on the positive side
    Dec 30, 2017 0
  • Groupon / Eng sleepy
    Even better, now a college fresh grad can obtain Canadian citizenship in 5-6 years and then they can potentially come and join US office.
    Dec 29, 2017 0