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Canadian startups are attracting more international workers thanks to Trump’s immigration policies

U.S. workers are flocking to Canada for other reasons.

Canadian Olympic athletes stand behind the Canadian maple leaf flag Rich Lam / Getty
Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

More than half of Canadian startups have seen a rise in international tech applicants — most of whom are from the U.S.— since the beginning of 2017, according to a new survey. Some companies even saw international applications quadruple.

Toronto-based tech innovation hub MaRS conducted the survey among 55 high-growth Canadian startups with U.S. exposure and an annual revenue of more than $1 million. About 82 percent of companies that saw an increase in international interest had applicants from the U.S., followed by India and China.

These companies cited visa and immigration policies, which have become stricter (PDF) and less certain under Trump, as the main reason for growth in international hires. That means engineers from India and China are flocking to Canada in higher numbers than before. U.S. workers are applying as well but for different reasons, including political uncertainty in the U.S. Canada has also made it easier to work there by enacting a program, Global Skills Strategy visa, that expedites international visas.

Engineers were the most common job for which Canadian startups hired international applicants.

Tech job platform Hired found last year that U.S. tech companies are asking to interview fewer international candidates. It looks as though domestic candidates could soon become scarcer as well.

This article originally appeared on

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