The U.S. and Canada: Deviating Immigration Law and Policies


There are some significant variances which can be seen in the immigration law and policies of Canada and the U.S. Given the current climate under the Trump administration, the U.S. each day is becoming overtly anti-immigrant whereas Canada on the other hand being an immigrant-friendly country is aggressively soliciting immigrants from across the globe. The U.S. and Canada immigration policies hold a different outlook towards immigration. 

The Canadian government believes that immigration has a positive impact on its economy and that its one of the best ways to keep the economy growing thereby making it a key to its national livelihood. Canada has made provisions to welcome the immigrants, one of which is the permanent residence program called the “Express Entry” which enables simplified and speedy immigration to Canada without requiring employer sponsorship. This makes it very easy for educated and experienced young individuals who can speak English to obtain permanent residence. Applications of such individuals are likely to be processed within six months or less. 

Another stark contrast is between the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when it comes to processing visa applications for admission into the country. CBP officers take their instructions from the CBP headquarters in Washington DC which falls under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security and the President. Given that the policies under the Trump administration are not pro-immigration, many officers find it easier to deny applications rather than considering applications that would seem impliedly approvable. As a result of this, there is an increase in the reports of refusal, secondary inspections and questioning by CBP which ultimately leads to a denial thereby reducing the number of immigrants into the country. 

However, it is noticed that the CBP views Canadians and those immigrants entering from Canada more approvingly. This maybe because there is higher economic parity between the U.S. and Canada thereby reducing the chances of overstaying a visa or working without proper authorization. 

The U.S. has already lost out on brilliant talent and this will continue unless its anti-immigrant sentiment and its policies change for the better thereby making it more favourable for immigrants to remain in the U.S. or otherwise the policies may continue to grow more oppressive thereby delineating the contrast between the U.S. and Canada immigration policies even further. 

Manizeh Mistry, Deputy Head – Global Immigration



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