By: Valerie Johnston

With the U.S. cracking down on immigration during President Trump’s first 100 days in office, a new light is being shed on the country’s neighbor to the north. Canada has long been an immigration-friendly nation, with more than 800,000 immigrants being recruited for the jobs market in just the past five years alone. With a smaller population, and a younger entrepreneur scene, Canada is ripe for new opportunity for career-minded talent from around the world.

Canada is already home to some major brands such as Slack and Shopify, as well as many renowned universities that are sending graduates to Silicon Valley in droves. More than 20% of the nation’s population was not born in Canada, and the culture is shaped by the shared acceptance of immigrants as a necessary and beneficial part of every day life. This is great news for those who once saw the U.S. as their land of eventual hope. Those who may have once been bound for MIT, for example, may now choose to head to the University of Waterloo.

Perhaps in preparation for the shift in attention towards the nation, Canada has recently begun working on more attractive immigration policies. In 2015, the express entry program allowed skilled laborers to become permanent residents after only six months in the country. In June of this year, Canada plans to launch the Global Talent Stream program, which strives to help Canadians find highly skilled immigrant workers and get them to the country faster, particularly in the tech sector. This could reduce the six-month wait period to next to nothing, making it easier for tech companies in Canada to permanently hire the best talent from across the world.

These new policies, and the renewed hope that Canada is on its way to becoming an attractive solution for immigrants, is not without some criticism; but overall, the nation is poised to soon become the new land of opportunity.