Tag Archives: usa

US Tech looks to Canada For Relocation

According to a new study from Hired.com , American tech employees are now more than ever looking to relocate or expand their business and hiring in Canada. Report states it is due to President Trump changes to immigration policies especially to ban 6 Muslim countries from entering USA and proposed modifications to H1B visa.

At least 32% said they would move to Canada if given an opportunity. 12% said they might consider Germany to go and work there from the US. South America and Mexico came in last at 1%.


Canada is a country with more relaxed immigration system and a place where everyone feels welcome. Canadian government is also facilitating a way for people who work in Canada to apply for permanent residency and citizenship.


Canada might follow US / UK on laptop / tablets ban on flights

Canada is still considering whether to follow UK and US in their laptop and iPad carry on ban on airlines flying from Middle Eastern countries. The ban came into effect this past Saturday March 25th. This basically means you are now allowed to use your laptop during your flight. You can still use it at the airport but not take it with you with your carryon. You have to check the items in.

Airports that are now part of the ban are as follows.

US is now banning the following airports:

  • Queen Alia International Airport (AMM)
  • Cairo International Airport (CAI)
  • Ataturk International Airport (IST)
  • King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED)
  • King Khalid International Airport (RUH)
  • Kuwait International Airport (KWI)
  • Mohammed V Airport (CMN)
  • Hamad International Airport (DOH)
  • Dubai International Airport (DXB)
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)

UK is now banning airports located in:

  • Turkey
  • Lebanon
  • Egypt
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Jordan
  • Tunisia

Examples of larger electronic items are:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • E-Readers
  • Cameras
  • Portable DVD players
  • Electronic game units larger than a smartphone
  • Travel printers/scanners

Some business travelers are wondering what they will now do on those long 15+ hour flights. Books are so  last century. But it is not really about inconvenience you have also greater chance of your laptop or tablet getting stolen or broken in your checked in luggage. The best idea is to encrypt your laptop.

You can always try to book your flight to travel through Europe for example from Turkey and then onwards to the US. This way the ban would not apply to you. However be aware even on connecting flights through Canada – for example Dubai to Detroit and then on to Montreal – the ban will still applies.

Even if you are US or Canadian citizen the ban would still apply to you.

But do not fret, maybe it is time to catch up on in flight media entertainment and catch up on your John Grisham’s book reading.

Forget Silicon Valley. Get $5m for Your Startup to Move to Buffalo, New York.

The city of Buffalo is trying to ramp up some interest in its city by hosting a 43North competition and giving away up to $5m USD to startups to come and work on your startup there in the incubator.

You will get a chance at $1 million prize for first place, $650k for the second place, $550k for third place, and five $500,000 prizes.

Canadians are not strangers to Buffalo and 43North. Toronto’s strtup Formarum won $500k in the last competition. They were pretty happy about it:

Today we are sharing a big news. After months of intense competition where hundreds of companies competed for a chance to win a share of $5 MILLION in prizes as part of the 43North competition, Formarum has been selected as one of the 8 Winners. We have won a $500,000 USD cash prize to help us launch our first product, Dive Smart Sanitizer.

“We could not be more grateful today. The funding we will receive from this award will help accelerate our product launch. We are extremely excited and looking forward to an incredible year to expand our operations to United States, grow our company, and start delivering an amazing product to our customers”, said Moe Dini , Formarum’s Product Manager .

“This is a fantastic news and opportunity that has come as a result of years of working on our core technology. I want to thank everyone who has helped us get to this point, especially our past and present employees without whom we would not be able to achieve this milestone”, said Seyed Nourbakhsh, Formarum’s CEO and Founder.


Here is how 43North describes itself on its website:

We award $5 million in cash prizes, including a top prize of $1 million, to innovative startups from around the globe. And that’s not all – our winners also receive mentorship, incubator space, marketing exposure and tax breaks. We operate through the support of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative and the New York Power Authority.

With $5 MILLION in prizes, 43North is a competition that’s in a league of its own. But it’s more than that. For winners, it’s an amazing staff and dedicated mentors. And free incubator space. And healthy tax-breaks. And some fierce ping pong. Click here for all the details on our 2017 competition.

Founded in 2014, 43North is an unprecedented program, made possible by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s historic Buffalo Billion initiative, with support from the New York Power Authority.

Our winners are helping to fuel a remarkable story that’s well under way – the renaissance of a great American city. BUFFALO, NY is poised to show the world what a 21st century city looks like, and that it’s a fertile ground for visionaries, pioneers, dreamers, and doers.

Make sure you have your passport up to date as you would need to pitch your startup to a panel of judges in Buffalo, New York (about 1.5 hours away from Toronto or Waterloo).

You can apply on their website until May 24, 2017:  https://apply.43north.org/register


Do you Know Your Rights at the US Canada Border Crossing?

A lot of our users live in Canada and commute to the US on weekly basis to go to work, conferences, seminars, etc. Since Donald Trump got elected, it seems, it became more frequent for border guards to do secondary inspection and inspect your belongings including your cell phone.

Even in Canada under Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Canadian government wants to introduce Bill C-23 under which if passed: U.S. border guards would get new powers to question, search and even detain Canadian citizens on Canadian soil under a bill proposed by the Liberal government. A Canadian going to the U.S. through a pre-clearance area [on Canadian soil] can say: ‘I don’t like the way [an interview is] going and I’ve chosen not to visit your country.’ And they can just turn around and walk out.

“Under the new proposed bill, they wouldn’t be able to walk out. They can be held and forced to answer questions, first to identify themselves, which is not so offensive, but secondly, to explain the reasons for leaving, and to explain their reasons for wanting to withdraw,”

–Michael Greene, Q.C.

So what do you do? Can US border agents force you to unlock your devices?

No.  But they can make your experience pretty uncomfortable. Do you really want to put up with 10 hours in custody because you do not want to show your facebook posts? If you agree to give up your device it might be seized for weeks and the data on it might be copied.

Can US border agents force you to give up enter your password for social media?

Once again the answer is No. But if you unlock your device – most people’s cellphones do not require passwords to enter their Facebook or Twitter.

So what do I do when entering US?

Travel with least data possible.  Maybe have one device for your work and one for your personal or store all your data in the cloud.

You can comply and get on your way or put up a fight and ask for a lawyer. If you are not American citizen or immigrant with Green Card you might be refused entry to the US due to this decision.

How about Canadian border up North? Mounties are nice, right?

Not so quick. Read the following excerpt from the Canadian Customs website:

Customs Searches Under Canada’s Customs Act, Canada Border Services Agency officers have widespread powers to stop and search people, their baggage and other possessions and devices at any Canadian port of entry (land border crossing, air terminal or sea port).

Canadian courts have generally recognized that people should have reduced expectations of privacy at border points. In this special context, privacy and other Charter rights are limited by state imperatives of national sovereignty, immigration control, taxation and security.

Canada Border Services Agency officers are authorized to conduct searches of people entering Canada, including their baggage, parcels or devices such as laptops and smart phones. These searches may be conducted without a warrant. Officers may examine devices for photos, files, contacts and other media.

If your laptop or mobile device is searched, you will likely be asked to provide the password. If you refuse, your device may be held for further inspection. Our understanding is that the issue of whether a border security agency can compel an individual to provide a password for a personal electronic device at a border crossing is not something that has been specifically looked at by the Courts in Canada.

Safe travels!


Canadian Tech Community asks Govt of Canada to accept more immigrants: Diversity is our strength

The following letter was published on Facebook few days ago by the Canadian Tech Community and sent to the Government of Canada for consideration. This was done due to a recent ban by the American president, Donald Trump, in the US.

This letter is in addition to Immigration Open Letter signed by Facebook and Microsoft in the United States partly stating:

We share your goal of ensuring that our immigration system meets today’s security needs and keeps our country safe, We are concerned, however, that your recent Executive Order will affect many visa holders who work hard here in the United States and contribute to our country’s success. We hire both thousands of Americans and some of the most talented people from abroad, who work together to help our companies succeed and expand our overall employment. Please use companies as a resource to help achieve immigration policies that both support the work of American businesses and reflect American values.”

The following Canadian letter is asking Canadian government to give special consideration to people who were banned under Trump’s order to be able to work in Canada with full benefits and potential apply for permanent residency in Canada.

The Canadian tech community comprises many different nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, mental and physical abilities, and perspectives. We believe that this diversity is a source of strength and opportunity.

On this topic, we are united.

Canadian tech companies understand the power of inclusion and diversity of thought, and that talent and skill know no borders. In choosing to hire, train, and mentor the best people in the world, we can build global companies that grow our economy. By embracing diversity, we can drive innovation to benefit the world.

The 21st century will be driven by pluralistic economies powered by pluralistic societies.

This is a belief founded upon personal experience for many in our community. Many Canadian tech entrepreneurs are immigrants, are the children of immigrants, employ and have been employed by immigrants. As connected economies, decisions by the United States can directly impact every business north of the border. The recently signed Executive Order to block entry of citizens from seven countries has already impacted several in our community.

As a community, we are all affected. As a community, we stand together in opposition to the marginalization of people based upon their race or religion. The Canadian tech community supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s message that Canada will and must remain inclusive to all nationalities.

We also stand directly opposed to any and all laws that undermine or attack inclusion, and call on Prime Minister Trudeau and our political leaders to do the same.

The Canadian tech community also calls on the Canadian federal government to institute an immediate and targeted visa providing those currently displaced by the US Executive Order with temporary residency in Canada. This visa would allow these residents to live and work in Canada with access to benefits until such time as they can complete the application process for permanent residency if they so choose.

Diversity is our strength. We as Canadians recognize our privilege as a prosperous nation. We believe providing refuge to people seeking safety should remain our compass.

In the hours following the US decision, many members of our community have privately shared personal stories of their immigrant experience. We ask them now to share those stories publicly so they may be amplified.