Visa Problems for Researchers Traveling to Canada Damage Reputation As a Technology Hub

Scientists and researchers reported visa problems trying to travel to Canada to attend the NeurIPS Artificial Intelligence (AI) conference in Montreal earlier this month. Canadian AI experts and conference organizers resorted to Twitter to report the many visa problems for researchers including denied and backlogged visa applications, and appeal for the Canadian government to resolve the issues.

While the Canadian government did expedite and approve some of the visas, many were not in time for researchers to travel to Canada in time for the conference. Conference organizers fear that the visa problems for researchers and scientists will damage Canada’s reputation as a technology hub and may push AI conferences to avoid Canada, and organizations like Black in AI and SOCML have l0st participants due to visa issues.

Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah has been a vocal advocate for the Canadian government to streamline the visa bureaucratic maze while maintaining immigration standards, and says we need to closely monitor the government’s AI immigration pilot program:

Canada enjoys the benefits of a world-class tech community, many of them foreign workers and highly skilled and educated technology ex[erts who moved to Canada. I have seen life-altering application mistakes happen time and again, and it’s time to change the bureaucratic maze. Plus, new research says the use of AI – artificial intelligence – may in fact discriminate against immigrants.  

Learn More: Scientists Face Visa Roadblocks Traveling to Canada for AI Conference

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Evelyn Ackah is a US and Canada immigration law expert and founder and managing lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. Business immigration law focuses on helping people move into new opportunities — both personally and professionally. Ackah Immigration Law helps you to navigate the complex maze of rules and regulations involved with Canadian, U.S. and international immigration law with confidence. Headquartered in Calgary and with offices in Vancouver and Toronto, Ackah Business Immigration Law provides legal immigration advice for those looking to move for work, education or personal reasons.

We provide expertise in all areas of immigration law ranging from corporate immigration to personal and family immigration matters. We provide comprehensive immigration services to clients around the world representing corporations, institutions, not for profit organizations and individual clients. As your immigration lawyers and paralegals, we provide you with timely and strategic advice relating to the constantly changing immigration laws and regulations.

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