Canadian job prospects after quitting US job

Hello All

I am looking for some advice. I am currently working in California as a software engineer. Due to well-known H1B issues, I applied for Canadian PR. I was supposed to have gotten the PR by now, but it is delayed due to Covid-19. My plan was to start applying for jobs after I have the PR AND I get time for interview prep. I have 5 years of work experience and a PhD from a reputed US University.

Now, my current job is quite well-paying. However, it is an environment I am starting to deeply dislike. It’s long hours with extreme micro-management as well as uninteresting work. I am seriously considering just quitting without another job. I need around 30 full days of preparation to get another job and I hardly get 1 day a week for prep in current situation (job consumes 60-70 hours of work per week). I used to like my job a lot before, but recent change in management has put me in current situation.

Given the pandemic and H1B 60 day unemployment restriction, the smart thing to do is to just deal with it for 5-6 months, use the accumulated PTO for job prep and find another job in US/Canada (hopefully I get PR by then). If Canada job doesn’t work out due to bad economy or PR delay, switch to a different US company. However, I am worried about my mental and physical health. I am becoming bitter day-by-day, which is not my personality at all. I am seriously considering just quitting my job and trying to find another job in 2 months in US. If that doesn’t work, I am thinking of going back to India and find a job until I get a job in Canada. I have enough savings to last me 2 months w/o job in US, 1 year in India and 1 year in Canada without a job. I have a spouse who is a home-maker, no kids.

I have a few questions/requests:

  1. When I apply for jobs in Canada, I am wondering if the employment break will be seen negatively?
  2. Am I making some serious blunder in terms of future job prospects that I am currently not thinking about?
  3. I would really appreciate any experience sharing and/or advice in this regard.

If you work at a big tech company like Amazon, I recommend finding another job internally in Canada and moving there. You don’t need a PR for that.

If you have earned vacation, technically you could use all that while staying on the payroll and getting paid. Use that time to prepare for interviews. If your manager doesn’t allow you to take time off, visit a therapist, explain you are breaking down and need a letter to take some time off. Just send that to HR and you’d not have to even disclose mental health reasons to your manager for privacy/HIPPA reasons. Good luck!

This is distressing on so many levels. I’m sorry things have turned for the worse at your current employment. Given you have a spouse to provide for, here are my 2 cents:

  • PhD from a reputed US university, 5 years of work experience are your trump cards. These things might help squeeze past the competition in a standard job market. But as with every other major economy that’s been turned upside down because of Covid, no one really knows what the Canadian hiring market is like. Unless you have a network of connections in your industry that can help you get interviews with Canadian companies, it’s going to be not as easy.

  • As with any professional employment market, there will be questions asked about gaps in work history. Expect nothing better, nothing worse. I had gaps between a couple of my jobs in the US as well as initial unemployment of a few months after graduation, which was asked about when I initially interviewed for a different team within my current company. When I landed another interview with my current team, the manager didn’t seem to care.

  • Using your accumulated PTO to prep for interviews within the US is a smart idea and staying away from your work place for a couple of weeks might also help you get revitalized. I would advise that you explore this idea further.

  • Without a PR/CoPR in hand, it might be tough to land interviews applying from outside Canada. Unless you have a connection who can help land one or your profile stands out as exceptional in such a way that the prospective employer doesn’t care about your work authorization status. (It’s hard to qualify without understanding what area your degree and work experience are in). There is no harm in sending a few applications and testing the waters.

  • You seem to have calculated your risks well, given the way you listed your ability to depend on savings in several worst-case scenarios. Only you (and your spouse) can make a call about the risks you wanna take with your career.

To sum it up, more people than not are going to advise that this is absolutely not a great time to quit your employment as self-preservation is going to be the striving motto until the pandemic is better manageable. Canadian employment market is not stable yet.

Coudln’t agree more with the above. If the pressure cooker at your employment is still bearable, please try to make a move to a different company (in either the US or Canada) while still holding this job.

@arjun-humain Try to move your H1B in USA. In Canada job market is not that great with low pay though you get work life balance.

@angularguy can you please explain yourself, you have multiple flags against your account so I just want to honestly ask what’s up? Most of your comments are quite random without any specifics can you please explain why you feel your salary is lower in Canada? Also you were recommending Australia on another thread do you have any specifics around that recommendation that would serve to enlighten folks on here. As one of the moderators we only try to maintain a high bar for content on here as forums on the open internet devolve very quickly if not managed.


Here is a link to Senior Software Engineer Position with Coursera in downtown Toronto it pays 140K to 180K US with stock etc on top. Also I find Toronto more cost effective than the bay area and it’s a big North American city thats fun and friendly.


Hi siddEE. Thanks a bunch for your detailed reply. It’s good to hear your perspective. As you mentioned, there is no right answer. It just makes me feel better to hear from multiple people and see what are their thoughts.

Glad my answer helped you feel better. No one should have to put up with a shoddy work environment, certainly not to the extent that it makes you worry about your health. And I strongly believe, if not for the unfortunate pandemic situation, you would have gotten a few leads already from some awesome folks on this forum. Feel free to keep us posted. :grinning:


@vik - Not sure why I am flagged! All of my posts have been related to the topic and it’s just an opinion which I share. On the other thread, reason for recommending Australia was there was discussion going on wrt to immigration stability and Australia is one of the good alternatives with good pay - its just that one needs to be open to options. I never meant to put any option down, apologies if you felt like that. You are doing great job as this forum provides valuable inputs to many folks. Thank you!

@angularguy We have an active moderator community so people might have misunderstood. On the internet it’s hard to know whats what. Thanks for your answer you are more than welcome to share your views on here. I’ve noticed it usually helps the discussion to provide some data or links to backup statements since a lot of people read these threads while planning life decisions it only helps them to research these other options.


Thanks sounds good @vik :+1:

@arjun-humain In tech, employment break is not a big deal. From my personal experience, it’s nice to line up a few interviews before reaching Canada. It’s a massive source of stress to move to a new country and then apply for jobs. Tech recruitment is only slightly affected due to covid and you will have no issues getting interview calls.

If I were you, I wouldn’t wait for Canada PR. For now, move to a different company in US, work for some time, wait for the Canada PR and move to Canada in a relaxed way. In my opinion, it’s much easier to move from US to Canada than from India to Canada - be it searching for jobs, moving household goods, car, etc.


I’m not sure where you are in the PR process, but I think you are in a much better situation if you are just waiting for passport request / CoPR.

Don’t worry much about the employment break. Prospective employers will understand that you are moving to a different country. So you can always say that you took an employment break to spend some time on vacation, and wrap up things in US, moving to Canada etc (just give it the right spin).

If I was in your position, I’d look to switch within the US, while simultaneously applying in Canada. Get a number from Text Now, just apply with your Canadian phone number and email as contact info, mention in your resume that you’ll be working as a Canada PR. That will ensure you get the foot in the door. Initial conversation, you can mention that you are just a month or two away from landing as PR. That’s usually the timeline most hiring efforts look at. (I got my first contract with a Canadian client exactly this way). If you get a new US role, and they are fine with you working remote all the time, just keep that job, and get set with moving to Canada.

In either case, It makes a huge difference moving to Canada with a (US or Canadian) job in hand, especially if you are moving closer towards the end or early in the year (imo hiring is peak in 2nd and 3rd quarters, I may be wrong). It also helps in signing a rental lease (easier to get one if you can show you have a source of income).

Don’t take the Canadian job market for granted. There are a lot of people applying for the same role, so competition can be a lot (especially in terms of pay, over skill).

Moving to India during the transition is attractive, but remember that timezone difference adds to the stress of interviewing, but again, you can present this as you are on vacation back home, and will be returning on so and so date as PR.

I feel the PR provided exactly the kind of peace of mind we needed when we were in a somewhat similar situation as you are.

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Hi @ntn, @th1ru

Thanks for your response. Yes, I will try my best to see if I can stay in US, get a job in Canada and then move. It is now looking hard to do, but I will try. Pls see an update on that below.

In terms of PR process, I am just waiting for the passport request. I ordered the GCMS notes in June and it shows that all my documents are verified and are OK’ed (medical, education, work history, police certificate, etc). So it looks close. However, I think getting PPR will be timed based on when US-Canada border will open. Just my hunch.

Just as an update to everyone reading this thread, my life and mental state improved a lot today. My boss called me in the morning and said that he thinks I am no longer motivated to do the job and that I should consider leaving if that is the case. I do not want to bad mouth anyone on this forum, so I won’t say anything further on that. After lot of consultations with friends and family, I officially resigned from the company. I know this might very well mean a flight back to India in 2-3 months, but after lot of soul searching, I think that stress is going to be less than the stress of remaining in my current job. Mentally, I no longer have any desire to stay in the US. I just want to stay long enough so I can get a job in Canada and move from US-to-Canada, as opposed to US-India-Canada.

At this point, I am more comfortable sharing my exact field and education (I was bit paranoid before that someone from my company will see this post) (@siddEE had hinted at it) . I work at an early stage silicon valley startup designing computer chips. I work on the software side of things, but with lot of focus on hardware-specific performance optimizations, performance analysis and HW-SW co-design. I am able to do all these things partly because my PhD is in Computer Architecture, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which is quite a reputed place. So I would be looking at places that either design computer chips (Intel, Nvidia, AMD, ARM, Qualcomm, etc) OR companies that need to optimize their software at hardware-level detail (not quite certain which and how many companies go in this bin) OR companies that do both (Facebook, Apple, Google, etc). I know there are not many companies in Canada doing this type of work. But if anyone has general sense for what the job market is like for this specialization, I would really appreciate it. In any case, I will start my own research on this soon.


Thanks for sharing your experience, I understand that it’s extremely hard to share and talk about things when life is in a bad place. Thank you for being vulnerable.

By the sounds of it it looks like you have a very solid resume and once this pandemic mess settles, I have no doubt that you will land a great job in Canada. I can personally testify to the relief and lifting of the emotional pressure when you’re not thinking about immigration all the time.

I’d like to add my $.02 as advice for other readers. Instead of quitting the job in these circumstances, I’d respectfully ask the manager to initiate the termination, this is primarily because you would then be eligible for severance and unemployment benefits (granted that EI is somewhat convoluted being on H1B, but other visas like L1 have it much worse).

The other thing that I’d urge you to consider is to also seek professional help, your medical insurance will cover this. The reason that I ask you to consider this is that it appears that you reached a breaking point and it’s very important to root cause or diagnose this so that it doesn’t happen again in the future. Moving to a new country is always somewhat hard, so consciously do things like developing a social circle when you get here. This community is a great place to get started.

All the very best to you for the future.

I’m not sure if this post by @usa2can helps Silicon Valley Companies with Engineering in Canada But you can take a look at these companies in Canada.

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Hello @arjun-humain

I work in the same field as you, and we are hiring. So feel free to share your resume whenever you are ready for starting your job hunt in Canada. Good luck.



Thanks for sharing your story as it unfolds. I now have a positive outlook on your prospects given the field that you have experience in (shout out to UW, my thesis adviser is an alumni too :wink: ). @usa2can Thank you very much for stepping up with your kind gesture, hope something opens up. But I would suggest that you keep looking simultaneously in the US as well, given that you don’t yet have an actual CoPR in hand (significant delays with IRCC is not a myth, it is the current situation). You never know what door opens up, especially in this current chaotic environment. We are all pulling for ya!

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Hi @panditji

Thanks for your kind words. I feel the words in my post probably made it sound like I was in a worse state than I actually was. I don’t think I need any professional counseling, but that is something I will keep in mind and am generally open to it. In any case, I feel much better now. I have availed the option of professional counseling during my PhD phase when I was having a hard time. Compared to that situation (6 years ago), this situation feels so easy to handle honestly. I am financially secure to handle unemployment for a long time, I have a reasonably strong skill set and resume, and the worst case is for me to go back to India. That worst case is actually a great idea in my mind because I will finally get to spend an extended period of time with my parents (who are quite old now), something which I have not been able to do for the past 15 years or so. It will make them really happy, and that’s worth so much to me.


@panditji On second thoughts, I will take your advice and book an appointment with a professional and talk through my feelings. It may be possible I still have some amount of stress in me. I would like to clean it out. Thanks for the advice.

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