[MobSquad CEO Irfan] Rawji said MobSquad hires these tech workers, just as their visas are expiring, and moves them to Canada. Then MobSquad contracts them back to the client company. So far, Rawji said, around 20 engineers have made the move.

For workers like Yuan He, the model works. Until last summer, He commuted from New Jersey to the office of Petal Card, in Soho. Although he’d obtained a graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and had proven himself to his employer, he failed to obtain an H-1B visa and figured he'd have to return to China.