Regardless of what side of the political spectrum you are on, Canada has become a bit of a premier hypothetical destination for Americans unhappy after elections. In the past, even prominent celebrities have vocalized their interest in looking for greener pastures depending on certain election results.
Throughout history, we’ve seen many examples of immigration taking place to avoid political turmoil. But that’s not really what we’re talking about here. We’re looking specifically at citizens of the United States and their desire to move northward. Do Americans actually move to Canada after elections? And if you found yourself wanting to move to Canada, how hard would it even be in the first place? We have all your answers here.
The Truth About Moving to Canada After Elections
According to a Gallup poll, more and more people are currently interested in permanently moving out of the United States. Of those surveyed (in 2018), 26% listed Canada as the place they would most like to go. This value rose from 12% in 2016.
Politics aside, there are many reasons for why Canada would be an appealing destination for those living in the US. Things like a low crime rate, universal healthcare, and a host of natural and cultural attractions all make Canada a pretty nice place to live. So the fact that there are people wanting to move to Canada doesn’t really tell us much.
However, many would be quick to say this increased desire to move to Canada is a reactionary measure. And the truth is that there are Americans out there moving to Canada, and specifically citing elections as their main reason. Over 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, 1,055 more people were granted Canadian residency than during the previous presidential administration. Moves to Canada have also been documented in the press, so we know this happens to some degree. Furthermore, we’ve also seen spikes of Canadian immigration after other elections as well, so this isn’t a recent phenomenon.
BUT…there’s a big difference between a couple of thousand Americans and 26% percent of all Americans. As a result, the major conclusion we can draw is that while a lot of Americans talk about moving to Canada after an election, a far smaller number actually follow through with it.
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How To Move To Canada (Is It Easy?)
Part of this is due to the fact that moving to Canada isn’t as simple as packing your bags and hopping on a plane. For one thing, the fastest option to get your Canadian residency (which you need to live there) is six months, which is longer than you may have expected. In order to qualify for Express Entry, you need to be considered a skilled foreign applicant who has taken an official language test in either English or French. This is one area where American applicants have a leg up. After taking the test, you will be appraised on a point scale that goes up to 1200. Details that impact your score include:
- Work Experience
- Having a Canadian Spouse
- Canadian Degrees
- Having Canadian Job Offers
There are also special programs available for start-up visas, as well as the self-employed. Again, a common thread here is that these take a lot of time to process, and nothing is guaranteed.
If you want to take the next step and actually become a Canadian citizen, this will take even more time. You need to be a permanent resident and be physically present in Canada at least 1,460 days in the six years immediately before you put in your application.
In addition, one needs to consider whether or not you will be happy in a new country after moving there. There are myths and misconceptions about life in Canada, the same as you would see about any country. Many people have legitimate reasons for wanting to leave the United States, but it’s not the type of thing you want to do on a whim. Even if you were, as you can see, the system is designed to make sure you are committed before actually letting you see if the grass is greener on the other side.
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