According to a poll conducted by Vox.com, one in four Americans say they would move to Canada if Donald Trump were elected President in November.
Meanwhile, the latest data shows that after Trump’s strong performance on Super Tuesday, Google searches for "how to move to Canada" jumped by more than 350 per cent.
People are expressing their disappointment with Trump on Twitter as well:
Can someone please explain this to me?! Why are humans taking this man seriously?! #MovingToCanada— Lacee Amos (@LaceeAmos) March 9, 2016
Only one good thing will come from Trump. He will save Canada's economy when we all move there. #movingtocanada— Mr Curt (@MrOphidio) March 3, 2016
I know I'm not alone when I say I'm scared about the future of our country. Makes me sick I could literally throw up. ?? #movingtocanada— Nicolette Villanueva (@NicoletteV19) March 4, 2016
Some people have other reasons for wanting to move and Trump winning is just a trigger:
And Canadians are reacting to it in very different ways:
Rob Calabrese, a Canadian DJ, has set up a website inviting Americans who want to run away from Trump to Cape Breton. The island's population is slowly shrinking, so Calabrese and his wife are trying to reverse the fortune by inviting angry Americans.
"There's always a group, mostly Democrats, who threaten to move to Canada if so-and-so is elected,"
Calabrese said for Rolling Stone.
"This year you may hear that more than ever, so we wanted to get out in front of it, and let those people know, 'Hey! Here's your chance. We will welcome you with open arms.'"
The statement on the website cbiftrumpwins.com reads:
Donald Trump may become the next president of your country. If that happens, and you decide to get the hell out of there, might I suggest moving to Cape Breton Island?
Don’t wait until Election Day to find somewhere else to live!
Start now – that way, on Election Day, you just hop on a bus to start your new life in Cape Breton, where women can get abortions, Muslim people can roam freely and the only ‘walls’ are holding up the roofs of our extremely affordable houses.”
According to Calabrese's, there were more than 2,000 inquiries in the first three days.
"I'd say about 90 percent of them are genuine inquiries about making a life in Cape Breton, and a lot of them say regardless of who wins."
Most were anxious to escape Trump, but several, he says, feared a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Heather Mallick of The Guardian invites the Americans in her recent column and gives them some friendly advice:
Here are Canada’s house rules: almost no guns. Free healthcare. We will tax you. Abortion is legal except in “Prince Edward Island”. No unnecessary smiling. We invented normcore so dress down. Legal pot and medically assisted suicide are on the way, don’t abuse them.
We have free speech but there’s no call for rudeness. Our current prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said in his funeral oration for his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau (the Trudeaus are nothing like Bushes, remember that at parties) that his father taught him to show respect to every person. I cried at that, but maybe that’s just me.
We have commissions, tribunals and secretariats to fight racism. We have our own racist shame, our continuing mistreatment of indigenous peoples, so don’t let us act smug.
Buy a plastic snow shovel; if you choose metal, you’re just hauling excess weight. We hate our cable companies, we really really hate them.
We want you because you’re … Americans. You mean well.
Your Statue of Liberty says: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”
I say: “Give me your earnest, your middle-incomed, Your prosperous Massachusetts liberals yearning to escape libertarians, The maddened intellectuals of your eroding beach properties.”
Even Ellen reacted to this old-new trend with a hillarious video which went viral immediately.
All jokes aside, moving to a new country is no easy task. There are countless regulatory hurdles that need to be overcome and cultural differences that need to be accounted for. Learning the ins and outs of immigration can be exhausting. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, so here is a guide that might help you make the transition if you decide to do so.
Go North, Young Man
Richard Silver, Sales Representative, Senior Vice-President, Sales at Sotheby's International Realty, Canada, recently spoke with CBS MoneyWatch to highlight some of the country’s best areas for anyone thinking of making the jump across the 49th parallel. He says there are countless reasons why Americans might think about moving north in the event of a Trump victory.
He says the fact that most Canadians live so close to the border allows any expats the opportunity to return home for a visit, while their U.S. dollar will go far if they want to purchase a home.
Canada is a country where there are no restrictions on home ownership other than the ability to buy...Anyone from anywhere can buy!
In other words, anyone, an immigrant or just a visitor, can buy real estate in Canada.
According to Silver, health care is another important factor Americans should consider when thinking about moving to Canada:
Universal healthcare is a wonderful thing. I was in university in the United States and one of my friends ended up having her appendix removed and basically had to quit school because she couldn’t afford the medical bills for the surgery. So she had the appendectomy and ended up with 30 thousand dollars worth of bills and quit school. I mean that kind of stuff just doesn’t happen here.
Canada is the new Cowbell by Matt Grommes
The first step any would-be Canucks should take is figuring out if they’re eligible to move to Canada. There are many reasons that a person may not be allowed to move to relocate, including: human or international rights violations, a criminal record, health, financial reasons, misrepresentation, having an inadmissible family member, or various other issues.
The best way to determine one’s eligibility is to go to the Government of Canada’s website and fill out the forms you find there.
There are a few different options for legal residency in Canada. Here are some examples:
Express entry for skilled worker
You must have at least 12 months of full-time managerial, professional, or skilled trade work experience for this category. This is considered one of the best ways to gain citizenship. Officials will take into account your experience, education, age, and the field you’ll be working in.
Business startup or investor
This is best suited for entrepreneurs or professional investors. Investors must have a net worth of at least $10 million Canadian to apply.
A province can select individuals for residency, but this is relatively rare.
Similar to the "provincial" class, but in this case Quebec selects an individual on behalf of the Federal Government. This is for people who only wish to move to Quebec.
A family member who already resides in the country needs to agree to sponsor your immigration.
Anyone fleeing their home country due to war or other safety reasons can apply for residency through a refugee application. There are sponsorship options to help cover some of the costs of relocating for some individuals.
If a person is coming to Canada to care for a Canadian resident or citizen they may be able to apply for a Caregiver visa.
For people who work for themselves, but they must prove they have an income of at least $40,000 a year and will continue to earn as much while living in Canada.
While doing research for the article, we've stumbled upon Henry Chang's article for Huffington Post, which offers very important information about applying for residency in Canada. According to Chang, there are two options American Trumpfugees might consider: permanent residence or temporary residence - such as a work permit or a study permit.
When applying for permanent residence, U.S. citizens should consider these three categories:
These options do not require a Canadian employer or a Canadian relative to sponsor the foreigner.
Other options include the Quebec Immigration Program, the Provincial Nominee Programs, the Start-up Business Class, the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Class, the Caregiver Program, and family-sponsored permanent residence in some cases.
Since January 2015, these programs - FSWC, CEC, FSTC - are now subject to the Express Entry Program, which means that foreigners can no longer directly apply for permanent residence under the above mentioned programs.
Instead, applicants must now submit an Express Entry profile through the Citizenship and Immigration Canada ("CIC") website, indicating their interest in immigrating to Canada. If they satisfy the eligibility requirements of the FSWC, CEC, or FSTC, they will be accepted into the Express Entry pool of potential candidates. However, acceptance into the Express Entry pool does not guarantee that a particular candidate will be issued an invitation to apply for permanent residence,
All applicants in the Express Entry Pool get a certain number of Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. The applicants with the highest number of CRS points will get invitations from CIC to apply for permanent residence and only then will they be permitted to apply under FSWC, CEC or FSTC.
To date, the lowest CRS score that has resulted in an invitation to apply is 450. An unmarried 40 year old with a U.S. bachelor degree, with at least three years of skilled work experience in the United States, who is fluent in English but not French, and who has never worked or studied in Canada, would receive only 381 CRS points. Such an applicant would not have received an invitation to apply.
Applicants who get accepted into the Express Entry pool will stay there for a year, but if they haven't gotten the invite to apply for permanent residence in Canada after one year, their profiles will expire.
How to avoid this and make sure you can stay in Canada for a longer period of time?
Chang suggests that younger U.S. citizens should consider seeking a study permit to attend university in Canada. Study permits are usually issued for the duration of the applicant's academic program. A bachelor degree program lasts 4 years in Canada, so if Trump gets elected, you can stay here until the next election!
There are a lot of hoops people have to jump through to gain permanent residency in Canada, but once you’re in, Silver says there are a lot of reasons to stay. Even if you’re skeptical about moving to one of the country’s larger cities, Silver says there’s a lot to love about Canada.
Every province has great appeal as far as I’m concerned. They just have different appeal. And it depends on what you want in terms of lifestyle. I mean there’s wonderful properties out on the west coast, there’s wonderful properties in the east coast. Canada is a home to lots of lakes and there’s lots of nature around, there’s very interesting topography because we are a northern country.
Even though Canadian unemployment rate is at historic highs, most industries are stable and there is work to be found. According to an article on globalnews.ca, science, technology, engineering and math are fields in which Canada is seeing the biggest growth. So if you are searching for a job in any of these areas, you shouldn't have any problems finding a new job in Canada. Next on the list are careers in health care, due to Canada's aging population, and sales.
But to get a job in Canada, you will need a work permit.
There are six types of work permits:
These work permits require the employer to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment as part of the process.
Certain circumstances allow for individuals to work in Canada without first obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment.
Permits issued under the North American Free Trade Agreement, allowing work without a Labour Market Impact Assessment.
If you are currently studying in Canada or have recently graduated from a Canadian educational institution, you may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit in Canada. Canadian government is now actively working on making it easier for international students, who have studied or are studying in Canada, to obtain permanent residence.
Canada has a mutual agreement with many other countries that allow a number of individuals of a certain age to work in Canada for a time.
Permits allowing a company to bring certain employees to Canada from its offices abroad.
According to Henry Chang,
U.S. business owners would be in a better position to obtain work permits through their existing businesses, perhaps as intra-company transferees, NAFTA treaty investors or treaty traders. Certain professionals may also be eligible for work permits as NAFTA Professionals, if they can find a Canadian employer or entity willing to hire them. Executives, managers, and specialized knowledge workers employed by multinational companies may also seek intra-company transferee work permits, if they can convince their employers to transfer them abroad.
If you need help looking for a job, the Federal and Provincial Governments host a number of resources:
There is an abundance of private job search sites as well. A very good resource for people new to the country is Canadian Immigrant.
A Canadian startup company Sortable, based in Kitchener-Waterloo, is offering a job to "smart, nice people in the technology industry who are already starting to look for alternative living arrangements in anticipation of a Donald Trump presidency."
Now, while we don’t think Americans will actually move en masse to Canada if the election doesn’t go their way, we do want to extend an offer. Because it’s the polite, Canadian thing to do,
reads their statement on Sortable's website.
Finding a Home
Once you’ve arrived in Canada you’ll need to find a place to live. Luckily, Silver says most Americans should find Canada’s real estate market very appealing. The American dollar goes a lot further north of the border, so buying property is comparably painless, even if there are some differences.
I think where they would be most shocked is one thing, whereas in the United States you can write off your interest on your mortgage, in Canada you cannot. And so what’s happened in the United States, and part of the issue where they got into the big problem with their market was people who owned one house were leveraging that house to buy another house to buy another house. And so they kept on using their mortgage payments to deduct from their taxes and buy something.
Silver also points out that, where in the United States a person can walk away from a mortgage in some states without repercussions, the same is not true in Canada. The bank can still go after a person for the balance of the loss.
But those differences, according to Silver, have kept the Canadian market strong and reliable.
We just haven’t had the dips and valleys that they have. We had consistent strengthening.
Most of Canada’s major banks offer different mortgage options for all types of residents. There are options for new residents, foreign workers, international students, and non-residents alike. One important thing to keep in mind is that if you want to obtain a mortgage after moving to Canada, you need to plan ahead. For example, a work permit allows for much better financing options than if you don't have one. If you already have a job lined up in Canada or you are transferring with your company, the process gets even easier. So before you decide to move, it's probably a good idea to find a job first.
When you get a job and you decide to invest in real estate in Canada and buy your own place, you need to start researching mortgages. According to CanadianMortgageTrends.com, the top 10 mortgage lenders in Canada are:
If you don't have a job lined up, the obstacles to obtaining a mortgage can be more strenuous. For many brokers you must have landed immigrant status and at least three months of full-time employment in Canada. Anyone transferred under a corporate relocation program is exempt.
It's a good idea to get pre-approval for a mortgage. Pre-approval means that your lender commits to giving you a mortgage up to a specified amount, at certain terms and conditions, including the interest rate. Sit down with a lender or broker to discuss your needs. The commitment will be valid for a specific period, usually up to 90 days.
Pre-approval doesn't mean you're locked into a mortgage. You're still free to look at other arrangements but it can take some of the stress out of planning since you'll know how much you can spend on a property.
Read our Mortgages in Canada for Immigrants guide for more information.
Between Canada’s beautiful landscapes, strong economy, and attractive housing market there are plenty of reasons to hop the border and settle down in The Great White North if the outcome of the next U.S. Presidential election isn’t to your liking. But Richard has one request:
If U.S. citizens are coming, please just send the nice ones.
If you're interested in moving to Canada and you're searching for a new home, please do not hesitate to contact us. We'd be happy to help!
Title Photo by Gage Skidmore