Will This Election Cause Us To Lose Skilled Workers To Canada?

Politics can be divisive, but no race has been so divisive as this year’s Presidential election. The mud is getting deep, and there are no signs the slinging will die down any time soon.

Celebrities and regular folk alike are threatening to move to Canada- Lena Dunham is just the latest celebrity to say she’ll move if Trump is elected. Trump also told Whoopi Goldberg to move to Canada, to which she responded she’s not going anywhere. An island in Canada called Cape Breton has invited Americans to come if Trump wins. But what does it take to move to Canada?

Hordes of Americans moved to Canada during the Vietnam War in order to dodge the draft. They were leaving in droves- at a rate of nearly 23,000 a year. After the war ended emigration to the North died down for a while. Then when George W. Bush started polling well applications surged. Between 2004-2005 there was a 20% increase in American applications to move to Canada, but when Obama entered the office in 2009 that number dropped down 11%. By the end of Bush’s second term, over 10,000 Americans had moved to Canada.

Surprisingly, by 2012 many Conservatives were also threatening to move to Canada if Obama won a second term. Google search data shows there was a huge spike in searches for how to move to Canada on Super Tuesday 2016, and data shows 15% of Americans say they will move to Canada if Hillary Clinton wins and 19% say they will move to Canada if Donald Trump wins.

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Though the population of the United States is 9x that of Canada, 33,000 Canadians move to America each year, while only about 9000 Americans move to Canada. Though Canada is ready to welcome Americans, there are a few things you need to know before you start packing your bags.

There are a few key ways to qualify for emigration to Canada. If you have family there, that may be your best bet- family sponsorship is seen as a way to keep close family members together. Start a business- if you can prove you have support from the business community you could be on the fast track. Canadian businesses are in need of skilled workers, so if you’re really good at what you do you may be able to move. Self-employed people like athletes and farmers also get priority. Lots of money, refugee status, a slow application process, and caregiver status can also get you the green light to cross the border permanently.

Once you have been in Canada for 3 years, you will be eligible to take a citizenship test. Then you will be free to enjoy all the ice hockey, maple syrup, and poutine your heart desires. Just watch out- if you have a health condition deemed too expensive, you won’t be covered by the national healthcare system. It’s also cold- really cold- in some areas temperatures can dip to -40°F. If s/he wins, are you really moving to Canada?