Americans: It's not as easy as just 'moving to Canada'
Published Monday, November 7, 2016 7:42PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 8, 2016 6:00PM EST
Americans are threatening to “move to Canada” if their preferred candidate loses in Tuesday’s presidential election. But it’s a lot more difficult than just packing up and driving to Cape Breton.
The picturesque island has been in the spotlight ever since radio host Rob Calabrese started a website nine months ago, encouraging Americans to move there if Donald Trump wins.
Calabrese says the site has surpassed 2 million hits. He knows of one retired American who relocated to Cape Breton in April, but she’s gone back after learning she had no real path to immigration.
It turns out that Americans who want to move to Canada permanently usually require a job offer, and those who don’t have that in hand better be very well-educated and young.
Here’s how it works. Canada plans to accept 300,000 new permanent residents in 2017. About 40,000 will be refugees, and the supposed horror of a Trump or Clinton presidency doesn’t count toward refugee status. Another 80,000 will be family members of Canadians, which most Americans don’t have.
The rest will mostly be skilled workers. Considering that some skilled workers who applied under some programs are facing processing times in excess of six years, Americans fleeing Trump or Clinton would have to qualify for the Express Entry program, which cuts processing times to around six months.
Express Entry scores people out of 1,200 points and then ranks them. The minimum required score is constantly changing. In 2015, it never dipped below 450 points.
A full 600 points is given for those who have a job offer. But getting that job offer is difficult. An employer must prove that “no Canadian worker is available to do the job.” With more than 1.3 million unemployed Canadians, that’s a hard sell.
Those who don’t have a job offer in hand will need to rack up points in other areas, such as:
- Age: single people in their 20s get 110 points, but anyone 45 or older gets no points
- Education: high school students get zero, while Ph.Ds get up to 140
- Work experience
“Immigrating to Canada is a complex, paper-intensive, time-consuming process,” says immigration lawyer Lee Cohen. “This notion that somebody can just decide to move to Canada and live here is misdirected.”
With a report from CTV Atlantic