It happens every four years. Someone threatens to move to Canada if their presidential candidate loses the election. Apparently, a lot of Americans feel that way this time around, if Google searches are any indication. Google Trends tweeted earlier this year that searches for "Move to Canada" are at an all-time high.
But if you are serious about moving to Canada after the final vote is tabulated tonight, here are a few things you need to know. It's not as simple as packing the car and driving north. (Actually, if you live in Detroit, you have to drive south to reach Canada.)
First of all, Canada doesn't want just anyone moving there. But there are a few things that might smooth the path for you. If you already have a job offer from a Canadian employer, you're in! Ditto if you marry a Canadian citizen or are accepted into a Canadian college.
Otherwise, it's a little more difficult but not impossible to gain permanent entry into Canada. If you have an in-demand skill (such as expertise in cooking or baking or the building trades), you may be offered express entry. If you want to start a business in Canada, and have a commitment from a designated Canadian angel investor group or venture capital fund to invest in your business idea, you can apply for a "start-up visa." If you have experience in agriculture and plan to buy and manage a farm in Canada, the welcome mat is out for you.
Canada also has a list of requirements for those seeking to enter the country under asylum or refugee status, but I don't think that unhappiness over the political situation in the U.S. qualifies anyone for refugee status.
In addition, Canada has a list of things that will keep you out of the country. If you have a serious health problem or a serious financial problem - you're out. If you have been convicted of a crime in this country - even driving under the influence of alcohol - that's another reason why Canada will show you the door. And your family members had better be squeaky clean as well. Canada won't let you in if someone in your family is disqualified from entering the country.
So, keeping these hurdles in mind, maybe the best course of action is for us to stay in the U.S. Canada loves to have Americans come and visit, but not overstay their welcome.
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at [email protected].
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