Hmm. I hadn’t realized Canada was not as welcoming to immigrants as it once was. Since I was born there, I’ll always be able to get in, but you might not have such an easy time.
But for some Americans, Canada’s more liberal social and economic policies, including cradle-to-grave health care from the government, remain deeply appealing. So, too, is the draw of a country with spectacular landscapes and, in some places, more affordable real estate.
“We had no physician for three years,” said Elisabeth Burrow, an American who moved back and forth between the United States and Canada for her education and career, and now runs a food company in Fergus, Ontario, about 90 minutes from Toronto. Like Ms. Brogdon, she and her husband used their hospital’s emergency room or traveled to Toronto for care. “The Canadian system isn’t 100 percent foolproof,” she said. “There are waiting lines for some procedures, but they’re trying to address it.”
Born in New Haven, where her father was a professor of medicine at Yale, and educated after high school in the United States, Ms. Burrow now lives on a 97-acre farm, producing and selling pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts. “I can’t see moving from here,” she said. “It’s safe. I don’t lock my door. Canadians are very gracious. They say their please and thank-yous. They’re more than willing to help you.”
Ms. Burrow also highly values Canada’s less divided political culture. “I couldn’t go back to the U.S. now. I just couldn’t,” she said.
(click here to continue reading The Trade-Offs of Relocating North to Canada – NYTimes.com.)
So if Rick Santorum, or worse, becomes president in 2016, what will you have to do to move to Canada? Start planning now, or at least when primary season begins…
Americans who are not yet Canadian residents but hope to retire there should start planning at least two to four years in advance, allowing enough time to meet federal and provincial requirements, said David Aujla, an immigration lawyer in Victoria, British Columbia. Since 2008, the Progressive Conservative party has changed the way potential immigrants are selected, restricting the list of eligible skilled occupations to only about 30; previously most professional, technical and management occupations were acceptable, Mr. Aujla said.
Potential residents can get health coverage within three months of obtaining a work permit or permanent status. They do not have to be citizens to receive it.
To obtain a work permit, Mr. Aujla advises his older clients to attend a Canadian college or university on a student visa and obtain a degree, after which they will be given a three-year permit.
It is also possible for Americans to obtain work permits in 60 professional job categories found in the North American Free Trade Agreement. This avenue gives expedited and easy entry for those potential immigrants who have a signed employment agreement with a Canadian employer. “If you are highly skilled, age doesn’t matter at all,” said Mr. Aujla, “but it’s middle management that the government is very tough in screening.”
Alternatively, if you can prove that you have a viable business, you can apply to the government of whichever province you’ve chosen to live in. If your application is approved, it then goes to the federal government, an interview process that takes about two years, Mr. Aujla said. “There’s no age limit for business owners.”
The third category under which immigration is possible is “self-employed,” reserved for farmers, athletes and artists. “The key is to show you’ve been viable and can produce income,” which can be as low as $40,000 to $60,000 a year, Mr. Aujla said. But applicants must also prove, according to the requirements of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the country’s immigration department, that they intend to make “a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada.” Someone hoping to teach piano in Toronto, the country’s largest city, might have less success winning government approval than someone willing to move to a small town in British Columbia, for example.
The 60 professional job categories are listed here
canada.usembassy.gov/visas/doing-business-in-america/professions-covered-by-nafta.html by the way.1
They Can’t Deport Us AllFootnotes:
- Updated link 7-25-2018 [↩]