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Sorry Americans, you’re just not our type

Thinking of moving to Canada to escape President Trump? Odds are you’re not educated, young or employable enough to get in.


 
Delegates cheer as Former Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Delegates cheer as Former Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Dear Americans,

We don’t want you here. Well, not most of your lot.

We’re a rather liberal populace, and we’ve been watching the narrowing presidential race with the same anxiety and disbelief as many of you. Canada, like your country, has never elected a dangerously unqualified demagogue either—and put in a similar situation, many of us might go shopping for a new country as well.

But for those of you thinking of moving to Canada as your Plan B, we’re sorry.

We really like newcomers, generally speaking. Canada takes in 250,000 annually, and this year has welcomed Syrian refugees by the planeload (or, as your Republican nominee says, by the Trojan horse load). But we can be a picky lot, and most of you need not apply.

The median American adult is about in his or her mid-40s, and has not completed a college degree. Based on the criteria to enter the country as an economic immigrant—that is, not as a refugee or a Canadian’s relative—those are two strikes against you. If you are not applying to migrate with a Canadian job already lined up in a field where there’s a domestic skills shortage, that’s more or less strike three.

In 2015, Canada opened an express-entry qualification system, with an average processing time of six months before a permanent residency is approved. It’s based on a point system. Maclean’s tested how that typical 46-year-old American would fare if he or she never finished college, but has been working steadily for several years. That person gets 114 points out of 1,200. You won’t have a chance without a point score well in the 400s, says Zool Suleman, a Vancouver-based immigration lawyer.

“That median American is not going to qualify to immigrate to Canada,” he says.

Yes, the less educated and older Americans tend to vote Trump, so perhaps Average Joe from Ohio isn’t the representative sample of the Canada-minded.

But with some exceptions, it’s hard for most people to qualify for quick passage into Canada. And if Citizenship and Immigration Canada does find you a suitable candidate into the Fraternity of the Moose-Antlered Hoser, you may have to wait until well into a President Trump’s first term to get safe passage. “Claiming you’re a ‘Trump refugee’ isn’t going to work,” Suleman says. “Instant qualification isn’t going to work. Everything takes time. Americans might be surprised to discover how hard it is to become a Canadian immigrant.”

To Canada’s immigration authority, the more degrees you have the better (a bachelor’s degree is worth four times the 30 points for a high school diploma). Officials favour the young with decades of taxpaying years ahead of them (105 points if you’re 30, six if you’re 44). Experience in a highly skilled profession like management, medicine or engineering bodes well, as does a trade like welding, drywalling or carpentry—lower-level positions like oil-field worker, truck driver or cleaner won’t count in most cases. If you’ve already secured a job that it’s proven Canadians weren’t likely to fill gives you a bonus of 600 points, your best hope for a get-out-of-Trumpland card.

But here’s the encouraging news from friendly Canada: we tend to favour you Yankees over overseas migrants. There are some fast-track permits for some professions under the North American Free Trade Agreement—before your next president shreds that accord—and proficiency in English is a tremendous boon in our points system. There are other continental preferences as well for Americans, whose qualifications are viewed much more equitably with Canadian qualifications. “Their jobs, their universities are not so heavily scrutinized by immigration officers,” says Michael Niren, an immigration lawyer in Toronto.

Don’t be discouraged that Americans only make up three or four per cent of Canada’s new permanent residents every year; 8,496 Americans earned their laminated Maple Leaf in 2014, compared to 40,035 people from Philippines and 38,341 from India. Lawyers say that’s because of lack of current demand, compared to other countries without as high a standard of living.

Here’s a guide to how certain classes of the Trump-phobic might fare in their attempts to immigrate to the land of single-payer health care, gun control and one fairly decent Major League Baseball team.

The Seattle-area retiree who always envied his Vietnam draft dodger pals on Vancouver Island:

Unless you want to marry one of that draft dodger’s friends, good luck. You can’t be an economic immigrant unless you plan to contribute to the economy. Even trying to get in as a family-class migrant takes time: a spouse or common-law partner living outside Canada would take 14 months to get the go-ahead, according to processing times listed on a federal website. Besides, Americans don’t retire to chilly Canada; go south, maybe become an illegal immigrant to Mexico, where Trump won’t bother you.

The 27-year-old Bernie Sanders fan from Oakland with a political science degree and two years experience checking out books at Barnes and Noble:

Age: good. Degree: right on. But without strong work experience in a profession or trade, there’s little hope for that Bernie bro or Sanders sis. A much easier route would be applying for a student visa and obtaining further university education, Niren says. Canada is actively recruiting foreign students, and getting one’s Converse sneaker into the door can lead to domestic work opportunities and a path to stay.

The 34-year-old lawyer from Cleveland:

You can qualify for a work visa through NAFTA, and you’ll also have to go through an assessment process and bar exams. But be warned about the chill you’ll face. “One of the toughest parts of moving from an American firm to a Canadian firm is watching your bi-weekly deposit drop nearly in half,” says a post on Above the Law. (Though it does note lower living costs in major Canadian cities.) And consider this: swing states like Ohio will need the help of passionate Democratic professionals like you in 2020!

The well-off commodities trader from a Midwest city with two degrees, married and with two college-aged children, who is interested in setting up his own trading business in Canada:

If this sounds specific, that’s because Suleman got a call from this person this week, who’s “very much afraid of a Trump victory” and wanted to explore his options. This candidate would tick many boxes on the points list, and if a province can prioritize him as a provincial nominee, he can move in 2017, the Vancouver lawyer says. But nothing is certain, and delays are common; this commodities trader might not qualify to immigrate, Suleman says. He might recommend this American come up as a student as well, perhaps get an M.B.A.—a $30,000 investment in education may be more secure than bidding to spend much more on starting up a business in a new country.


 

Sorry Americans, you’re just not our type

  1. Monster.com reported today that there has been a very large bump in job searches in Canada, among Americans. The most common searches involve engineering, information technology and accounting — all professions that require a significant amount of previous education and experience.

    So, I wouldn’t say “sorry Americans”. I’d say, “Welcome, folks.”

    • They obviously must think Clinton is going to win. I’d run like hell too if that happened. But it’s all for naught since she will very likely be impeached and take over Martha Stewart’s old cell for a while.

      • So silly that I have to admire your humour talent. Very Monty Python-esque – ridiculous to the point of hilarity.

        Maybe that’s what Trump has been going for all along. So many people gag on what he says … maybe they should just be laughing. Just like we laugh at you.

  2. Two glaring errors in this article:
    1) “Canada, like your country, has never elected a dangerously unqualified demagogue either”. Really?? That’s a pretty fair description of our narcissistic Mr. Trudeau.
    2) “We’re a rather liberal populace”. The election results I saw showed that only 39% were liberal.
    After those two blunders, I quit reading.

    • A couple of decades ago, I was informed that a study of values found that New York State was the most liberal of the US states. It also found that Alberta was the most conservative of the Canadian provinces. However, what was most interesting was that Alberta was more liberal than New York!

      Also, about 39% voted Liberal, and it is likely that some of them weren’t Liberals. However, those who voted NDP or Green are also liberal as are some Conservative voters. Moreover, if that survey is accurate almost all of them are liberal by US standards.

      • That was because he’d been arrested.

        • The note above was for Emily below

          • How brilliantly incompetent of you. Are you working with Kellyanne at the Trump HQ?

          • Yeah this comment system is a pain at times

            Traffic violations wouldn’t have held him back, although it wouldn’t help,but Gates was also single and a school drop-out.

    • Jerome: get out your dictionary .

      First check “demagogue” : A demagogue /ˈdɛməɡɒɡ/ (from Greek δημαγωγός, a popular leader, a leader of a mob, from δῆμος, people, populace, the commons + ἀγωγός leading, leader) or rabble-rouser is a leader in a democracy who gains popularity by exploiting prejudice and ignorance among the common people, whipping up the passions of the crowd and …
      Definitely Trump. Definitely not Trudeau, Harper, Mulcair or any of our current leaders.

      Then check liberal (not Liberal): 1. Willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas. 2. Favourable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms. 3. (in a political context) favouring individual liberty, free trade, and moderate political and social reform.

      Doesn’t look too bad to me. In general terms our Canadian political parties are fairly small L liberal.

  3. At one point, so the story goes, our point system was so tight even Bill Gates would have been turned down

  4. Trump is so racist and evil, all these people are gonna leave the USA if he gets in. Funny how they all want to go to a white majority country in Canada. How come nobody wants to move to Mexico, or a Muslim majority country? What better way could there to be to prove that you #standwithMuslims than go move to an Islamic theocracy? All cultures are equal…..right? I’m betting most of these wealthy Americans who are talking about moving, again just like the Hollywood stars, already live in exclusively white and Jewish gated suburbs to begin with. But they’re just all so “progressive” aren’t they.

    • “Jobs in their field”. I know it’s hard for you, but try to think once in a while. Before you hit the 6-pack of Bud and turn on the UFC.

      • Wow, why so nasty? I guess this whole election season has been such an emotional roller coaster for you. One has to wonder how full of hate and insecurity you have to be to jump right into insults to a stranger over the internet, all while trying to boast a superior intellect. Anyway it doesn’t refute my point. All these Hollywood stars say they’re gonna leave for Canada, but the “jobs in their field” will stay in Hollywood. Mexico is much closer to LA than Canada is, why wouldn’t they just move there? Anyway, I hope this response finds you in a much better place, emotionally. We wouldn’t want you to have a full-on nervous breakdown in the event of a Trump victory, or a Hillary impeachment.

  5. A rather sneaky way to express a very biased opinion by an anit-Trump writer. Buried within a few statements of possible accuracy is the “only stupid people vote for Trump” message, which likely is just the opposite of the actual situation.
    People voting to increase socialism/communism in their country have the least understanding of how the successful countries became successful. One simply has to ask themselves, ‘which countries have provided the highest standard of living for their citizens, Socialist or Capitalist?’ There is the answer for all to see.
    Unfortunately, the few bits of truth in the writer’s diatribe are vastly overshadowed by the numerous exaggerations and inaccuracies?
    Oh, and we don’t want the U.S.’s riff raft and hypocritical acting community moving to Canada as we have enough of those problems already overloading our social systems and the ability of the middle class to support them.

    • All Trump supporters are ignorant (completely uninformed about the facts) and the majority are stupid (incapable of thinking coherently about issues more complex than what to have on the nightly pizza).

      btw, the vast majority of “successful” countries (GDP, overall economy, social values) have nicely blended “socialism” and “capitalism”. These facts are easily available to anyone with a computer and the minimal brain power required to use them.

      Believing otherwise is both ignorant (no grasp of the facts) and stupid (unable to think rationally).

      • Classic narcissist’s response. . . . you’re the only one with an opinion that matters…lol

    • Social Democracy/Socialism: think Denmark, FInland, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand.

      • Just checking – are these suppose to be model countries of “social success”?
        According to WHO, each country you’ve named has a higher suicide rate than Canada. The one exception being New Zealand which is for the most part tied with Canada.

  6. As an American who moved to Canada earlier this year through the Express Entry system, I have to say that it’s not as impossible as this article suggests. If you have a skilled trade, professional experience, or managerial experience and are under 35 your chances are pretty favorable. Here’s how it worked for me: http://15miles.info/move-to-canada/

    • Hi….welcome to Canada

      And thank you for the url!

  7. When the EU falls apart, you will have more Eastern Europeans wanting
    to immigrate to Canada, since they will no longer be able to freely migrate
    for employment to higher wage EU countries.

  8. North America is being run by morons. No wonder Vlad is rallying the troops. Won’t be long before the nukes are crisscrossing the poles.

  9. “Odds are you’re not educated, young or employable enough to get in.”

    Jeez, if only we in America could apply these standards to prospective immigrants. Had no idea Canadians were such hate-filled racists.

  10. What nonsense. The US continues to lead the world in high-tech and
    science, yet you say they could not work here. This nation would be
    far better off if more Americans headed north, rather than the current
    long trend of Canadians heading south

  11. Gee, you mean you have an actual emigration system you enforce? So much for the liberals. Can we copy yours and exclude Mexicans? if we did, what would you say?

  12. Sniff..sniff..meanie Canadian is hurting the feelings of our Hollywood elites by telling them to get to the end of the queue and actually work for a living. Gosh darn it, the next thing you know the meanie Canadian will tell all our northbound Hollywood snowflakes that they are required to speak both English and French. Oh my…

  13. Sounds like an immigration policy US should have

    come here and implement it

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