It seems there a common theme happening in the news. Donald Trump seems to continue to gain traction in the upcoming US Presidential Election. It may seem far away, but November 8th is approaching with every primary, it seems Donald Trump may have a real shot at being on the final ticket.
Regardless of your political opinion, it’s fair to say that Donald Trump is a polarizing figure. Americans seem to either love him, or hate him. Both Canadian and American media have discussed the possibility of an anti-Trump movement of Americans relocating north of the border.
For the sake of this blog, let’s imagine that Donald Trump is elected as president. Can Trump hating Americans move to Canada to escape?
There are two relocation types available to Americans. They could apply for a permanent residence in Canada; or they could seek temporary residence status (such as a work or study permit). Those thinking Trump will be in office for two terms may want to consider the permanent residency status.
Essentially, there are three categories of permanent residence that disgruntled Americans may want to consider. Applying and being accepted for Federal Skilled Worker Class (FWSC), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) will provide a long-term Canadian residency solution. Other options for Americans seeking Canadian residential status include Quebec Immigration Program, the Provincial Nominee Programs (which have been established by the Canadian Provinces), the Start-Up Business Class, the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Class and the Caregiver Program. There may also be family sponsored options that Americans can utilize if available.
Applying for permanent residence in Canada can often be challenging for Americans. The FSWC, CEC, and FSTC are now under the Express Entry Program (established on January 1, 2015). The Express Entry essentially means that Americans cannot apply for permanent residence under the FSW, CEC, or FSTC.
The best path is to submit an Express Entry profile through the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. During this time the American applicant will need to explain why Trump’s presidency is causing them to seek residency in Canada. If accepted, the applicant will be added to a pool of other candidates. Being added to the Express Entry pool does not mean the applicant is getting accepted, it’s simply an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Everyone in the pool is assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) point ranking. Basically, a CRS score is a numerical value that grades the applicant’s ability to be a Canadian. Factors such as employment experience, marital status, age, education, previous time spent in Canada and knowledge of French will determine one’s CRS score. Applicants can stay in the Express Entry pool for a maximum time of one year.
Becoming a permanent Canadian citizen isn’t easy; Trump-haters may want to consider a more short term solution. Applying for either a work permit or study permit may be the best bet to gain a four year stay in the Great White North.
A study permit would allow an American the ability to live in Canada for the duration of their studies. Americans obtaining a bachelor degree should be able to avoid at least one Trump term. Shorter programs will come with shorter study permits.
Those not interested in going to school may want to consider a Canadian work permit. Workers have two options; they can have a Canadian company hire them or American business owners can relocate to Canada as part of the NAFTA treaty. Regardless of the path, a work permit will require a lot of paperwork. Canadian employers will need to file a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order to offer a job to an American worker. This requires the employer to go through a very pricey and time-consuming procedure in order to demonstrate that no qualified Canadian workers are available. This is a process that requires a lot of red tape and expense, Canadian companies will not be interested.
There’s no way of predicting if Donald Trump will win the upcoming election. We do know that those seeking an escape from his presidency in Canada will be facing some challenges in their relocation process. The process is actually far more complicated and expensive than many on both sides of the border think. Living in Canada is always an option for Trump-hating Americans (providing they qualify).