You wake up. It’s November 2016, and Donald Trump has been elected president. Liberal apathy has struck again, and what started out as a funny joke in the Republican primaries, has now become a depressing reality. For the past few months, you’ve told everyone you are moving to Canada and now you have to follow through. Luckily, the process is easier than ever, and American citizens can easily make the transition if they want to. In no time at all, you will be picking up paychecks payable in maple syrup and watching Canada’s favorite pastime.
Every election, Americans make the claim that they are going to move to Canada if their candidate doesn’t win. In 2008, this was a popular comment by nervous conservatives who didn’t know how to react to the thought of an African-American getting elected. By 2012, it was more of the same, and conservatives couldn’t stand living in President Barack Obama’s “socialist nightmare.” Now, it’s 2016 and Trump has somehow tricked us all and become the next president. It’s time to run.
Trudeau on US Election ImmigrationImage Source: National News
When asked about American sentiments about moving North if Trump is elected President, Prime Minister Trudeau suggested Americans should move to the currently sparse Cape Breton in the Maritimes (Canada’s version of New England, although much more Scottish and Irish). However, Trudeau was quick to point out that Americans generally do not flood into Canada during elections.
Americans Are Common in Canada
Historically, Americans are quite common in Canada as well. When the colonies declared independence from Great Britain, many loyalists fled to British North America. More recently, many Americans emigrated during the Vietnam War to escape the draft. Canada has a long history of accepting American immigrants and helping them transition into our not-so-different society.
Americans are the 6th most likely in the world to become permanent residents in Canada, according to immigration trends in 2012, 2013, and 2014. 2015 and 2016 immigration trends have not been published yet, but the results are more than likely the same. Other foreign nationals most likely to apply for permanent residency include citizens from the Philippines, India, China, Iran, and Pakistan.
Trends of permanent residency are better predictions of whether Americans will move North beyond the Wall (the Night Watch calls them White Walkers, Canadians call them Americans) than temporary visas. Although visas are easier to apply for, having a visa is no indication that one is serious about living in a nation long-term.
The numbers of migrating Americans are not large either. From 2012 to 2014, less than 10,000 Americans became permanent residents in Canada, compared to 30,000-40,000 Indian nationals, for instance. While the United States held the distinction of being the fourth most likely nation to have its citizens emigrate to Canada from 2006-2008, when President Bush’s term in office was ending and President Obama’s was just beginning, again the numbers were not significant. Just comparing the amount of Americans who emigrated in 2006 and 2008, when President Obama was elected, the numbers remain practically the same (approximately 10,000).
With such fervent opposition to President Obama’s election, you would think more would have left, following the advice of celebrities like Stephen Baldwin. In fact, regardless of who won the Presidential election in 2008 or 2012, celebrities have “threatened” to move on every occasion, some examples including George Lopez, Bill O’Reilly, and Susan Sarandon. Culturally, the influx of Americans into Canada does not offer anything new. Canadians are well-versed in American culture. However, politically, Americans are broadly to the right, so if you are emigrating to escape a Trump presidency, understand that you will feel like you are living in Bernie Sanders’ America when you move to Canada.
The Basics of Emigrating To Canada
For those who are actually serious about heading to Canada, get familiar with the Permanent Resident application.
This nasty piece of paperwork takes a long time to fill out and will force you to remember every detail of your life.
As for living arrangements, a few of the major cities you will want to include if you only speak English are Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. If you have a willingness to learn French, you can now consider the capital, Ottawa, and Montreal. Canada is a modern western society and has access to all of the amenities that you would expect.
While certain Canadians will tell you that the countries are vastly different, the overall lifestyle is exactly the same. Like Americans, we work 9-5, raise families, buy things, enjoy the weekends, suffer through family functions, and take overpriced vacations to the Dominican Republic and Cuba. There are cultural differences between our two societies, like our devotion to multiculturalism, our openness, and our belief in socialist programs, but they are not so broad that an American would find it difficult to assimilate.
And while some Canadians will poke fun at you for being an American, it is all in good fun. Canadians tend to be humbler than their American counterparts (as they smugly apologize for doing so). Prime Minister Trudeau even believes this, stating that Americans thought too highly of themselves without concern for the rest of the world. It is ironic that any Americans seeking to escape a Trump presidency and his “America First” doctrine will be attempting to emigrate to a nation that perceives this to be a regular American attitude.
Now that the election smoke has cleared. Are you still interested in moving North? Here are a few benefits and downsides associated with your potential move.
What to Expect Once You Move To CanadaImage Source: Flipboard
World-class education system. The University of Toronto, McGill, and the University of British Columbia are consistently ranked as being some of the best universities in the world.
World-class healthcare that is objectively better than the current plans offered by ObamaCare.
With a lower-valued Canadian dollar, American money can go a lot further up North. This is great for Americans with savings.
Same culture and materialistic values.
The United States is a quick trip south (if Trump doesn’t wall off Canada too).
Canada is a left-leaning country and has many “socialist” programs.
Canadian winters can be harsh.
Canada is a multicultural society and embraces this fact.
You will be paying taxes to two countries, at least until you receive Canadian citizenship and renounce your American citizenship. This can take a few years to do, and depends on your unique situation. You should know, however, before you finalize your plans, that the IRS taxes its citizens on worldwide income though, so expect to continue paying.
Statistics Canada has released a paper comparing tax rates between Canada and America, which depends on which income bracket you are in. While the Canada Revenue Agency requires that Canadians pay taxes on their worldwide income as well, this does not apply to you unless you receive Canadian citizenship, renounce your American citizenship, and then move back to America to work.
Watch Prime Minister Trudeau Suggesting Americans to Move to Cape Breton
- Forget The Hype: How Is Canada’s PM, Justin Trudeau Doing In His First 6 Months In Power?
- What Is With Americans Threatening To Leave The US If (Insert Candidate) Wins?
- Explaining Trump and Clinton to a Global Audience (and to Americans)
- 27 Awesome Canadian Stars
- Changes Coming To Canada As Liberals Win Surprise Majority
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XpatNation is a Social News and Lifestyle magazine, focusing on the insights and experiences of ex-patriots living in The United States. XpatNation brings together the voices, thoughts, perceptions and experiences of the people of the world who have made the USA their home. Using their insight and unique understanding of the global world we live in to discuss culture, lifestyle, Geopolitics and the day to day ongoings of this proud and powerful nation.
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