Not wild about living in an autocracy or a nuclear fallout shelter? You’re not alone.
Americans concerned at the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency led to a spike in U.S. searches for jobs in Canada in 2016, according to job site Monster. But if the elections of George W. Bush or Barack Obama are any guide, it’s likely few will follow through.
“We have not seen any drastic uptake in folks making the actual shift from the U.S. to Canada,” wrote Canadian immigration firm Crown World Mobility in a recent email to the Daily Dot.
Americans typically find the taxes and cost of living in Canada’s larger cities such as Vancouver and Toronto a deterrent to relocating, the firm noted. Newcomers to Canada in their first year may also encounter a fair number of tax obstacles for foreigners, such as paying Canadian income tax on their worldwide income. This means the income you earned in your old job in the U.S. will also be taxed in Canada.
If you’re serious about ditching four years under Trump’s watchful eye, just be warned that Canada’s skills-based immigration process is challenging. Even if you’ve got the right skills and qualifications, Canada asks all applicants to prove that they’re up to Canadian standards. If you’re an architect or an engineer or work in a trade that is federally regulated, you must be licensed. This can require a series of exams, interviews, and fees.
“[A] common misconception would be that it is easy to gain work visas in Canada, which is not the case,” wrote Crowd World Mobility.
You’ll also need to find an employer to sponsor you. Abuse of temporary foreign workers by Canadian employers has been a long-standing problem that the Canadian government has struggled to address.
And if Trump decides to do away with NAFTA, Americans who want an easy path to work in Canada may be SOL. As Quartz points out, the quickest route to becoming a Canadian resident for many Americans is to apply under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“We will renegotiate NAFTA, and if we don’t get the deal we want, we will terminate NAFTA,” said Trump at a rally in Pennsylvania shortly after the November election.
As Forbes points out, Trump’s “America First” policy will likely affect immigration in Canada and Mexico.
“Without being in Trump’s office or on his transition team, it is difficult to tell exactly what he has in store. Maybe Trump does not intend to abrogate the NAFTA agreement regarding immigration. On the other hand, should Trump decide to make changes, thousands of Mexican and Canadian ex-pats working in professional occupations in the United States and thousands of American professionals working in Mexico and Canada could be impacted.”
Canadian officials told the Globe and Mail that Trump’s pick for Department of Commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, has indicated he will send a formal notification to Mexico and Canada to renegotiate NAFTA immediately following Inauguration Day.
With all that said, if you’re looking to apply for a job through NAFTA, there’s likely very little time to waste. Here are the NAFTA-covered occupations below:
- Computer systems analyst
- Disaster relief insurance claims adjuster
- Graphic designer
- Hotel manager
- Industrial designer
- Interior designer
- Land surveyor
- Landscape architect
- Lawyer (including notary in the Province of Quebec)
- Management consultant
- Mathematician (including statistician)
- Range manager/range conservationist
- Research assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution)
- Scientific technician/technologist
- Social worker
- Sylviculturist (including forestry specialist)
- Technical publications writer
- Urban planner (including geographer)
- Vocational counselor
- Medical laboratory technologist
- Occupational therapist
- Physician (teaching or research only)
- Physiotherapist/physical therapist
- Recreational therapist
- Registered nurse
- Agriculturist (including agronomist)
- Animal breeder
- Animal scientist
- Dairy scientist
- Geophysicist (including oceanographer in Mexico and the United States)
- Plant breeder
- Poultry scientist
- Soil scientist
- College Seminary University
Before you pack your bags, be sure to check out our list of the 6 worst things about moving to Canada.