We are receiving many inquiries from U.S. citizens, H-1B visa holders, and other persons living in the U.S. who are interested in moving to Canada in response to the shocking and unexpected election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Many were alarmed by the divisive rhetoric of the Trump campaign, especially as it applies to immigrants, women, and minorities. By contrast, Canada is a welcoming and pluralistic society with no anti-immigrant sentiment.
At the same time, Canada is a separate country from the U.S., with its own rules relating to immigration and nationality. Americans cannot simply move to Canada without proper legal authorization. But it’s easier than you may think! Here are some ways our law firm has been helping Americans and others find new homes in Canada:
- Under recent amendments to Canada’s Citizenship Act, most people with a parent born in Canada are now Canadian citizens. We have helped many Americans with a Canadian parent obtain their Canadian Citizenship Certificates. They can then sponsor their spouses and children under 19 years of age to become permanent residents of Canada, and eventually Canadian citizens themselves.
- Under the NAFTA agreement, many Americans with professional occupations in the sciences, medical care, and business will qualify to work in Canada through a streamlined process, if they have a job offer in Canada. This includes university professors, IT workers, engineers, nurses, chemists, biologists, and many others. Work experience in Canada will provide a quick path to permanent residence and eventually citizenship.
- Persons who do not qualify under NAFTA may still be able to get a work permit with a job offer in Canada through other programs. Check out our web page on Canada work permits for more information.
- All of Canada’s provinces have their own immigration programs available to persons who intend to live in those provinces, and who have attributes that will further economic growth such as specialized job skills, or investment plans.
- Canada’s new points-based Express Entry program offers very rapid immigration to Canada for those who qualify. The program awards points based on education, work experience, language skills in English or French, and age. Persons with approved job offers in Canada, work permits, or provincial nominations will readily qualify under this system.
- U.S. citizens who are married to Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents, or who have been in a committed common relationship for more than one year, can be sponsored to move to Canada. This is currently a very rapid process and is the easiest way to immigrate to Canada.
- Canada is not just for U.S. citizens. Many H-1B workers in the U.S. will qualify for Express Entry. DACA participants with college degrees and several years of work experience may be good candidates for Express Entry as well. DACA status is no bar to applying for Canadian immigration, and you would not need to leave the U.S. until your case is actually approved.
We are experienced Canadian immigration lawyers located in the United States. If you are considering a move to Canada, send us an email describing your circumstances and why you are interested in moving to Canada.