I want to move to Canada. Is it possible?
As the dust settles after the hard-fought US presidential battle, many Americans are considering a move to Canada. Of course, threatening to go to Canada in exasperation is not the same thing as analyzing, planning and relocating, and many Americans do not know where to begin.
Here’s what to do:
1. Decide that you want to transfer
Consider all of the advantages and disadvantages of moving to Canada. It’s tough to leave home, and relocating can be both intimidating and exciting. Canada is a beautiful, clean and diverse country with sophisticated political and legal systems, universal healthcare, advanced technology infrastructure and world-class education. Research employment, business and investment opportunities, taxation, housing and education, and consider where you would like to live. For example, the climate is warmer in Vancouver, but Toronto is Canada’s centre of commerce.
2. Consider the time frame
Maybe you are ready to move tomorrow, but your kids have just started a new school year. Obtaining permanent residence (a Canadian green card) can take many months and often over a year. Perhaps you are qualified for a work permit that could allow you to relocate within weeks or months. Which would work better for you?
3. Get proper advice
Canadian immigration law can seem daunting, as there are many different categories with specific requirements. We can assess your situation and provide you with the best solution to successfully immigrate or work in Canada.
Many work permit applications can be made right at the Canadian border. Others require prior approval and consideration at a Canadian Embassy or Consulate in the United States. We can guide you through the process.
5. Move to Canada!
Get ready to begin your new life in Canada. Explore places to live, schools and communities.
So how can you successfully apply for residence in Canada?
Get a Work Permit
There are many different types of work permits available to US citizens. They include the following:
- NAFTA professionals for a large variety of occupations, from scientists to management consultants – the catch is you need to find a job in your profession first.
- Intra-company transferees – if your company has a parent, subsidiary or affiliate in Canada, you can be transferred provided you are a senior manager or possess specialized knowledge. Your business can even set up a new entity in Canada and send you up to get it started.
- Owner/Operator – if you are self-employed or an entrepreneur, you can set up your own business in Canada provided you have a decent plan. This category requires careful consideration and planning.
Spouses of these types of work permit holders can also qualify for open work permits and look for employment in Canada. Kids can obtain study permits to go to school.
Often, work permit holders can qualify for permanent residence through one of the economic categories, which means that remaining in Canada permanently
Apply for Permanent Residence
You have probably heard that applications for permanent residence take quite a while to process. Applicants in the Express Entry system who are invited to apply can have their applications processed in six months, whereas self-employed applications can take years.
Canada’s Express Entry system allows applicants to apply through an electronic platform that assesses candidates according to a comprehensive ranking system. Those with higher scores are invited to apply and will have their applications quickly processed. The system allows applicants in various categories to apply, the most common program being the Federal Skilled Worker program.
- Federal Skilled Worker – The program is based on a points system that considers an applicant’s education, experience, language ability, adaptability and whether there is a valid job offer.
- Federal Skilled Trades – This program targets people in a variety of skilled trades, but requires them to have a minimum of English skills and a valid job offer or a certification of qualification from a province to apply.
- Self-Employed – This category addresses athletes, actors, musicians, and others engaged in cultural activities which are either highly skilled or have significant self-employment experience. It is also open to experienced farmers who wish to operate a farm in Canada.
- Start-up Visas – The Start-up Visa Program allows entrepreneurs to be fast-tracked for permanent residence if they can obtain financial support from a Canadian venture capital or angel fund, or from a business incubator. This underutilized program is very suitable for new and existing innovators and entrepreneurs.
Are you ready to get Started?
We have over two decades of experience handling all types of immigration applications and have a broad understanding of Canada’s immigration and citizenship laws and procedures.
We can expertly guide you through the process and assist you to plan your new life in Canada.