How to move to Canada from the U.S.—it’s a question many people started asking as soon as the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week, with Google searches for the topic “how to move to Canada” spiking. The phrase “How to become a Canadian citizen” also spiked 550% in the hour after the decision came out. This isn’t the first time this has happened. During the 2016 election, so many American were looking into how to move out of the U.S. that the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration website crashed.
Canada’s appeals are obvious: the nature, the livable cities, the publicly funded health care, the diversity, the lower crime rates. Also helping drive the recent interest: Abortion is legal in Canada. But there are downsides, too. Canada’s cost of living is higher than the U.S. The taxes not for the weak-willed: The more money you make, the more income tax you will pay. And it’s colder than much of the U.S.
Still interested in moving to Canada from the U.S.? Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know.
How to Move to Canada: Check Your Eligibility
First off, you need to see if you’re eligible. The Citizenship and Immigration website has a helpful online tool that will allow you to find out what immigration programs you can apply for. Budget about 10 to 15 minutes to complete the form.
How to Move to Canada: Select a Program
It’s not a fast process or an easy one, as Canada has more than 100 immigration visas and programs. But here’s a snapshot of a few of the programs that you might qualify for:
• Express Entry: This is one of the fastest ways to move to Canada, allowing skilled workers from around the world to apply for permanent residence.
• Start-up Visa: The start-up visa program lets entrepreneurs move to Canada in order to start a new business.
• Self-employed: This program lets creative people and athletes move to Canada as permanent residents. To qualify, you must have two years of experience in your field and show that you intend to be self-employed in Canada.
• Caregiver: If you can provide care for children, the elderly or people with medical needs, you might have a shot in making the move to Canada.
• Agri-Food Pilot: Canada’s agri-food sector is aimed at experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific agri-food industries and occupations.
How to Move to Canada: Decide Where to Live
The site MoveHub recently released a list of the best places to move in Canada, depending on your interests. Here’s the download:
Best for families: One of the six largest cities in Canada, Ottawa is known for its parks, libraries, low crime and great transportation.
Best for students: Montreal has a range of educational facilities and a buzzing nightlife scene that appeals to students.
Best for singles: Diverse and youthful, Toronto has a huge population of residents aged 15-29 and 82% of them are single.
Best for hipsters: When it comes to microbreweries, thrift stores, vegan restaurants and tattoo parlors, Vancouver is your place.