With uncertainty looming over the United States and the immigration status of many US residents, many have turned their sights to Canada.
Canada is well known for being one of the most hospitable countries in the world, particularly towards immigrants. Between January and March of 2020, 82% of Canada’s population growth came from immigration. Canada’s popularity as an immigration destination is worldwide, with a total of 284,387 choosing Canada as their immigration destination between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020.
Canada is an attractive immigration option for many US residents for a variety of notable reasons:
Access to Free Healthcare: Canadian citizens and permanent residents all have unlimited access to a world-class healthcare system, quelling any worries over excessive healthcare bills.
Improved Work-life Balance: Canadian authorities impose shorter working hours on employees than in other countries. In the US, workers can be at the grind for up to 47 hours a week, whereas in Canada, the standard number of weekly work hours is 40 hours a week.
Paid Statutory Holidays: In Canada, workers enjoy fully paid statutory holidays, such as Canada Day. In the US, however, employers are not obligated to pay employees for time or days not worked.
Paid Maternity Leave: Canadian mothers enjoy 35 to 61 weeks off, and can also receive payments through Canada’s Employment Insurance.
Tax Benefits: Owing to a tax treaty between the US and Canada, US citizens living in Canada get to enjoy special foreign tax treatments, avoiding being double-taxed. The Canada-United States Tax Treaty ensures that a resident of Canada is not taxed by both countries on the same income in the same year.
One stipulation in the treaty is the agreement to share data relating to the collecting of tax revenue, ensuring individuals can’t hide income in one country from the other country.
Also Read: The Advantages of Having Dual Citizenship
How to Immigrate To Canada?
There is an expansive range of channels one can use to immigrate to Canada. One of the more popular ways is Express Entry, where eligibility centres mainly around work experience, education and language skills. Just over 10,000 US citizens and residents head north every year to settle in Canada through Express Entry. In fact, the US is the second most popular source country for Express Entry immigrants.
Other main conduits of entry are:
Relatives, including spouse, partner, children, parents and grandparents can immigrate through sponsorship of a family member.
Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers
Immigrants can gain access to Quebec as a skilled worker provided they meet specific criteria.
Working as a carer for children, the elderly or those with medical needs stands you in good stead to gain entry to Canada.
Gain entry to Canada by starting up a business and aiding in job creation.
There is also an assortment of pilot programs that encourage individuals to immigrate based on agricultural work, local community work, as well as study and graduation from individual tertiary education facilities.
Quebec Immigrant Investor Programme
This programme accepts an annual 1,900 applicants and provides High Net Worth (HNW) families, business owners or employed directors and managers the opportunity to immigrate to Canada as a permanent resident in about 36 months. Applicants must have an acquired net worth of CAD 2 million and are required to invest $1,200,000 for five years. Individuals also need to show intent to reside in Quebec and have a minimum of two years’ management in a company during the last five years and have a minimum of two full-time employees.
What Does It Mean to Be a Canadian Permanent Resident?
Once you are issued a Canada Immigration Visa for permanent residency, you will enjoy many of the same rights, as well as responsibilities as Canadian citizens. Residency status is retained indefinitely, as long as you accrue two years of residency days for every five years of residency. After three years of Canadian residency, you are then able to apply for Canadian citizenship, the best part of which is Canada recognises dual citizenship, so you do not have to give up your current passport.
Citizenship by Investment
Another immigration option that has become increasingly popular with U.S citizens is Citizenship by Investment in the Caribbean. Citizenship by investment programmes offers the opportunity to legally acquire a new nationality in return for an investment in the economy of the host country. Such programmes grant citizenship status without causing any major disruptions to an investor’s life, provided they pass all the due diligence checks first, make a qualifying investment and provide all the correct documentation.