June 27, 2017 – The prospect of hoards of Americans moving to Canada following Donald Trump’s election as president has apparently not been backed up by the latest citizenship application numbers.
While there was a slight increase in citizenship applications from Americans following Trump’s election victory in November 2016, since then, the figures have tailed off and were never near a peak witnessed in 2011.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada figures show an average of 400 Americans applied for Canadian citizenship in each of the first four months of 2017. This compares to a monthly average of 264 for 2016, figures which include the month Trump won the election. The 2011 10-year peak saw 564 monthly applications.
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When Trump won the U.S. presidency on November 8, 2016, it was widely reported the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) crashed under the weight of inquiries from Americans.
Canadian universities recorded a similar spike in inquiries, as foreign students apparently considered their options against a backdrop of Trump becoming president.
This followed major peaks in Google traffic for the search term ‘move to Canada’ throughout the election campaign, most notably when Trump won a swathe of states on March 1, 2016, to establish himself as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
Immigration lawyer Colin Singer and Managing Partner of immigration.ca, was quoted in a CNN Money article about what it would take for an American to move to Canada. You can also watch him being interviewed on the subject here.
It seemed thousands of Americans were not going to stay and find out what life would be like under a Trump presidency.
Although the citizenship application numbers tell a different story, they are only a small measure of a trend on moving to Canada.
More often, with citizenship as the end goal, immigrants will look to consider Canada as a permanent resident, or apply for a temporary work permit. The citizenship application usually follows years down the line. Recent changes enable permanent residents to qualify through naturalization much earlier. Simply presenting citizenship application figures and drawing definitive conclusions must therefore be taken with caution.
It is clear that Canadian universities have seen a significant boost in applications from both the U.S. and overseas from international students.
Concordia University and the University of Toronto have both recorded significant spikes in interest from both the US and overseas.
In figures reported in May, Montreal’s Concordia saw a 23 per cent increase in US applications for undergraduate courses, rising to a 74 per cent increase for postgraduate programs.
The figures from further afield showed even more dramatic increases. Applications from Mexico for undergraduate courses have jumped 325 per cent, with a 233 per cent increase in applications from India.
Toronto has seen an increase of 22 per cent in the international applications it received for the approaching academic year compared to the previous one.
The number of accepted admission offers from US students has risen 104 per cent, while that figure for Indian students shows a 75 per cent increase.
Elsewhere, Canada also recently introduced a Global Talent Stream aimed at dropping work permit processing times for skilled workers to two weeks. This move could facilitate the entry of U.S. workers on a temporary basis, who may then go on to achieve permanent residence and citizenship in the future.
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