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Just how easy is it to follow through on a promise to move north?

Chances are good that at some point in your life, you've heard a loved one, friend or co-worker vow to pack up their belongings and move to another country as a sort of social protest. In fact, chances are also good that you've heard this sentiment expressed perhaps more than you can remember over the last few months given that we are in the middle of an especially contentious presidential election year.

When this promise is made, the destination of choice can vary from places like Mexico to Great Britain. However, more often than not, the preferred relocation destination seems to be Canada. It's important for people mulling such a move, however, to understand that packing up and going north can prove to be a much more difficult proposition than they envision.

First and foremost, experts indicate that those who do not have family in Canada will need to apply for a temporary or permanent worker visa, which may or may not be available.

It's more than just a matter of entering your name into a candidate pool for one year, however, as they indicate that visa applicants must also be able to meet some of the following requirements:

  • A $550 application fee (Around $420 in U.S. currency)
  • Demonstrated proficiency in French, English or both
  • A police certificate demonstrating no criminal record (available from the FBI)
  • Passage of interview(s) with immigration officers
  • Possession of settlement funds of anywhere from $12,164 to $32,191 depending on whether family members will come along (Around $9,300 to $24,800 in U.S. currency)

When it comes to the notion of securing citizenship, this too, will prove to be a rigorous endeavor that cannot be undertaken until you have resided in the country for at least four years.

What all of this really serves to underscore more than anything else is that the process of securing a visa to enter Canada or citizenship there is an extremely complex undertaking.

In fact as difficult as it is there, it could perhaps be considered even more so here in the United States. As such, those in this position should strongly considering speaking with a skilled legal professional to learn more about their rights, their options and the process ahead.   

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