With the presidential election still a tossup late Tuesday, many Americans are searching online for how to move to Canada — but changing citizenship is actually not easy, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our mostly friendly neighbors to the north are actually a little picky about just letting anybody in — and all “discretionary” travel from the U.S. is currently prohibited, Canada’s immigration website says.
Canada’s per capita COVID-19 death rate — 27.69 per 100,000 population — is less than half that of the United States’ rate of 70.07 per 100,000, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University data.
And Canada would like to keep its numbers low, so much so that non-essential travel is essentially banned.
“Until further notice, most foreign nationals cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization,” Canada’s immigration website says.
Exceptions are made for accredited diplomats, immediate family members of a Canadian citizen, including a spouse, and international students.
The border to Canada, is seen in downtown Detroit.Getty Images
The Canadian government offers a handy website for determining one’s eligibility to emigrate, based on language ability, education and work experience.
But even in the best-case-scenario — the pandemic restrictions lift, and you have a job lined up in Canada — one typically needs more than a year of Canadian full-time work experience before the fastest path to citizenship can be pursued through the so-called “Express Entry” application.
That process takes about six months, Thrillist.com reports.
Alternately, Americans can marry their way into Canada, although there, too, there are many hoops to jump through, involving much time and paperwork.
That includes medical, criminal and security checks and an investigation by the Canadian government to determine if the marriage is legit, reports the immigration firm Allhod.com.
Donald Trump’s 2016 win crashed the website in the hours afterward, thanks to all the Democrats searching for a way out of the last presidential election, Yahoo! News reported.