The Increasing Trend of U.S. Immigration to Canada

Canadian Flag by Webhamster
Canadian Flag by Webhamster

Canada’s status as a multicultural country that welcomes immigrants from across the world is the result of a long policy history whose roots begin in the early colonial period. Countless waves of newcomers have settled over the years and these immigration waves are still a current trend. Canada has remained relevant on the international scene and has a lot to offer immigrants as far as employment opportunities and quality of life are concerned.


Historically, migration trends between Canada and the United States in particular have always been slightly more favourable than applicants from other countries. Immigration patterns have always seen large numbers of Canadians heading south for either work opportunities and retirement. However,  a sudden change in this pattern has been recently marked (from 2009 and 2011). In that time frame, Canada has experienced a 200 per cent increase in U.S. immigration applicants, who are attracted by the country’s thriving economy and stable political landscape.

Even before the financial crisis hit US markets and then the world, there was some foreshadowing of this trend. For example, the number of American immigrants accepted into Canada reached 10,942 in 2006, a 30-year high and almost double the number of Americans admitted in 2000. The impact of the financial crisis on the U.S. economy is an undeniable factor, but what were the other reasons why Americans chose to move on up to Canada?

Researching the facts

In 2010, Susan Hardwick, a professor at the University of Oregon, carried out research revealing that many U.S. citizens that came to Canada did so because they were attracted by their perception of the country’s more liberal culture which includes support for a universal public health-care system, generally positive attitudes towards LGBTQ communities, gun control laws and multiculturalism. What also contributed to that trend was dissatisfaction with the conservative policies of former president George W. Bush’s years in office. Even after President Obama‘s victory, American Ex-Pats were not inclined to move back since Canada’s stronger economy gave them equally appealing opportunities for prosperity.

USA Canada by Cohen Canada
USA Canada by Cohen.Canada

Among the many reasons why U.S. citizens might want to move to Canada is a relatively low crime rate and believe it or not, LOW taxes. While the U.S. president has been campaigning for higher taxes for the rich, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to accelerate Canada’s recovery from the global economic recession by implementing measures other than raising taxes. Although it's hard to predict the future when it comes to economics, so far Canada is emerging from the global recession as one of the world’s top-performing advanced economies.

Legislative Changes

One of the latest decisions for the Canadian government that may impact the number of immigrants coming in from the States is the elimination of immigration backlogs. This means that more than 280,000 people who applied before 2008 to come to Canada will have their applications returned! The new measure is part of the overall reform of the immigration system ensuring that its central focus will focus on the economic and labour force needs of the country. Given that the majority of Americans coming to live in Canada are increasingly well educated, such a provision may only increase their chances for successful immigration.

Who knows what will happen. All the years of Canadians going South for warm weather and opportunities may now be behind us. Nowadays, Canada is among the most preferred destinations for U.S. immigrants and according to immigration data, the country is in a strong position to welcome more American citizens to the true north, strong and free.

Perhaps the most important question will be: how do they feel about hockey and micro-breweries?

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2 Responses to The Increasing Trend of U.S. Immigration to Canada

  1. Daniela says:

    Interesting information,
    but I’m wondering…
    how long time has been since the taxes are low ??
    Id like to know because I always have heard that the taxes are too high…

    Thanks.. best regards.

  2. Daniela says:

    or… do you mean the Canadian taxes are lower than US taxes???

    Thanks.. 😉


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