As Americans attempt to come to terms with their new reality that Barack Obama will step down as their commander-in-chief and Donald Trump will take over the role, online searches for “move to Canada” have significantly spiked. Along with this ongoing trend has come warnings that immigration to America’s neighbor of the North is a long and difficult process.
While it began to appear more and more likely on Tuesday like Trump would be the victor, reports began to emerge that the Canadian citizenship and immigration website was down. A message displayed indicated that the site was inaccessible due to an internal error.
How to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen https://t.co/0Xp4NULVGS
— Shanti Singh (@Shanti_Singhs) November 12, 2016
Just after Obama called Trump to congratulate him on his win on Wednesday, the site seemed to be working sporadically. Following the hours that the site was down, a spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada told CBC News that the site was “temporarily inaccessible to users as a result of a significant increase in the volume of traffic.”
The website outage was caused mainly due to searches online on the subject of how to move to the northern neighbors of the United States. The Guardian shares more details about the site shut down.
“The website’s outage dovetailed with a rise in online searches on how to move north. Google Trends data showed a spike in searches for ‘move to Canada’ and ‘immigrate to Canada’ as the results rolled in. On Wednesday several American media outlets joined the fray, publishing articles that offered advice on how to move to Canada.”
A number of celebrities shared their intentions to make a move to Canada, while the campaign between Trump and Clinton was underway, noting that if Trump won they would pack up and go North. Some such celebrities include Girls‘ Lena Dunham and comedian Keegan-Michael Key. Another site that reported a spike in traffic was Maple Match, according to the founder Joe Goldman. He stated that the dating site geared towards finding your Canadian match, saw traffic to the website rise 50 times the norm and the app usage doubled overnight.
The publication shares about another website which became hugely popular to Americans, even though it began as a joke.
“Some in Canada had also sought to capitalise on the mood. Earlier this year, a radio announcer in Canada set up a website inviting Americans to move to Cape Breton, population 100,000, should Trump win. What started as a joke soon snowballed into an unofficial public relations campaign for the island in eastern Canada, with the website racking up more than two million hits and receiving thousands of emails from curious Americans.”
However, the site’s creator, Rob Calabrese, shares that those who are considering a move to Canada need to prepare themselves for an “arduous process.”
“Even if you have a job, even if you are married to a Canadian … It’s not easy.”
Although Canada has made a commitment to accepting 300,000 immigrants over the next year, 120,000 of those spots are reserved for family reunification and refugees. The remaining spots will most likely go to workers possessing particular skills and processing times can be more than six years. Those seeking to move to the North under the express entry program, usually see a wait time of six months, and usually, these individuals have this privilege because they hold a job offer in Canada, and are typically between the age of 20 and 45 with a higher education.
“Immigrating to Canada is a complex, paper-intensive, time-consuming process,” immigration lawyer Lee Cohen
“This notion that somebody can just decide to move to Canada and live here is misdirected.”
— Maxim Dmitriev (@max_dmitriev07) November 12, 2016
There have also been warnings given that the Trump presidency is likely to negatively affect Canada directly. Analysts warn that Trump could “wreak havoc on Canada’s economy as the US accounted for 60 percent of Canada’s global trade in 2014.” Trump has vowed to renegotiate terms with Canada and Mexico in regard to trade and stated he would move to withdraw from the deal if the nations refuse his terms.
[Featured Image by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]