It was just a little over ten years ago that the Canadian media and professionals alike were identifying a growing trend in the departure of Canadian professionals for the green pastures of the United States. But as Bob Dylan says, “The times, they are a changing.” Now-a-days it is the United States that needs to keep watch on their professional talent pool, as recent figures from Citizenship and Immigration Canada indicate.
According to Immigration Minister Jason Kennedy, “The number one problem in the U.S. economy is unemployment, so it’s natural you’re going to see more young Canadians coming back from the States, and young Americans pursuing economic opportunity here.”
This is evident when looking at the numbers – Immigration Canada approved 34,185 visas for U.S. residents last year. That’s only 75 short of the record 35,060 set in 2010! The dip in approvals from last year can be explained by the more intensive screening processes and stricter rules to accommodate the rise – for instance visas are only granted to students who are welcomed by cash strapped universities.
Students who make the journey north of the border can expect free healthcare and drastically cheaper tuition – sometimes only a third of what they would pay in their home state! Entrepreneurs on the other hand seek a strong dollar, a relatively stronger economy, and a secure housing market. To give you some understanding of the recent flood of Americans, consider that in the last two years Canadians moving to the United States collectively were fewer than 20,000!
These events are only expected, since everyone should be entitled to improve their lives and that of their families’. I for one welcome these Americans and Canadian Expats, as well as the influx of human capital and human experience that they will bring, no doubt adding to our diverse multiculturalism and strong national economy!