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IAMA American that immigrated to Canada for political reasons. AMA

December 31st 2019
interview date

How was the English test?


Ridiculously hard. It’s my native language and I still had trouble. I felt really bad for all of the Chinese and Indian people in the same room as me.


Given the difficulty in immigrating to Canada as you have now experienced firsthand, what are your thoughts on legal immigration vs illegal immigration to the US? (Not sure if you’re familiar with the processes from the legal side). For example, what could be streamlined to make legal immigration easier, thus disincentivizing illegal immigration a bit? Or if you support those that come here illegally, what would you do / support regarding them?


I’ve become far more sympathetic towards them because of this. I believe legal immigration should be more simple.


Honestly, how did you do it? I've lived all over the world but have never found a visa I qualify for to make the jump permanently.


Got a one year working holiday visa and applied for permanent residency with one year work experience. All of this with the help of an immigration lawyer.


What was your favorite burger joint in America? What's your favorite burger joint in Canada?


Five Guys



What was the immigration process like and how did you achieve permanent residency?


Very difficult and I used an immigration lawyer.


What was the political reason?


Getting away from...

Constant war

Private healthcare

Trump, his followers or anything like him (I wanted to leave long before he was ever a thing)

Extreme nationalism

Things like that. Basically America keeps getting worse so I decided to leave.


Have you had any experiences that made you think, “Yeah, should have done this sooner...”?


I think that all the time.


As an American considering doing the same, how long / arduous was the process? Any hang-ups?


It’s a nightmare. I got a working holiday visa to start with (anyone between 18-35 can get one) and immediately started the process for permanent residency with a lawyer a few days after moving. I got PR by working here for a year but the process is expensive and complicated. I’ve lived here since April 2018 but only got PR a few weeks ago. I’m planning on getting citizenship as soon as I can (likely two and a half years from now).


Are you going to renounce your citizenship?


I haven’t decided yet because I’m still at least 2 and a half years away from becoming a Canadian citizen.


Still owe taxes to US?


Have to file still. After I get Canadian citizenship, I’m debating what to do with my American one.


How did you choose Toronto - had you visited before?

Also, a belated welcome to Canada/Toronto!


I picked Toronto because it’s the biggest city therefore the most opportunity, the best place in Canada I had visited prior and the location of the people that helped me get my first visa.


Is milk expensive in Canada compared to the States? Sometimes when playing online games and a Canadian joins, the conversation always goes to milk costs.


Maybe four dollars a bag.


What was you’d occupation in the US? What is your current occupation?


I work for a fire alarm and sprinkler company. Same thing I did in the US.


If I wanted to do this where should I start?


Find a temporary visa first.


What changes / improvements do you notice in your daily life now that you've left the US? How is cost of living in general?


In America, I was working for a company where I was surrounded by conservative extremists who believed Trump was sent by God and the world was 6000 years old. I frequently argued with these morons but to them I was a stupid millennial and I’d get smarter when I was older. Now I work for a company where most conversations are about normal things such as what you did on the weekend.

Rent is pretty bad but the average cost of things here is about the same leaning towards being slightly more.


I have a few questions.

1: Which province did you come to?

2: What’s the biggest difference you’ve noticed from the States? (Positive and/or negative)

3: Is healthcare really THAT expensive in the States? Have you personally known someone who’s gone into dept due to medical bills?

4: What is the biggest thing that Canada has/does that the US doesn’t have/should implement?

5: Has your life gotten better since moving here?

Also, hi! Welcome to Canada! We’re always glad to have new friends!


I live in Toronto Ontario.

The biggest difference I’ve noticed are the political situations aren’t so insane here. In the US, people deeply hate each other over political beliefs. I’ve been through a provincial and a national election here and it was much more civil. Another difference I’ve noticed is that black people in America have their own culture and dialect but that isn’t really the case in Canada.

Yes, I paid $3000 for them to tell me I was actually ok.

Definitely healthcare as a right.

Yes it has.

Thank you, I’m glad to be here too.


Any major differences in what you pay in taxes between the US and Canada?


Not really. Only noticeable difference is gas prices.


How much are you liking having Tim Horton’s literally everywhere? Would you say they are comparable or better than Dunkin?

(This is coming from a Canadian who’s only gone to Dunkin once or twice and Tim’s at least once a week)


I go to Tim’s almost every day. I like both but Tim’s is slightly better.


What is it about Trump supporter-types which you find most objectionable?


The hypocrisy of supporting Jesus and Trump at the same time.


How does it feel to be able to walk into the doctors office or clinic now, and not get an insane medical bill. Worth playing higher taxes?


I’ve only gone once for an immigration physical and I had to wait for THIRTY ENTIRE MINUTES!




I looked into France, the UK, Croatia, Uruguay, New Zealand and Argentina as well. Canada was the easiest for me to immigrate to.


How cold is it there?


Currently 1C.


Am I getting this right? You immigrated to Canada, in part, because of your disdain for Trump supporters?


I’ve wanted to leave since 2007 but people like that, yes.


Did you regret moving?

What culture shock have you experienced?


No, not at all. I’m glad to be here.

I can’t recall being shocked by anything.


What is your career?


I work for a fire alarm company.


I honestly don't think Hilary would've been any better. She would've killed Epstein faster to protect her husband with Bill's pedo self being bbfs with Epstein. But in the end, is there anything that Would've made you stay?


I wanted to leave long before Trump and I think Hillary is awful too. It would have taken many many changes to get me to stay.




It’s similar so it really wasn’t hard to adjust.


How can I do the same thing?


If you’re between 18 to 35 you can start by applying for a working holiday visa. As soon as you get here, hire an immigration lawyer and see what they can do for you.


Hey! I’m a Canadian living in the States (and also hate the politics here.) Where in Canada did you end up? What has been the biggest “culture shock”?


I’m in Toronto. Nothing has really shocked me.


Could you please convince the others that threatened to move to go too?

Please? Pretty please?


People like you need to realize how complex it is to actually move to another country. I’m one of the lucky ones that received permanent residency but many others aren’t and are forced to go back. I lived in fear of this for a year and a half.


How’s the maple syrup?


Pretty good


My partner and I (living in England) want to move to Scotland in the hopes that there'll be another independence referendum and we can avoid the Tory-Brexit racism fest. What advice do you have? Did you ever have to lie to anyone about your reasons for moving? What did you say?


Considering that Scotland is currently in the same country as England I wouldn’t think there would be any complications going there.

The only people I haven’t told the complete truth about why I moved were American border guards the couple of times Ive visited the US since leaving. I told them I found a job and met my girlfriend in Canada (still the truth).


That’s amazing that you stuck to your values unlike a lot of people who chickened out. How do you feel about people who said they would move to Canada but didn’t follow through?


Considering how difficult it is, I won’t hold anything against them. Many people try and fail.


I may not agree with you, but I respect you. Why did you chose Canada over anywhere else?


I had the easiest time finding a visa.

I didn’t have to learn a different language.

I could bring my car.


Where did you move from exactly?

What do you like the most so far about Canada? The least?


I’m from Florida.

I like the fact that I’ve escaped most things I didn’t like about the US. The worst thing here is the insanely high rent prices and car insurance prices.


Do you ever feel bad about the fact that you could escape a situation you didn’t like because of your financial resources while there are many millions of other Americans who dislike the situation just the same but can’t escape due to theirs? Did you ever consider staying to try to help fix the problems instead of running from them?

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying any of this is your fault but it just seems to me that if people with resources and the power to do so leave the country instead of trying to help fix it eventually the only people that will be left are the poor and powerless.


I’m well aware I was able to get enough money to leave while others can’t but that doesn’t mean I had enough to change an entire nation.


How do you feel about Trudeau's affinity for "brownface"?


The only people I lost respect for were the people that found that and used it to try and make him look worse. It was almost 20 years ago.


Were you from a conservative district/state in the U.S?


Swing state

I’m from Florida.


Anything you had to leave behind that you miss? Places? Foods? People? Etc?


Definitely my friends. I also miss Publix, Wawa, Totinos Pizza Rolls and certain local restaurants from where I’m from.


Maybe ask if it was easy for you to find a job in Canada, I mean like settling down there ?

Tbh I wish to leave Germany for similar reasons but Canada seems difficult ;; I am just a business graduate with little bit of job experience ;;


It took me a couple of weeks to find a job. I think it was just luck though.


Good riddance? KAG!


Kag? Is that the cry of some sort of fantasy creature before battle?


What do you think of the mindset "Don't move to another country. Fight for it."

Follow up: Can you still vote and if so, who has your vote?


That mindset is ridiculous and cult like.

Yes I can vote.


Are you catching any shit up there for being from South of the border?


I see news about America all the time.


Do you maintain your US citizenship? And still pay US taxes?


I’m still a US citizen.


Do you or have you thought about setting up investment accounts in Canada? Is it worth it? Or is it better to invest in the States with an American account? I hear it makes filing taxes in the States a pain? What are your thoughts on that?


I don’t really know anything about that.


So you were already pretty much mind made up and then the 'political' side tipped the scales?


I have wanted out since 2007.


What region in the United States did you you move from (i.e. Midwest or East Coast)?


I’m from Florida.

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