Some Americans may have said they wanted to move to Canada after Donald Trump became president, but few actually followed through, The National Post reports.
New data released by Canada’s immigration office indicates only a slight year-over-year uptick in applications for Canadian citizenship in 2017.
In the first four months of 2016, an average of 264 people filed applications each month. This year, the number rose to 400 in that period — that’s more than a 50% jump from 2016 but just half of the average from 2012. The data actually suggests a trend of declining applications overall.
Threatening to move north is something of a tradition during US election cycles. Roughly half of the country is guaranteed to be disappointed with the outcome, and many people take comfort in Canada’s proximity.
After the November election, Canada was one of a few countries that opened its arms to Americans, along with New Zealand and Ireland.
However, becoming a Canadian citizen is an expensive, time-consuming process. Applicants must pony up more than $US500 just to apply, and those who get accepted must have a sponsor, such as an employer or spouse, to vouch that the immigrant will be able to live comfortably.
Only then will the permanent residency clock start moving — full citizenship will come roughly six years later.
Some people have made the move despite those challenges. Heidi Lamar, a day spa owner from Scottsdale, Arizona, filed for permanent residency with her Canadian husband in 2012. (“My Canadian husband came in for a massage and left with a wife instead,” she told Business Insider.) But five years later, she is still waiting to become a naturalized citizen.
According to The National Post, tourism to Canada’s Cape Breton spiked 14% in the wake of the election compared to the same timeframe the previous year. Even if citizenship presented a challenge, a small taste of the country seemed to suffice.