Here's how to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen

Here's how to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen

More and more jaded Americans are indignantly announcing that they want to move to Canada these days, and indeed, the country has a bit of a stereotypical reputation as a liberal's safe haven, far removed from the partisan strife of Trump's United States.

Now that marijuana has been fully legalised, many more people are probably going to be making the same wistful proclamation about immigrating there. But what about the people who are actually serious about it? Just how easy is it to immigrate to the land of maple syrup and ice hockey?

For starters, to gain citizenship, prospective immigrants are required to have already lived in the country for six whole years, and know a thing or two about the country's culture and history. Plus, if you're a legal adult, then it's going to be that much harder, since children need their guardian to fill out their application form.

Pro-marijuana protestors in Canada. Credit: Getty

Canada also boasts a special fast-track system for skilled workers called the Express Entry. Applicants into this program are given specific scores, job prospects and qualifications. Then they're ranked against competing applicants. Immigrants at the top of the rankings are invited to become a permanent resident after a certain amount of time has passed.

So what happens then? Well, once you've been invited, you need to confirm your plans to stay within Canadian borders for at least three years. If you don't, you can lose your oh-so-precious permanent residence status. To become a citizen, you have to stay there for six years. There are other requirements as well. You'll need to provide immigration authorities with three years' worth of tax returns for the five-year period up leading to the date of your initial application. You also need to know how to speak either French or English to enter.

If you are between 18 and 54 years old, you will have to take a written test, so you better start studying. The formal exam covers essential facts about the Great White North, including Canadian symbols, values and history. The citizenship officer may decide to quiz you orally as well.

Be warned, while Canada has a reputation for being exceedingly polite, they are not too polite to reject applicants. The government particularly frowns upon those who committed a crime within four years of attempting to become a citizen. And if you are incarcerated, they will not count your time in prison towards becoming a permanent resident.

Once you meet all of this criteria, you will become a Canadian citizen, and blissfully live in a liberal utopia far, far away from Donald Trump. Surprisingly, the arctic weather doesn't last all year, so remember to pack some shorts and T-shirts for the hot summer. At last, you can stop being a jaded American, and start being a cheerful Canuck, discovering the joys of maple syrup, ice hockey, and yes, legal marijuana.