Given the volatility of our current political climate, it’s no surprise that more and more American are considering a move to Canada. But those trying to escape the U.S. have a tendency to romanticize Canada and lose sight of the facts. While there are many advantages of living in Canada, the country also presents immigrants with a unique set of challenges. Here are four challenges you should expect to face if you’re planning on moving to Canada:
1. The Cost of Living is Higher
Higher shipping costs and different tariff laws make many goods more expensive in Canada compared to the United States, which contributes to Canada’s higher cost of living. However, while you can expect to pay more in Canada, the country’s wages are also ninth-best in the world when adjusted for purchasing power–two spots ahead of the U.S.
2. Consumer Culture Isn’t as Big
One thing that can shock Americans who move to Canada is the comparative lack of many consumer culture staples. Large chain retailers are less common in Canada; Target, for instance, no longer has any locations in the country. Another example: the Canadian Netflix library is only about half the size of the American library.
3. Getting in Isn’t Easy for U.S. Citizens
If you don’t have a job offer in Canada and you won’t be attending a Canadian University, moving there from the U.S. might be harder than you expect. The U.S. is on a list of countries that the Canadian government won’t usually consider accepting refugees from, in large part thanks to the actions of the Donald Trump administration. Without the possibility of refugee status, the easiest way to get in is to get a Canadian job offer or marry a Canadian citizen.
4. Certain Health Conditions Will Get you Denied
One other thing anyone considering a move to Canada should know is that you may be denied permanent residency if you have one of several serious health conditions. The application process for Canadian citizenship actually includes a chest X-ray and a blood test, both of which are used to detect these conditions.
Despite these challenges, there are still a lot of benefits of moving to Canada. Our northern neighbor’s socialized healthcare programs, milder political climate and stunning natural beauty definitely make a permanent move worthy of consideration if you’re tired of life in America. Just be sure you know what you’re getting into before you make a hasty decision to pack up and jump the border.