Updated: May 7
We decided that we we would expand our search for the famed American Dream by instead searching for the "North American Dream" and migrating north to Canada. As a DACA recipient I am not allowed to re-enter the country if I leave so I will be going to Canada sight unseen if we get selected from the Express Entry pool. As a chronic planner, this is naturally freaking me out but it will certainly be our biggest adventure yet.
So what makes us think Canada even wants us?
"The most recent census revealed that immigrants now make up their largest-ever share of Canada's total population (23%), beating a record that had previously been set 100 years ago." - CIC News
"Heading into 2023, the Canadian government seems steadfast in its continued commitment to immigration and welcoming newcomers to this country. Canada hopes that heightened immigration will continue to help this country develop socially and economically, while also working to reunite families and assist vulnerable populations through Canada’s capacity for humanitarian aid." - CIC News
From the research we've done, Canada is extremely immigrant friendly and they especially want young, educated professionals. Their express entry system has been shockingly user friendly and was honestly easier to fill out than some job applications I've done in the past. This is in stark contrast to the US immigration system which is purposefully difficult and impossible to navigate without an expensive lawyer. Express Entry is in the process of evolving a bit but the program itself takes age, education, work experience and language skills into account and all of this adds up to a CRS score. Every two weeks they would do a drawing where they invite a few thousand people with the highest scores. Once you are inviting through this process, you have 60 days to fill out the application and in around 6 months you can be awarded your permanent residency. After having PR in Canada for 3 years, you can apply for citizenship. Meanwhile in America I've been in the DACA program for over 10 years and have no pathway to a green card and no freedom to even leave the country. Once we arrive in Canada, I'll be able to visit anywhere in the world.
Living in North NJ, we wanted to find a part of Canada that would be convenient for us when we want to come back to visit. We haven't quite nailed down a location yet but we are thinking Kingston because it's quite possibly the closest we can get without living in New York. It's a university town with lots of festivals and events going on so we think it will be a good fit for our landing and will have a social scene we jump into headfirst so we aren't so lonely. We have no friends or family in Canada (yet) so finding a very active social scene was important to us.
As of this posting, we are within 10 points of getting picked in the Express Entry drawing so potentially in a year we would be officially Canadians!
For more info on Express Entry use this link: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry.html