Cape Breton law firm offers advice to Americans fleeing Donald Trump
'A lot of immigration questions were being posed,' says Sydney immigration lawyer Damien Barry
The now famous "Cape Breton if Donald Trump Wins" website that tries to lure Americans to the island has generated so many inquiries that a lawyer specializing in immigration has decided to weigh in on the topic.
Damien Barry is with the Sampson McPhee law firm in Sydney, and is himself an immigrant from Ireland.
"Emigrating to Canada is not an easy process," said Barry.
The tongue-in-cheek website pitches Cape Breton as an idyllic place to settle for those who contemplate fleeing the United States if Trump becomes president.
Barry contacted the creator of the site, Sydney radio host Rob Calabrese, when he heard he was receiving thousands of inquiries and asked if Calabrese wanted to pass them on to him.
The island's tourism marketing agency, Destination Cape Breton, has also been flooded with questions and Barry has been reading them as well.
"No two inquiries have been the same," he said.
Look to work or study
With that in mind he's produced a FAQs video on YouTube to give potential Trump flee-ers an overview on how immigration to Canada works. Calling Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is not really helpful, he said.
"Unless you have a specific application ongoing with Immigration Canada, they really won't offer you any general advice on the phone," he said.
Asked for an example of an effective strategy for moving to Canada, he told CBC Cape Breton's Information Morning there are a "number of pathways" to follow initially before applying for citizenship.
"It might be better to move here on the basis of a work permit or study permit, and then in time look to gain permanent residency from that," Barry said.
He added that right now Cape Breton, and Nova Scotia in general, is extremely receptive to entrepreneurs wanting to immigrate to Canada through its provincial nominee program.
Barry said his video is being offered as a free service by Sampson McPhee, but hinted there might be some business down the road for the law firm in terms of immigration inquiries.