Metro Morning

The 4 kinds of people who want to move to Canada post-Trump election

An immigration lawyer said there’s he's seen a big variety among people calling him about immigrating to Canada.

Lawyer says he’s seen a ‘huge spike’ in interest, but some are more serious than others

A Toronto-based immigration lawyer said that since Donald Trump was elected, he's seen four main types of people come to him for advice about immigrating to Canada. (Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images)

With just days before president-elect Donald Trump takes office, a Toronto immigration lawyer says he's seen a "huge spike" in the number of people calling about immigrating to Canada.

"We're probably doing two or three consultations a day," said Evan Green of Green and Spiegel on CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

Of those people, Green said there's a big variety in who they are and why they are interested in moving north. He broke it down into four categories.

The 'wayward Canadians'

"Wayward Canadians" are people who live in the United States but are either from Canada or have Canadian parents or grandparents.

Green said calls from this group are the most serious, with people trying to "get their ducks in order" to come.

"With that group, we're seeing action. They are moving forward," he said. "They are seeing what they need to do to sponsor their spouse, or make their children Canadian citizens."

Those 'appalled by Trump'

This group, explains Green, is feeling out options.

"They are appalled by Mr. Trump and his policies. With them, it's much more exploratory," he said.

People with 'grey status'

These people are non-American citizens who have been made "very nervous" by rumblings from Trump about deportations, said Green.  

"They are people who may have some papers," said Green, adding they likely got work cards under the Obama administration. Spooked, they are looking north for somewhere else to live.  

Wealthy and looking to move

The final group comes from all over, said Green.

He describes them as "rich people around the world, many of them with Muslim backgrounds, who at one time would look to the United States, who are [now] saying 'there's no way.'"

In other words, these are people who are committed to moving to North America and now see the U.S. as a bad option.

Look before you leap

Fellow immigration lawyer Heather Segal has been fielding a large number of calls from prospective Canadians as well.

She said she offers advice to clients to look before they leap and do their homework — going through the Canadian immigration process isn't a walk in the park

"There's a commitment — you have to be prepared to be here and live here and commit to the things you're undertaking," she said on CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

In particular, she advises them to get tax advice, "because they may end up having to pay a lot more tax in Canada compared to what they pay in the United States."

Both Green and Segal agree that for all of the consultations they've done, the number of people who actually take the plunge will depend on how Trump behaves once he's assumed office.

"When we see what transpires in respect to his policies, then we'll have a better understanding," said Segal.