While many Americans vowed to move to Canada after U.S. President Donald Trump was elected president, a Windsor immigration firm says some of them are following through on that promise.
Business at Canada By Choice Immigration has had to hire two new staff members to keep up with a significant increase in the number of inquiries from people who have immigrated to the U.S. and now want to leave, says Marketing Manager Hussein Zarif.
"This may be someone who has been on a work visa for the past ten years and was hoping to get permanent status," he says. "We have some clients that are tired of the rhetoric -- It's not like 'I'm just asking some questions.' It's no, how can I get this application started and let's get going."
Zarif says the firm first noticed an uptick in inquiries after the election when their phone started ringing more, and their website crashed. He says after each executive order there was an increase. Finally, last week the New Yorker published an article that featured the local firm.
"On our website, we offer free assessment, so over 400 filled that out," he says. "We were trending on Immigration Canada, so when a lot of people were Googling Immigration Canada came across the article."
Canada By Choice was already getting a few calls from the U.S., but after placing ads aimed at Americans, it started getting between seven and ten calls daily.
He says the firm always tries to sell their clientele on the benefits of staying in Windsor. He believes the new applicants could do a lot for the city's economy.
"A lot of these people that are coming with these highly skilled backgrounds are the type of people who are going to add jobs. They also come with significant personal savings that they can use to buy houses," says Zarif.
Canada has a rigorous immigration process, but he believes these applicants have a leg up.
"There is a portion that focuses on language, and because these clients have already been in the U.S. for so long, for about ten or twelve years, they do tend to get accepted a lot quicker because they have really strong English language skills," Zarif admits.
In the past, Canada By Choice focused on those looking to immigrate from countries like India, Pakistan, Morocco and the Philippines.