OK, gang. Here it is. In answer to many requests for information about crossing the Canadian border and immigrating to and homesteading in Canada, we've put together the following twenty-one pages.
By the way, we're becoming convinced that abandoned back-tax land in Canada is probably more attractive than raw unsettled Crown Land. There's less red tape involved, actually less out-of-pocket expense in some cases and always the chance of picking up an old house, farm buildings, a well and—maybe—easy access to power lines in the bargain. Check it out and see what you think.
The first thing you've got to realize is that the immigrant business is pretty good in Canada these days. In addition to a steady flow of new faces from England, other parts of the old British Commonwealth and Europe, 22,785 independent souls from the United States (double the number of 1961) emigrated to the Maple Leaf Country in 1969 . . . and the first quarter of 1970 ran about one-third ahead of the corresponding quarter last year.
Now these are not all young and impecunious draft dodgers either. One quarter of the folks making the big move in 1969 were doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers (especially teachers!) and other professional people. And the U.S. immigrants (in our fine old tradition of "biggest and bestest"), took more money into Canada with them than all other immigrants combined.
What this means, of course, is that the competition is getting heavier. Or—to put it another way—with greater numbers of better qualified applicants wanting in, the Canadian Immigrations Offices can afford to become progressively more selective . . . and they have. I guess a third way of describing the situation is to say that you now need money and an established career to buy a new start in life.
We're advised that, until about three years ago, a U.S. citizen applying for Canadian landed immigrant status was viewed as just that: A U.S. citizen. Acceptance was almost automatic. Nowadays, however, distinctions are made and each applicant from the U.S. is graded on a super-secret point system.
The new evaluation scale is SO secret, by the way, that—researching this issue—we were given no straight answers by any of the official Canadian Government spokesmen we contacted. Luckily, though, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has an unexpected friend (who must remain nameless) within the very government of our neighbor to the north and that friend tells us:
Canada's immigration laws operate on a point system. The applicant gets points for having a job to go to (or a skill that is highly in demand in Canada); for having sound financial resources; for having an education. Thus, if you are a professional man with about $10,000 and a job waiting (which, by the way, is an approximate profile of the majority of immigrants from the United States in recent years) you can make the points in a walk.
Two important warnings:
A piece in the July 17, 1970 issue of LIFE followed one emigrating family north from this country and, in a few words on page 44, reinforced the above statement:
To become "landed", an applicant needs a minimum of 50 out of a possible 100 points based on such things as education, job training, special skills, and on motivation, initiative and other intangibles generally summed up as "character".
So, it would seem that your best bet lies in NOT drawing across the border with $100 in your pocket as a "tourist," and applying for Canadian citizenship later. If you want in and expect to stay, go about it the other way around.
Let's say your situation is the worst possible: You're young, flat broke, know no one in Canada and you would like to become a landed immigrant as soon as possible. How will you do it?
This could probably be taken even one step further. The friend might purchase the land with your money in the first place (assuming you had it and he didn't) and—once you're officially in Canada—sign the deed over to you.
What I'm saying is, if you're young, without money and connections but determined to emigrate to Canada and build a new life for yourself, there are ways to do it in spite of the restrictions and red tape. YOU CAN DO IT IF YOU TRY.
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