Considering moving to another country if your candidate loses?

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • New Zealand

Every presidential election cycle, the topic of an unfavorable candidate becoming the next U.S. leader prompts people across party lines to declare that they’d move to another country.

But what about those who already left their home countries – immigrants to the United States? We asked more than 700 visa and green card holders if they would have a negative or positive outlook of working in the United States if either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton became president.

The results are in: Only 15 percent would have a negative outlook of a Clinton presidency, while a staggering 56 percent felt negatively about the possibility of Trump becoming the next president. Since Trump is likely to at least become the Republican presidential nominee, as November the indignant threats to find employment options abroad will probably only increase.

But if there was an upset during the election and many citizens were rethinking their residency, is a major, or even minor, exodus of U.S. workers feasible? We did the research on some popular destinations.

Canada

“We’re expecting to have to fill 182,000 information and communication technology positions by 2019,” says Allen Lau of The Global and Mail. Why? Just like the United States, Canada is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers.

Canada grants work authorization to skilled workers through its Express Entry program. There are five skill levels in which someone may qualify, from restaurant managers and doctors to truck drivers and janitorial workers.

Important note: Lau says the Express Entry system can keep an applicant waiting up to six months, and many workers end up seeking employment elsewhere in that time period. However, this may apply to countries that are used to expedited processing times from government services.

Immigration outlook: Fair

Japan

Japan is in a renaissance of sorts. While the topic of immigration is at times contentious — the country has historically preferred to preserve its cultural homogeneity — the current administration has made a new effort to attract foreign workers due to labor shortages and construction booms caused by the 2011 tsunami and the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The country’s current immigration policy has a strong preference for “high-skilled foreign professionals.” To qualify, foreign workers must be skilled in advanced academic research, business management and specialized/technical activities. A “preferential immigration treatment” based on a points system was created to determine who should receive work authorization. Those who score 70 points in academic background, professional career and annual salary are granted work authorization.

Immigration outlook: Good

New Zealand

According to the country’s official Moving from the USA webpage, those skilled in information technology, health care and engineering often find quality employment in New Zealand. The site also claims there are many opportunities for skilled migrants, with greater preference to those on the skill shortage lists. For example: The immediate short list reveals the country is in need of medical laboratory technicians, building surveyors and bakers in all regions.

Immigration outlook: Great

Sweden
Foreign-born individuals make up 14 percent of the population, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As a U.S. citizen, to work in this immigrant-friendly country you’ll need a work permit. Additionally, work authorization is available for spouses and children under 21.

Immigration outlook: Great

Don’t see your country of choice on this list? Check the country’s official government website for details on their immigration programs.

Another option besides completely uprooting? Get involved in the election cycle this year by thoroughly researching each candidate and sharing your knowledge with others. In other words: #Vote.