During the peak of Super Tuesday on March 1, Google Analytics reported that the top search term of the night was "How to move to Canada" - presumably by U.S. citizens who weren't entirely happy with GOP candidate Donald Trump's early state wins.
While we're still not certain as to whether Trump will be the GOP-nominated candidate in the 2016 presidential election, we do know that certain websites checked out the Canadian government's immigration services page and found a survey for application eligibility that some called easy and fast - which sort of sounds to us like how someone would describe a BuzzFeed quiz. We decided to put this theory to the test and have me fill out the questionnaire myself.
As one would do, I visited the country's government page, which had a noticeably user-friendly navigation system. From under the "Immigration" dropdown, I selected "Immigrate" and then "determine your eligibility" to get the ball rolling.
The first page was easy enough, just some normal stats (including my date of birth, which I didn't include in the screen cap below).
When asked about my occupation, I selected "work for myself as a farmer, sportsperson, or artist" because the last seemed to pertain to my writing career, and no other options did. This is more or less how I operate (or other people operate) when they come across a BuzzFeed quiz question with no answers that entirely fit. (At least, I assume so.)
Despite what seemed to me to be a strange grouping, I moved along to the next page. I felt pretty shamed by the "world-class level cultural activities" signifier, can't lie, but hey – all in good fun. I decided to say yes.
Next up: results! It looks like under those circumstances, I am eligible to apply, and I found out in less than seven minutes.
For curiosity's sake, I went back and took the quiz over, changing only four answers: I listed my country of origin as Albania, my passport as Albanian, I picked a random birth date, and I listed myself as a farmer. That's it, nothing else. And ... no cigar.
After finishing both versions of the quiz, I figured I'd draw some comparisons - maybe what I had heard before was hyperbole, and other English-speaking countries had similar types of online surveys. I decided to test this theory out by tyring other countries that, like Canada and the U.S., had once been under British rule. So what better to test than Australia and the Mother Country itself, the U.K.?
When I went to go check out the calculator tool for the U.K.'s Tier 1 General Visa, which grants visas to entrepreneurs, investors, graduate entrepreneurs or "exceptional talent," I found a notice that read "the U.K. stopped accepting applications for Tier 1 (General) from applicants outside of the U.K. on 23 December 2010. This scheme ended completely on 6 April 2011," which put a damper on my plans. I would most likely be eligible under Tier 2 out of any of the U.K. categories as either a "representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation" - but probably only if I was sent by my employer. Unfortunately, there was no BuzzFeed quiz for that one.
After that, I decided to check out our neighbors from down under – Australia – and found a pretty extensive eligibility quiz from Migration Services, an Australian visa service. Despite this, the survey was also easy to complete, but took a little more time than Canada's questionnaire. Let's say it took more than 10 minutes. Unfortunately, I didn't qualify, but the site suggested an alternate eligibility assessment for the work-sponsored 457/ENS visa, as well as a consultation with an online specialist ($150 USD) or one with a telephone specialist ($75 USD). I decided to decline.
So there you have it. I can't guarantee that it's easier to ascertain eligibility for actually moving to Canada - far from it - but by the end of my research, I did figure out that, if anything, Canada's eligibility survey was more like a BuzzFeed survey out of any of the other countries that I tried. And if you decide you want to pick up and move to Our Nation's (Excellent and Awesome) Top Hat one day — well, you know where to start.
Source: Government of Canada
Photo: Alex Indigo | Flickr