Canadian vs United States citizenship

Jamaica To Canada

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

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Dear Mr Brown,

I enjoy reading your weekly column. They are very practical and you provide explanations while also providing direct answers. My question is: Does Canadian citizenship offer more benefits than American citizenship?

— TH

Dear TH:

I believe that Canadian and American citizenship offer similar rights and entitlements. While I enjoy vacations in the US, I also observe that that there are many benefits to being a Canadian (that are not necessarily linked to the constitutional or legal rights afforded by our respective Constitutions).

Some studies have suggested the following:

1. Canadians live longer by an average of three years.

2. Canadians have a high level of life satisfaction and work/life balance.

3. Canadians have lower rates of suicide.

4. The health care costs per person are much lower in Canada.

5. Canadians enjoy longer maternity and paternity leave.

6. The divorce rate is lower in Canada.

7. Canadians have high educational attainment in general and lower socio-economic groups in particular.

8. The income disparity is much lower, while the net worth of the average Canadian household is higher. This is due to differences in wealth distribution. The United States is, by far, wealthier and more powerful however.

9. Social mobility is higher in Canada as measured by intergenerational changes.

The real difference

The benefits and opportunities are very similar in both countries. Employment opportunities and income are very similar for the average citizen.

However, some significant differences include:

• Health care is cheaper in Canada.

• Post-secondary education is much lower in Canada. The vast majority of students attend publicly funded schools paid for by taxes. Post-secondary education is subsidised by provincial governments for Canadian residents. Canada also has a wider social safety net provided by government services.

In a nutshell, Canadians may pay less for larger-life events, such as health and education, while Americans pay remarkably less for day-to-day expenses such as food, merchandise and so forth.

Please visit jamaica2canada.com for additional information on Canadian permanent residence programmes, including Express Entry, the Study and Work progamme, visitor's visas or appeals, etc.

— Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to jamaica2canada@gmail.com

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