Interest in immigration, education in Canada surges following U.S. Muslim ban

By on February 8, 2017


A Canadian immigration lawyer said here on Tuesday he and others in his field had been swamped with immigration assistance requests from Muslims legally residing in the U.S. (Photo: Harshil Shah/Flickr)
A Canadian immigration lawyer said here on Tuesday he and others in his field had been swamped with immigration assistance requests from Muslims legally residing in the U.S. (Photo: Harshil Shah/Flickr)

VANCOUVER—A Canadian immigration lawyer said here on Tuesday he and others in his field had been swamped with immigration assistance requests from Muslims legally residing in the U.S.

They’re seeking a new home in Canada following U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order that banned residents from seven Muslim-majority countries, said Richard Kurland, an immigration lawyer in Vancouver, British Columbia in west Canada.

The “cascade” of immigration assistance requests began after the signing of Trump’s Muslim ban, he said.

“That’s when people who were merely uncomfortable and displeased changed their emotional state to one of fear,” he told Xinhua in an interview.

After the executive order there was a sudden increase in intake for consultations for how to immigrate to Canada at Kurland’s office.

He said he experienced four days of steady calls from Muslim residents in the U.S. seeking his help to move to Canada.

“The callers were highly educated, PhD or master’s degree level,” he said. “If they weren’t in school then they were in senior executive positions in management in various American companies. They all used the word ‘fear’.”

Kurland said he expects the applications to keep coming despite the temporary halt of the Muslim ban by a federal court judge in Seattle last week. The legal and political outcome of the order remains unclear.

He said ther immigration lawyers he knows in Canada are also experiencing the surge in applications.

Canadian Universities are also noticing a boost in interest from Americans. Following the Nov. 8 presidential election in the U.S., the University of Toronto reported a surge in American interest in a University’s website for prospective students.

On Nov. 9, nearly 10,000 Americans visited future.utoronto.ca, a site for students which features graduate biographies, program descriptions and information on how to apply to the University, according to the university’ s news website.

In Vancouver, the University of British Columbia (UBC) has been experiencing a 15-percent increase in applications by American students since 2014, but a spokeswoman for the university said it wouldn’t be accurate to link that increase to a single political reason.

“We’ve been trending with that amount of interest for a number of years for now,” said UBC spokeswoman Susan Danard.