THIS EPISODE COVERS:
- Why going to school to Canada might be in your best financial interest;
- How many college graduates are able to graduate with little to no student loan debt;
- How getting a Canadian passport can open up an entirely new job market for you in Europe; and
- And much more…
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Brandon Miller (00:00): Have this thing in the bank. So that that when you're ready to go, you got everything there and it's just an option for you. So outside of the weather, I would say Canada is pretty much the, you know, we're pretty similar to the U S if you start looking around the world, like it's the U S light
The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:17): Welcome to the student loan podcast here, you'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses and inspiring stories about paying off student loans. We're your hosts, Daphne, Vanessa and Shamil Rodriguez.
Shamil Rodriguez (00:36): Welcome to another episode of the student loan podcast. Everyone. We are excited today to bring you a different perspective on today's episode, actually one north of the border. If you are listening from the U S and today, we're actually going to bring Brandon Miller. Who's actually going to talk about why you might want to consider going to school in Canada or becoming a Canadian citizen yourself, but either way they'll save you cost and education. But before I get into that, I'm going to let Brandon take over. Tell us a little bit about himself, and then we can take a deep dive into why Canada might be a list of options of schools. You may want to consider as you're looking to go to college, right? Brendan, turn it over to you.
Brandon Miller (01:16): Hey guys. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.
Daphné Vanessa (01:19): Great. Thank you for coming on. We're so excited to hear about
Brandon Miller (01:23): Canada. Awesome. Okay. So listen, my
Brandon Miller (01:27): Name's Brandon Miller. I'm in Toronto, Canada. I've been an immigration consultant for about 10 plus years, and I've, I've had a number of different hats within the immigration industry. You know, I've helped people settle in as newcomers. I obviously help people come here and get in to the country via the legal means, et cetera, et cetera. But we've been working with a lot of students and, and Canada has actually grown to be a very good option for international students to come and study for a number of different reasons. So on that note what I've done is, is we've structured a number of different things for students to be able to come to Canada through my immigration practice. And what we've done is, is we allow people and educate people on the idea of studying here, along with the immigration benefits that come with that. And, and the benefit to that is basically a second passport to Canada
Daphné Vanessa (02:22): Is fantastic because even with a lot of family from Canada, so apologies to my family members who are listening to this, but would have never thought about the benefits of being Canadian. Even though I see so many family members who've taken advantage of a Canadian education, can you talk to us about what are some of the nuances and differences that Canada has to offer that maybe the United States will not?
Brandon Miller (02:48): There's a number of different reasons that somebody might want to come to Canada? Normally what I do is, is when I'm, when people ask me that question, there's a number of different reasons, but I like to zero in on a few things. And I like to think a little bit more in terms of options for the future. So again, coming as a student, what you can do is actually you can come here, you can study, then you can work. And then after you get Canadian work experience and Canadian education, you've actually set yourself up to actually come here and get a permanent residency, which is the same as a green card. And then actually turn that into a passport, which is Canadian citizenship. If you're an American citizen, you can actually have two passports. But the biggest benefit is, is for people that are here.
Brandon Miller (03:34): There's a number of them. So we can get in, I think we'll probably get into the cost of international fees and whatnot a little later, but it's obviously a little bit cheaper. There's a few things that I like to talk about in terms of the future. And that's a worker mobility and maybe traveler mobility. So if you want to actually access different areas of the world there's a number of different treaties in place that have worker provisions and things like that. One of the other things that comes up a lot is healthcare. We do have free healthcare here. So again, that's one of the big benefits that some people target in on usually in their late thirties or so retirement benefits. There's a number of different things if you know, you can retire quite comfortably in Canada. And again it just opens up access to a number of different areas of the world. And I think that that's really really one of the biggest things that advantages as well. I
Daphné Vanessa (04:36): Love that. Talk to us about Canada, opening up, basically becoming more of a global citizen with that Canadian passport,
Brandon Miller (04:46): Right? So the Canadian passport again, allows access to a number of different countries. If you're, if you're a dual passport holder say from the U S and Canada, it allows you to kind of play both sides of the fence in terms of the different treaties that are there. Now, we always hear about all these treaties and, and we think of them in terms of trade. But if you actually read the the different areas of the treaty, there's always worker mobility provisions. So example Canada has a treaty with Europe, which is called the comprehensive European trade agreement or seat up and there's worker provisions in there, which allow Canadian citizens to be able to go and basically work in Europe. As long as they meet certain criteria, as outlined in the different treaties, Canada has a lot of these different treaties.
Brandon Miller (05:34): So it allows it actually, it allows the person to be very global as you put it a global citizen, where I think that, you know, as the world opens up and, and borders start to break down, it really, it really is a benefit to be able to travel seamlessly to different areas of the world. So that's, that's a huge, huge benefit. And I think, you know, going forward, we've seen the open up, you know, even over the last 20, 30, 40 years I think going forward in the future 20, 30, 40 years in the, in the future, it's going to be even more open in that respect. So having those options I think is certainly something that you'd want to consider love,
Daphné Vanessa (06:13): Love, and I just want to get the obvious out of the way. Okay. So for a lot of Americans, Canada's cold. The truth is that for the majority of the year, Canada is cold. What are you going to tell us to keep us there?
Brandon Miller (06:32): So I will tell, I can answer that so well for you, and I'll tell you, so I want you to close your eyes, and I want you to think about this. You know, you've, you've done a long bit of a winter it's cold, and then I'll tell you, the first day of spring is probably the best time of the year. Really what it is is you actually be able to go, it's, it's warm, getting warm enough that you get to roll down the windows a little bit. You see people, they get their bikes out and they're starting to ride around. Somebody got some music blaring out the window, and I'll tell you what I appreciate the summer so much more. So I know I lived in the Philippines for eight years and I lived, right. Why did you leave? Well, I'll tell you one thing that I noticed about living in the tropics for so long is I had no concept of time.
Brandon Miller (07:22): And you went from like, you went from hot to like rainy, to hot, to rainy. And I was actually like, you know, here, we've got four seasons, but I'll tell you what I actually appreciate winter so much more. And I know that sounds really strange, but I know it does. I know it totally does, but like, look, I love to ski. I love the different things that you can do here with winter. And I'll tell you what we we really love our summers. And again, because we get it for, you know, it's warming up a little bit. So we get a good four to five to six months of, of really nice weather. So yeah, I don't know. It's, it's, you know, it's funny because I have a number of clients from the middle east as well, and they're always like, oh, it's so cold.
Brandon Miller (08:10): I'm like, you know, as somebody who I, I lived in the middle east as well, I was in Kuwait for a little bit. And my brother was there. Yeah. And it's, it's hot. I know at 50 degrees in the desert feels like, and I'll tell you what you know, but I didn't actually have to sit there and stay in the desert. I was, you know, I was sitting in like an Uber, like air conditioned place, looking at it, seeing the heat waft off the sand and going really hot out there today. Well, I'm going to have a coffee. It's the same thing in the winter here. Right. We literally go from like warm house. I hit the hit the car starter car, warms up, go hit that. And then into the office. It's great.
Daphné Vanessa (08:50): Yeah. And, and you guys are set up for that too. Right. So I remember some family members, the Canadian government requires you to have certain tires and those have to be inspected. And for the United States, that's not a requirement. So those are just some things that the further north you go, the more governments are well-equipped to handle that type of weather.
Brandon Miller (09:14): Yeah. Yeah. They they actually get an insurance discount if you've got snow tires on your, on your car. So it's great. So a lot of people just put it on just for that. It's yeah, it's fantastic. I love it.
Shamil Rodriguez (09:28): Yeah. It's gonna, it's gonna take me a little bit of convincing if I have to ever moved to a place where they've got to put metal on my tires to make sure that I've got traction. We've got, we've got that here too in the state, so I can imagine what that's like, but, you know, I do, I do want to ask Brandon on that front. I know, I know we joke about it, but what have you seen so far in terms of trends of, of people that are actually taking this route? I know you have some, some younger people that are going to school. And what about some young professionals too? I mean, what have you seen so far?
Brandon Miller (09:59): So a number of different people will come here for various reasons, but a lot of times it's, it's a stepping stone to a larger, like a larger future in terms of having the passport and, and things like that. You know, just, just as you asked me that I was thinking about one of my clients, they were, they were from Cleveland and they had finished up school and they decided to come up here because they wanted to get their passport. They enrolled at a post-grad so it was a couple of young couple and they enrolled in a post-grad diploma course here. One person went to school and the other person actually worked in it and was continuing to work at their job. And they were doing it very strategically to be able to come and get the passport. And a lot of times people are thinking ahead and they're looking at it so that they're like, yeah, I'm going to come up.
Brandon Miller (10:50): I'm going to go get my passport. I'm going to hang out for a couple of years, be be finished there. And then after that, you know, there's no residency requirements. They can get up and go, and then come back in 20, 30 years or if they want, they can pass on citizenship to their children or their grandchildren or things like that. I had another guy that was a, that was, is looking at it. You know, he's from just outside of Chicago and he was, he wasn't really interested in it for himself as much. But he was thinking about, you know, the future for his children or his grandchildren and having the different options and, and, and using it that way. So I hear that quite a bit. And I think that that's actually a big trend for people that people are looking and they're saying, you know what, I actually don't know what the world's gonna look like in 20, 30 years, but I'm kind of hedging my bets. And, and I think I'm going to have another, another option that's available. Maybe not only for myself and maybe my retirement years, but also, you know, for my kids or my grandkids or something along those lines. So I think it's I think very prudent in that respect. And I always respect you know, people that think that far in advance I've, I've had some pretty amazing conversations with people over the years. And, and just the, the level of thinking and foresight is, is just remarkable,
Shamil Rodriguez (12:10): But I'd have to agree completely. I think that being able to look at your future in that way, especially when you're thinking about your schooling costs and things like that, all of those things are a part of, you know, a time of your life when you should be planning, you know, 20, 30, 40 years out into the future, essentially into your retirement years, if you take the traditional path. What I find there that I thought was really intriguing is that one, I was ignorant to the fact, this is for a long time ago when I went to college, I didn't know that you could have dual passports and be an American citizen. Right? So that was one thing that I always found intriguing. And then to the idea that, that the cost of education is so much cheaper, right? Like, can you just, this is emphasize we are on the student loan podcast. I mean, how much do student loans really play a role in financing your education, or is it so affordable that people can actually work and pay it off? So they graduated that free so
Brandon Miller (13:02): People can, people can actually work and pay it off and, and graduate debt free. Now they're not going to retire on that. You know, but they could, if you really worked, like I'll give you an example. And again, I know it's a bit dated, but I think it's relative. I actually went to school. I had very small student loans, like I think I had when I finished about $10,000 in student loans, which is nothing. I worked going to school the whole time. Now you got to understand minimum wage here is, is about 14 bucks an hour, 14, 25 in Toronto. So, you know, bottom job that you're going to get is still going to be 1425 an hour. So, you know, if you look at doing the math and you're, and you're going to school, and you're paying for that as an international student, you can work and go to school at the same time for 20 hours, and then you can work full-time during the breaks, and then you actually get a post-graduate work permit to work after that.
Brandon Miller (13:59): So a lot of people you know, once you, once you pay the tuition now, just to give you an idea local tuition, for instance, if you're going to go to college here, a community college is, is anywhere from three, three to three to $5,000 for an international student. It's about 12 to $15,000 and that's Canadian. So, you know, I think the Canadian dollar is sitting at about 80 cents or, or so to the U S dollar now. So it's about a buck 20 us that you'll get for every dollar that you spend. So it's, it's quite affordable. Books and living expenses are, are all, you know, part of it in terms of housing and whatnot. But you can, you can do, you can do. Okay. now if you put that into perspective even at the international rates you're still doing okay. I think what 12,000 Canadians, about 9,000 us for tuition in that respect. Yeah, so
Shamil Rodriguez (14:58): Yeah, no, it's, it's a, it's a great point. Got to go. I keep going Brendan. No,
Brandon Miller (15:03): And, and I was going to say that some
Brandon Miller (15:05): Of my, some of my American students as well, though, they'll get loans in the states to be able to pay for their their education up here. So when you look at it, then you're not saddled with the huge amount of debt, and you're also setting yourself up for a future opportunity. One of the things that I would want it to speak about, cause you reminded me there when you were talking about setting up for the future is you know, you mentioned something where people need to plan. I would say the age demographic that I tend to get is generally around 37 to 39 people generally really start contacting me and, and really start exploring it. And I struggled with why that is for so long, because I kept saying, I'm like, oh man, if I could just speak to people in their twenties and let them know that they have this opportunity, I wouldn't have to keep having this conversation.
Brandon Miller (15:58): And I'll tell you what somebody pointed it out to me and they said, oh, that makes sense. They said, when you're about 38 39, you're kind of at your you're maxing out your earning potential. And you're looking ahead to retirement and you're starting to look, do the math and figure things out. And that's when, you know, you're like, huh, healthcare, retirement benefits, all of these things start to come in. So I like to actually speak to people early and say, Hey, listen, get this all, have this thing in the bank. So that, you know that when you're ready to go, you got everything there. And it's just an option for you. So outside of the weather, I would say Canada is pretty much the, you know, we're pretty similar to the U S if you start looking around the world, like it's the U S light, you know, I guess
Brandon Miller (16:44): We're like, we're like cousins, right? Nice, much nicer.
Shamil Rodriguez (16:51): I liked, I liked that. You just, I would wake up a quick side note here. There was a friend of mine in high school that actually taught me about Miguel. And I had brought that up pretty show as an, I always bring it up as an example, because he actually knew this in high school that he wanted to go to school in Canada because he wanted to save on the expenses of going to school and he wanted to actually broaden his market. Like I'm not joking whatsoever. Now, do I know if he actually went and did that? No, I have no idea, but I love the idea that it's so true that most people weren't thinking about it. And it was just somebody that I'd met that really was like, no, this is my plan. Like, this is what I'm going to do.
Brandon Miller (17:33): I'm, I'm really seeing it more and more. And it's, it's becoming, I think it's the beginning of a trend. There's a good, there's a good chunk of people that come here every year, but we're seeing a lot more of an uptake in it because people are realizing, they're like, Hey, this is actually a cheaper option. And oh, and by the way, I can set this up and I can get this benefit and this benefit and, and all of those different things. I'll give you another example. And, and this would speak to your younger audience. There, we have, we have different articulation agreements with a number of different countries. So for instance, we have the working holiday programs and Canada signed onto a number of different treaties with that. So for instance, if I wanted to go, if I was under 35, I had a Canadian passport, I can literally fill in an application and get like an open, a work visa to go work in Australia, for instance, or Spain or, or whatever. There's a number of different countries that you know, in terms of mobility. So again, getting back to it, I really just think it opens up a whole host of options. So yeah, your friends your friends on it, he was, he was ahead of it, I think because I really think it's, it's you know, it's been something that a small number of people have been doing, but we're definitely seeing a growing number of people investigating this a lot further
Shamil Rodriguez (18:53): Well said. And I have to admit, I have to admit that the first country that I actually, you might appreciate this Brandon, the first country that I got my passport stamp by was actually Canada. So
Brandon Miller (19:06): Which, which part of Canada
Shamil Rodriguez (19:08): We went to Montreal. Daffy was actually the one that encouraged me and got me to apply to get my passport in the first place, because all my traveling was in country at that point.
Brandon Miller (19:16): Fantastic. Montreals you know what I'll tell you, Montreal is a really popular place. Like when I speak to Americans, they're all like, yeah, I really want to go to Montreal. I'm like awesome.
Brandon Miller (19:26): Montreal. Montreal is a great city. I'm sure you had a great time.
Shamil Rodriguez (19:29): Oh no, absolutely had a blast. I'm looking forward to going to Toronto at some point in the future. But, but definitely had that experience and loved and loved Canada. It was, it was a really great time. I actually encouraged a lot of people to go and visit summer.
Daphné Vanessa (19:45): You're a hard time because I, I grew up going to Canada. I have a lot of family there. My grandparents lived there, so I'm making fun of you, but it's, it's all in good, just because I do love, I do love Canada have just think funny.
Brandon Miller (19:59): It's fun. The winter is great. As long as you're indoors next to a fire.
Brandon Miller (20:05): It's beautiful.
Daphné Vanessa (20:07): I remember just having all these plans and then I land and I get there and I'm like, Nope, it's too cold. We're staying right here.
Brandon Miller (20:16): That's it. But I'll tell you what I, you appreciate it. You really do because you're inside. And you're like, oh, it's so nice and cozy in here. And it's like monopoly. I'm like, yeah, winner's beautiful. Look at all that snow out there.
Daphné Vanessa (20:30): Yeah, no, there there's certainly benefits. What I'd love to talk about are two things. One let's get into the numbers. So I looked up Maggie and I noticed that for an international tuition, you're looking at about 26,000 Canadian for tuition for a bachelor's of arts. And that is pretty inexpensive compared to a United States private school.
Brandon Miller (21:02): And I'm going to tell you right now, McGill so McGill Queens Miguel and Queens are the first ones that come to mind, U of T and UBC, right? Those are, those are some of the top schools. So McGill is definitely the top end school. And that would be the top end tuition. You know, when you start looking at some other schools, it's, it's quite, quite, quite a bit cheaper. So at 26 K Canadian bachelors
Daphné Vanessa (21:32): Of arts though. So if you are going for a, you know, higher degree, it's more expensive. I noticed. Of
Brandon Miller (21:36): Course, yes. Yeah. Master's degrees would be a little bit more, but 26 26 K Canadian, I think would probably be about 21, 21 U S I think somewhere in there. So yeah. Yeah. That's where you'd
Daphné Vanessa (21:51): Be at less than a semester of law school.
Shamil Rodriguez (21:56): Right? Well, it depends on where you go. Hey, definitely for myself, I went to a state law school and that's closer to the Canadian REITs. I have to, I can't, I can't pool on all the schools here because that's true. It definitely was a great financial decision compared to other law schools here in
Daphné Vanessa (22:10): The states. Yeah, no, that's a good point. It's more comparable to the public education in the United States rather than the private education.
Brandon Miller (22:18): Yeah. I know. I don't know a ton about the rates, but I do know that the private rates are, are quite a bit more than, than the public rates. For sure.
Shamil Rodriguez (22:29): So back back into that, then I guess what are, I mean, we're, I think that was a really good comparison that Daphne brought up, right. Comparing, going to school in Canada can be comparable depending on which, which state you live in, which programs are available there. Right? You can be a really thrifty shopper here in the U S and get away with saving money on going to school, right? Let's say you go to community college for two years, then you go for the last two years to your school, you know, top choice or whatever the case may be. You end up saving a lot there because you're taking all those core classes and you're getting knocked out of the way. But what about some of the other items? Because let's say we've got somebody in the audience was listening right now and it's like, you know what? Canada is a good choice. Let me explore that more. But Brandon let's like, let's make sure that we're not like everything is like a Disney fairytale at this point. Right. Let's make sure we at least give them the idea of like what they should keep in mind, like what should be in their tool bag as they start to explore and do research on like, Hey, what are some other things that I should keep in mind as I actually look at possibly going to Canada to go to school.
Brandon Miller (23:27): Okay. As with anything, if you're going to go to school, you need to have a plan. So for instance, if somebody comes to me and they say, you know what, I'm, I'm really just interested to put, put a leg up so that I can immigrate to Canada and, and do that. And I'm interested in the passport. I'm like, fantastic. Figure out you need a one-year two-year program, get into it as quickly as you can and get in and get out unscathed. You know, people will come to me and they'll say, Hey, listen, I want to go to graduate school. I was like, okay, you can do that. Or you can come, you can get your PR become a permanent resident here, and you're going to pay like a fourth of the tuition, the international Daphne, I don't know if you, I looked at the local domestic rates for Miguel when you were looking at
Daphné Vanessa (24:13): Like nothing. Right?
Brandon Miller (24:15): So, so basically, you know, you could actually go and you could have, instead of paying like the 25,000, you could maybe go and do a college course, which would be on the lower end of the tuition, which would be about 9,000 a year, get your permanent residency, and then be like, okay, I'm going to go to grad school. Oh. And by the way, there's a number of different programs that will give me loans that are really subsidized or grants. And they're not just like, you know, the FA I, I call it like the fake grant where it's like, yeah, it's a fake grant because our tuition is like way through the roof. So we're actually subsidizing it to where it should be. I don't know. But no, you know, it's, it's basically being strategic. So think about what your purpose is.
Brandon Miller (25:02): Some people will come. I, you know, I had I had a guy from Brazil a little while ago and you know, he says, listen, I want to go to this, this program. And I said, well, what do you want to do? Do you want to get a Canadian passport? He's like, no, I don't really care about that. I've got a really lucrative land development business all over like south American and into central America. I'm just trying to make my contacts through this, through this master's program. So I can actually feel my business. I was like, okay, well, he's comes with a plan, right? He's identified his program. He knows what he wants to do. And, and he's in and out. There's a number of a number of different considerations. So there's the economic there's also if you want to put that aside, then there's like, well, what am I doing here?
Brandon Miller (25:47): What's this study going to lead to, you know, what is the jobs look like? Can I use this? Is it portable for a number of different industries? There's some, there's some very good programs here that that you can, you know, you can use to actually go back. Like for instance, Sheridan college is a good example. They have a, they have an animation program, you know Pixar Disney. They, they hire right out of that program. And, you know, basically go the, the computer animation is bar none. So my cousin's a great example of that. He's well, I don't want to name drop, but he's living in California working for a thing. And he was recruited through his work and he was out of that program. So there's a number of different things. If you understand the the different programs that are available, but I think it all boils down to the person and what their goals.
Brandon Miller (26:38): And I, again, if it, if it's purely strategic in terms of getting the passport, then, then fine things like that. But look at something that you can add to your repertoire. One of the things that's popular for people is they'll have graduate studies, et cetera, et cetera. They'll come in here and they'll do like an eight month program in project management, for instance they'll get their project management certification, which is portable anywhere, usually within number of different Western countries. But at the same time, they'll use that as a stepping stone to the passport, but the allows also bolster their resume in that respect and, and get that certification. So that's a good one.
Shamil Rodriguez (27:17): Yeah. You could see that as, almost like a win-win like it getting those two birds boosting your resume, but then also getting one step closer to your goal. Yeah. Let me ask you this question then. Brandon, cause I want to dissect some of these, like what I would consider common questions that you might have if you're looking at this for somebody that might be like, you know what I didn't think about this permanent resident, it sounds permanent. So can you let me book some of those things for people just so they know, like, do I have to live here forever? Right. Let us let's let's do some of those types of questions,
Brandon Miller (27:47): Right? So a permanent resident, there's a difference between a permanent resident and a citizen. The biggest difference is, is that a permanent resident can do everything that a citizen can do here in Canada except vote or join the military or some of the different, some other sensitive jobs. For instance now with that said it's basically even kill except a permanent resident. One of my clients put it the best. You're like a permanent guest. So for instance right. I thought that was, I thought that was a fantastic comparison. It sounds permanent, but in actual fact, if you're you know, if you get in trouble for instance, right you can actually become criminally inadmissible and then, you know, as soon as you do whatever you gotta do with that, you know, they're going to say, okay, well, thank you for being here. You're criminally unmissable. We're going to show you the door. If you're a citizen, I always joke with my with my clients. I'm like, great, you're a citizen. You can murder now. And you're not going to get deported,
Brandon Miller (28:51): But all serious don't murder anybody folks
Brandon Miller (28:57): For all the listeners out, right? Yeah. Put that in the show notes. No, we but seriously people, people, once you get, once you get your passport, it's very difficult to lose that as a permanent resident. It's the same as being a green card holder. It's a little less onerous. If, if you're familiar with the things some of the requirements that you have to meet with the green card, it's a little less onerous here and that you have to have residency two out of five years, but for instance some people will come they'll land, they'll hang out for a month and then they can disappear for like two and a half years and come back and complete their residency requirements as an example. So in some places in the world to maintain the permanent residence, you really have to be in the country. If you're leaving, you have to make entry. You know, usually sometimes for six months at a time, you don't have to do that in Canada. You can kind of come and go, but if you're here, you get your passport, then all of that kind of goes out the window. You can get your passport and you can disappear for 40 years and be like, yeah, I'll go back to Canada. Right? Yeah.
Daphné Vanessa (30:07): So you can essentially use the Canadian passport to get access to European owned beaches around the world,
Brandon Miller (30:17): If you're strategic about it. Yes, you could.
Daphné Vanessa (30:22): That's interesting. The tie back to the weather for my people who are afraid of the snow, you know, just helping, helping you out
Brandon Miller (30:29): Or Australian beaches for that matter. That's true.
Shamil Rodriguez (30:33): Yeah. Good point. I, you know what, and I think I know we touched on this earlier, but I, I just want to emphasize this, especially for people that are either seniors or juniors in college and looking to go to grad school, I think it really is important to like consider this option, especially if you're in a field, especially after the pandemic, if you're in a field that travels well in terms of mobility and being able to work remotely, because why not travel? Why not be in Canada during the winter, if that's what you're like, why not be on the beaches of Australia or, you know, on the coast, in, in Western Europe or, you know, whatever you want to do. My point is that I think it's great to look at these options because now you've been for the unlocked, a greater portion of the world that will allow for you to come and go as really, as you might be used to doing in the states right now. But if you don't and you just have your us passport, it's just a couple of extra steps, but it's a couple extra steps that you may not have to worry about later in the future. So I, I really, I think that it's like a really good point to emphasize that you're unlocking a different market. Can I dive
Brandon Miller (31:34): Into that really quickly? Because you, you brought up a really good point. I've, I've seen over the last year and a half or so a lot of people working from home and whatnot, their jobs are portable. And I have, I have more American clients than I've had in, in. I've been doing this for 10, oh no. Over 10 years now. And I'll tell you at no time in, in the time that I've been doing this, have I worked with so many Americans that have they're, you know, basically look future hedging, their options, if you will. But what's interesting to me is this, and this is what, this is part of what I preach in terms of, when you come here, you got to do your planning. And one of the things Canada's a very big and diverse place. And I always challenge people.
Brandon Miller (32:20): I'm like, okay, name five cities. And I know that, you know, you guys can do that, but then I say name 10 or named 15. And people generally fall off at that point. There's so many great places for you to actually come and stay and you can actually design your lifestyle around it. Now I'll give you an example. There's a place the east Kootenays called Kimberly, very small town. It's called like the Bavaria of Canada. It looks like a LA NOLA, like a beautiful German town, right? It's got all this nice, these nice buildings. It's in the mountains. It's nestled to like, you know, ski resorts and golf courses. And just everything about 20 to 30 minutes away, there's an airport there called an Cranbrook and you can actually hop on a plane or you could drive here about an hour and a half away from Spokane, Washington.
Brandon Miller (33:09): And you can drive down to the border, do whatever you want. Or you can hop a plane and you can go. Now, a lot of people, it's funny, I have a friend that lives there and he was bringing this up. There's a lot of doctors that have come out of the U S and they're there. And he says, oh yeah, he was talking about the, the healthcare in there. And I said, oh, how's the ho you know, we're talking just in thing. He's like, man, we are our hospital really punches above its weight here because we've got all these people. They want to be a doctor, but yet they want to be next to world-class skiing. So they've actually designed their life around that.
Brandon Miller (33:41): Right. So, and then they
Brandon Miller (33:42): Can hop on a plane. He's like, yeah, in town, we've got pilots that work for cafe Pacific, you know, or they're flying over to Hong Kong and they just sit and they want to be in the mountains. So they've designed their life around different little nooks. And I think that that's actually really brilliant. I've got a number of people from the states right now that are doing exactly that. I have people that are psychotherapists for instance. And they actually, their practices have moved all online. So they're like, why not? We're getting paid in the U S dollars. And we're sitting in Canada, it's a comfortable lifestyle. And you know, what, if we want to drive back or fly back, we're home in an hour, hour or two hours, it's no big deal. The other thing is too is most major cities. Here's a fun fact for you. Most major cities are next to the U S border and 80% of the Canadian population lives within 200 kilometers of the U S border. So again, getting back to the coldness of it, you know, we're not like up in the Arctic circle there. Most 80% of the population is straddling, you know, the 49th parallel. So you know, you can imagine that it's pretty easy to access
Daphné Vanessa (34:45): A lot. I slightly agree with you, but I'm going to have to push back a little bit because not very many people live for, I can speak for New York, for example, at that top part of New York, the populations at the bottom of New York. So technically he is near Canada. I think five people live there. No, really. I like population-wise census data wise. MSA has a very low population.
Shamil Rodriguez (35:20): I forgot to mention Brandon, that Daphne is the most beach persons person that I know of have a super hard either way.
Daphné Vanessa (35:29): I, I did. I've done skiing and all that stuff and I'll probably do it again. Yeah. There's
Brandon Miller (35:34): Some great, there's some great beaches in Canada, actually be honest in there's on the west coast. I'm, I'm really excited. I'm actually, I have an immigration conference that I have to hit in October, but I'm going to stay out for an extra week and I'm going to go to the most Western beach in Canada and Tofino, go take a look like fantastic surfing the whole deal, orcas, like everything, really water ever get warm. Well that's so there you go. That's, that's the trick right there. Water. Right. There's beautiful beaches out in PEI too. Right. But it's cold. It's really cold.
Daphné Vanessa (36:09): The Hamptons is beautiful, but it's warm for two seconds and that's it. But so speaking about positive parts about Canada, let's talk about the Gulf islands. So there are islands in Canada that have a beach feel, or I'd say more of like a Hamptons field, like Martha's vineyard. It's not like a beach tropical beach feel, but it's maybe like the Northeastern type of feel. That's gotta be exciting. Right? How, how long do people hang out in those areas since summer isn't as long?
Brandon Miller (36:44): A lot of times, like if you look at, if you look at Vancouver, for instance, it doesn't really snow in Vancouver. So if you really want to really want to stay away from the the snow Vancouver now you can actually literally be at the beach down at you know, there's a beautiful beach in English bay. You could be there and you can be skiing in the afternoon or skiing in the morning and at the beach in the afternoon. So you've got the, you've got that. If you're really afraid of the weather, look at that. I would not suggest, you know, central Canada. Obviously that's, that's no fun. Yeah. Or Winnipeg, we call it winter, winter peg. Right. That's so cool. I'll tell you what it was funny. I was at, I was at a conference in the Philippines about oh, 10, 15 years ago.
Brandon Miller (37:35): And the immigration minister was there and he's like, you know, Filipinos are so resilient. He's like we have 50 nurses from Mindanao, which is the Southern half of the Philippines, like very tropical. And they're going to Nunavut, which is the Arctic circle. And I, I was just that you should have seen the smile on my face. I'm like, oh my gosh, do they know what they've just signed up for? I couldn't even imagine. I'm like, well, here's your bear spray, but yeah, no, you can escape. You can escape a lot of the cold if you really want to. I would say go to Western Canada. You'll, you'll do okay if you're in that area, but out east it gets, it gets pretty it gets pretty cold. Definitely very cold and stormy for sure. And Toronto. Yeah. We have winners that are really harsh and we have winners that are not so harsh. So,
Daphné Vanessa (38:30): Yeah. And it's all perspective too, right? It took so many years for years. I, I couldn't even do a winter in New York. And then many years later, I don't want to say how many years, because that will age me. I started to get used to it. And I was shocked that my body had accepted winter.
Brandon Miller (38:51): I'm not a doctor, but I there's some science to that. I would show her your blood actually thickens up in the cold. It takes a couple, it takes a little while for it. And please, if anyone's listening to this, don't be like, oh, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. That's what I was told. Cause I moved back. When I moved back, I was in the Philippines for eight years and I moved back and I was cold, man. I was cold. I was like, oh, it's so cold here. And people are like, what are you talking about? This is t-shirt weather. I'm like, I'm freezing. But somebody told me that they're like, yeah, your blood thickens up. That's what it is. You take, it takes a couple of years to get used to it. I'm like, yeah. Okay. Oh my goodness.
Shamil Rodriguez (39:32): I don't know. You guys meet every winter is always a harsh winter. I don't care what it's like. It's true. It's true.
Daphné Vanessa (39:39): Some case studies of people, I think there is one celebrity personality, if you will, that leverage this strategy that you're talking about. And we have not mentioned him yet. Do you know who I'm talking about? I don't Elon Musk. So Musk came to Canada.
Shamil Rodriguez (40:02): No, we're definitely was going with that one. Yes.
Daphné Vanessa (40:05): Yes. So Elon Musk had leveraged Canada to eventually become a, I guess, create American companies if you will, Tesla, but slow to eventually become, you know, the entrepreneur that he is today. So he went from South Africa and Canada and then from Canada to the U S so it just shows you how Canada opens up doors for you. If you're from a country where maybe the doors weren't as open before. And I love that inclusivity that Canada has for all different people. I think that's a beautiful thing. One more story that I have about Canada is that Canada was actually instrumental in encouraging immigration from Haiti to Canada at the time in the early 19 hundreds, I want to say, and all the history people can correct me on dates, but a long time ago before lifetimes, there, there Canada had a need of medical professionals. And so they went to other French speaking countries, the closest of which happened to be Haiti to find in Quebec, specifically doctors, nurses, because they were at a shortage. And so that explains the heavy population of medical professionals from that country. So I just thought that was a cool fact to mention.
Brandon Miller (41:32): Yeah, it's a, it's a great, it's a great fact. And you know, one of our governor generals was actually from Haiti. I don't know if you knew that. Yes, I remember. Yep. So you know, it's funny, there was something else that I was reading and it was you talk about the inclusiveness of Canada. We have, we have a parliament, so we have a house of commons and there's a Senate and in the house of commons which would be similar to the Congress. I think there's about three. I can't remember. I think it's 342 seats, but in the current government, you know, they were talking about first-generation people that were, it made up the government and it was over, it was over 50 people in the government. And I think there was six or eight that were actually cabinet ministers.
Brandon Miller (42:20): And you think about it. One of our old immigration ministers was a Somali refugee Ahmed Hussein. And he literally came here as a refugee first-generation and he made, he made his way up into the government, not only to the government, but to a cabinet position where he was head of immigration. So I really think that that's something special where you, where you can look at that. And, and we really do celebrate the diversity in that. And there are options that are open. People need to understand how to tap into them. And that's why I'm all about educating people on, on some of the benefits that are here. Because I just think it's a wonderful thing. So we have a lot of connections around the world as, as do as does the U S but it's, it's beautiful that we can actually put those things together and, and thank you for bringing that up. I love that. Yeah.
Daphné Vanessa (43:11): I I've, I've appreciated cat some of, but, but many of Canada's international relations because they really do make it a point to be inclusive. And not only with people like me, Gaia, Sean, but also just generally in how they operate with bilateral treaties. So
Brandon Miller (43:32): Yeah. Very
Daphné Vanessa (43:33): Interesting conversation. Okay.
Shamil Rodriguez (43:36): No, I think I, that was very well said. I mean, this episode really does emphasize on like stress, the I guess the U S perspective of considering Canada, but we do have listeners overseas. So, you know, if you are listening to Canada at the Elon Musk example was a great one, you know, look at Canada and the reverse and looking at, like, if you're looking at you know, living in Canada or living in Canada and also doing business in the U S right, these, these treaties work both ways in Canada is as a great country that has done a great job in my perspective of maintaining great diplomatic relations with the world. That's how I got, well, I'll
Brandon Miller (44:11): Tell you, that's, that's a really good point because you know, NAFTA or Cosma or USM CA I don't, I don't even think with the new treaty, we know what it's called anymore. It's different, depending on the country you're in, let's just call it the old NAFTA or the new NAFTA. There's literally you talk about that with Elon Musk, like South Africa to Saskatchewan of all places, and then basically leverage that ability to be able to come into the U S you know, a lot of people you know, if they want to go to the U S I'm like, listen, you know, you can do that, but you take somebody from say and, and I'm not even going to start talking about us immigration, but there's, it confuses me actually. So everything's easy. Everything starts with an I and, and all the forms, right.
Brandon Miller (45:02): It's very confusing. People ask me questions, oh, about this. I'm like, no, no, Canada, I've just that's me. But what happens is a lot of my understanding is, is that, you know, if somebody is coming in from a country there's priority processing lists. So for instance, if you're coming in from India or China, or, or some of the high migration countries of the world you've got a long, long line to be able to access that until you're counting your numbers called. Right. So if you look at that, you could actually come, you can be like, okay, I'm going to go to Canada with the eventual idea that, yeah, I want to start this business in the United States. Okay. Come to Canada, get your passport. And then you can do, you know, an intercompany transfer. You can get an L one different visas and, and be able to go and transition yourself into the states, similar to your, your example of what Elon Musk did. Right. And there's a lot of opportunity for that. So yeah. So if, if people are overseas, again, thinking very strategic, putting together a plan, I'm all about plans. Part of what I did was second passport is, is you know, tell people, you have to have a plan, you have to be able to implement it. And then you have to think about what your settlement looks like. And I think that that's that's the biggest, the biggest thing. So,
Daphné Vanessa (46:24): Well, love, well, I have one last piece that I think the audience might appreciate. So a lot of students, yes are coming straight from secondary school, but some students have families. And for those students that have families, can you talk a little bit about what childcare is like at the various phases of considering becoming a Canadian citizen? So what is it like as a resident and then what is it like when you eventually become a Canadian citizen?
Brandon Miller (47:00): What you'll find now speaking in general terms, if somebody comes here and they have a family and they want to study, they can actually arrive, come and get the student permit, and then their spouse, if they have a spouse and wa, and the spouse wants to come with them is entitled to an open work permit, which means they can go work as much as they want and do whatever they want. And if they have children, then the children will also be granted a study permit, so that can come with their parents and be able to study at the same time childcare. Funny, you should bring that up because I'm not psychic, but I think that there's going to be an election soon. And one of the paramount issues is a national childcare plan that they want to put in place.
Brandon Miller (47:46): It's been on the table for a long time. As you know, we have a national healthcare plan, and now they're actually putting in a national childcare plan. I know that you've, you've brought up Miguel and, and Montreal, we've talked about Quebec a few times. Quebec is a great example of really, really subsidized and, and affordable childcare. I don't know if you're aware of that or not. But they they really like it's, I think it works out to like 10 bucks a day or something after all subsidies kick in, it's like nothing. And the idea is, is that, you know, they want more people working. They want people to be able to have access to that because it's limiting. And they want people to be able to work and be able to do that and also access quality childcare.
Brandon Miller (48:33): So it's going to be interesting to see what that looks like. If somebody is coming and they want access to childcare, there's private childcare, there's public childcare already existing. And there's also a number of different subsidies that will come with that too, depending on income level. So you can literally go in and say, look, I need this. You can get into a number of different childcare options. And if you're not making, you know, great money or, or you're making a modest a modest salary you can apply for that. And they'll give you a, they'll give you, they'll give you a subsidy. So it actually is very, very affordable. It's insane.
Daphné Vanessa (49:10): But there are income limits though, right? Or like if you're an entrepreneur, you own your own business, what, what are the limits like for people who probably make too much money, the doctors, the lawyers, those people.
Brandon Miller (49:22): So normally if you, if at the top end of it for private childcare, you're at about $2,000 a month for private, that that would be the top end of it. You know, and 2000 Canadian, but if you're on subsidized childcare, it's, it's probably about five, $600 a month and the quality is great. It's just that the government kicks in the balance to be able to do that. Again, use the option or the idea of an entrepreneur. I think you have a lot of flexibility in that because you know, some entrepreneurs, you know, pay themselves not a lot of money. Right. So there's different ways that you can actually go and look at that. And, and that's a conversation to have with a tax professional, but a lot of people there's a number of different benefits in that.
Brandon Miller (50:08): And childcare, I think, is we're going to see, we're seeing the beginning of that now. And I think that that'll be something, a lot of people are in agreeance on that. So they're just trying to figure out how they're going to do it and who's going to pay for it. There's no there's no conversations going on that, you know, this a bad idea. Right. Everyone agrees that. It's a good idea. They're just trying to, you know, devil's in the details, they're trying to figure out the logistics of it. So yeah. Yeah. It's great. I think it's great. Congratulations,
Daphné Vanessa (50:39): Canada, the United States is not there yet.
Brandon Miller (50:45): Yeah. Yeah. There's a, there's a number of different benefits like that, you know, even the mat leaves too, right? Like if you look at that, that's do not
Daphné Vanessa (50:53): Even get me started. Yeah. You guys is one year. And I have people that I know in Canada who were talking about why it's not two years and I almost fell out of my chair because we only get three and a half months or something like that. And we're lucky it's
Brandon Miller (51:13): Yeah. It's one year. And you can actually split that up between the father and the mother. That's crazy. That honestly sounds like vacation to me
Shamil Rodriguez (51:23): So that we know the audience knows when they say mat, leave the talking about maternity leave. Right. Let's leave our audience in the dust. No, no, that's a great, that's a great distinction here, guys. Right? Like not everyone is just an undergraduate going to school. We have a lot of listeners actually that are in their grad school programs. And we have a ton of them. I have a broad section of them have children as well. So if you're looking at that, I mean, imagining private school education for your child or private childcare sooner, rather childcare is, you know, top end, it's 2000 Canadian. And then, you know, possibility of having a fully funded program you know, Countrywide that, that changes the game and then maternity leave. That would be one year, you know, people asking why I can't be too, come on. I mean,
Daphné Vanessa (52:12): One year of maternity leave and I would have I would have worked at wherever for the rest of my life that would have given me what LT, like I just, I can't even imagine getting one year of maternity paid maternity leave. This sounds to be like a vacation because in America we get so little time you, you go back to work and you're still in pain and it's normal here.
Brandon Miller (52:34): It's a, that's there and that's government sponsored and, and the government the government rolls that out. So now we're going for the childcare which is great. Yeah, it's just, it's fantastic. I, I really I really do appreciate having the access to those things. And again, for people that do have families and whatnot, that changes the calculations a lot. I deal with a number of people that are well into their thirties, into their forties. My oldest student that I brought to Canada was 52. So a number of people are doing that, but again, a lot of people in their thirties are looking at it for, you know, because it actually does increase their points quite a bit to be able to come here. And I also, I also let people know, I'm like, you know, be a little bit strategic in it too, because it's actually, you could use education is a great way to settle in, for instance, you could actually find a program that has an internship and be able to use that, to be able to get your first job or settle in or get that work experience that you need to be able to do that.
Brandon Miller (53:44): So again, ton of options with that ton of offers.
Shamil Rodriguez (53:48): I love it. I love it. This was a great episode, Brandon, I'm so happy that we brought this different perspective today. I think this was a great topic to go into it, just a different, a different angle to consider right here and here at the pseudomonal podcast, we do cover a lot of different topics about student loans specifically, but then also, you know, the cost of going to school and how to, you know, reduce those if possible. But this wasn't just a money saving episode. I think this is more of a broadening your horizons episode. And so Brandon, I really appreciate you bringing that knowledge to the show today. Is there any, anywhere in particular that you want our listeners that they're looking to reach out to you or want to ask you more detailed questions?
Brandon Miller (54:29): What my mission for today was basically to come on here and just, you know, if, if I even reach one person and I'm able to change, you know, their life or give them opportunity for the future, that's a win for me. I, you know, I don't have oh, go to this website and fill this in and I'll spam you and do all of that stuff. I've just said to people, I'm like, listen, if you're truly interested, reach out to me. My email is, is email@example.com I wrote a book called second passport. And if people contact me and they say, Hey, I was I heard you speaking to Daphne and Shamiel there. And you know, I would really love a copy or a book. And I'd like to look at coming to Canada. Great. Let me know why you want to come and I'll send you a copy of that. So you don't have to pay Amazon. And you know, I'll, and we can have a conversation, but just drop me an email and no, it doesn't go into some mail list or, or to some virtual assistance somewhere. It comes directly to me. And I just, I just love talking to people about, you know, the opportunity of coming to Canada. So firstname.lastname@example.org drop me an email and I'll I'll
Shamil Rodriguez (55:42): All right. It sounds like a plan. Definitely anything any final thoughts on your end?
Daphné Vanessa (55:47): All good on my end. Excited to have had you Brandon,
Brandon Miller (55:50): Thank you so much for having me. I really had a good time with you guys.
Shamil Rodriguez (55:54): Yeah, absolutely. So for more information, everyone visit the Sumo loan podcast.com episode 38. That's the student loan podcast.com/episode 38.
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