Nov 10, 2017 – The Quebec government has exclusive jurisdiction to manage its own comprehensive immigration programs, under a series of agreements dating back to 1981. It has the largest allocations of immigrants to Canada, among the 10 provinces and 3 territories accounting for approximately 17 per cent of Canada’s planned overall annual immigration levels for 2018.
Economic Immigration Numbers
Quebec plans to welcome up to 31,300 economic immigrants in 2018, split between Skilled Worker, Business and Other Economic categories.
This maximum intake figure is 1,000 more than the expected maximum for 2017 and effectively the same as the 2016 total of 31,600 new immigrants.
The 2018 breakdown figures for Skilled Workers (24,200 to 26,300), Business (4,000 to 4,300) and Other Economic immigrants (500 to 700) are all within a similar range as seen in the previous two years.
Family Reunification Numbers
In the Family Reunification category, the maximum intake of 12,100 is slightly lower than the projected 2017 maximum intake of 12,800, but significantly higher than both 2016 (11,124) and 2015 (10,490).
Refugee numbers are expected to drop slightly when compared to the previous years. In 2018, Quebec plans to welcome a maximum 8,800 in the Refugee categories, compared to a projected 9,500 maximum for 2017 and 9,274 in 2016.
Quebec Immigration Admission Targets 2018
|Refugees and people in similar situations||8,100||8,800|
* Includes caregivers and other economic class immigrants
** Includes various special categories of immigrants admitted on humanitarian or public interest grounds
The Greece Immigration Golden Visa Program is seeing a spike in interest from Turkish investors, as it continues to raise key funds for the struggling European country’s economy.
Real estate experts say more than 160 Turks have invested the required €250,000 in Greek property and obtained a five-year residency permit.
It makes Turkish investors the sharpest rising nationality of investor in the Greek golden visa program, which has attracted a crucial influx of investment for a country still struggling to emerge from a disastrous economic downturn.
Benefits of Greece Golden Visa
- Greek residency for property purchase of just €250,000.
- Live and work in Greece when maintaining residence in another country.
- Study in Greece.
- Visa-free access to the Schengen area of EU countries
- Family members are included.
- Visa can be renewed every five years.
Figures show residency permits have been issued to 2,000 candidates since the program started in 2013. In that time, more than €1 billion has been spent on Greek property by foreign investors.
In the case of Turkish investors, the sums often significantly exceed the €250,000 threshold required for residency. Political instability in Turkey could be a key driver behind citizens looking elsewhere for residency and second citizenships.
Like many of the world’s investment immigration programs, Chinese investors dominate the Greek golden visa, with 850 candidates approved for a visa. Russians are the second most prolific investors, with 388 visas issued.
Greece Golden Visa: Investment Requirements
- Purchase real estate property in Greece with a minimum value of €250,000.
- Sign a 10-year lease with minimum €250,000 for hotel or other tourist residence.
- Have purchased a property before 2013 currently worth €250,000 or more.
- Own Greece real estate of minimum value €250,000 acquired through donation or parental concession.
- Purchase land with intent to build, provided value of land and construction contract is minimum €250,000.
A key driver is the attractive property market following the 2008 downturn.
Prices in the capital Athens are half what they were before the 2008 economic crisis, when Greece accepted billions in bailout money from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The success of the golden visa program has caused prices to recover somewhat, although they remain significantly below their 2008 peak.
Greece Golden Visa: Inclusion of Family Members
- Children up to the age of 21
The Greece Immigration Golden Visa Investor Program allows you to apply for a residence permit by purchasing or leasing Greek real estate. You can obtain a five-year residency permit in return for an investment of €250,000.
The program also allows investors who purchased property before its 2013 start date to apply for residency. The residency is renewable every five years provided the investment is maintained.
July 14, 2017 – The Quebec Superior Court granted a permanent injunction and awarded damages in a first-time defamation based ruling in the province, against anonymous “John Doe” online posters. In its ruling, the court held that five individual online internet postings created by fictitious users were unlawful and defamed the reputation of lawyer Colin Singer, an immigration lawyer in Canada and Managing Partner of www.immigration.ca.
In some instances, the internet posters chose pseudonyms of Singer’s name to post fabricated, defamatory statements about his immigration practice. The court accepted submissions that the postings in question could not be admitted as legitimate criticisms or expressions of opinions made in good faith, and were beyond the limits of freedom of speech. The court also accepted the submission that the posts’ sole objective was to intentionally harm Singer’s reputation as well as his online personae, immigration.ca, and therefore did not consist of a case where the poster’s right to anonymous comment was worthy of protection. The court endorsed the established principle that a lawyer’s reputation is of paramount importance.
The court heard that since 1994, Mr. Singer conducts his law practice through immigration.ca, an established contributor of online written content on immigration matters in Canada, reaching a worldwide clientele.
The practice of issuing a permanent injunction against anonymous or “John Doe” defendants is controversial in many jurisdictions. A defendant whose name is unknown may be sued, under a fictitious name, in certain circumstances, with special permission of the court. The judgment condemned each defendant to pay $2,500 in damages.
“We are aware some competitors in the Canadian immigration industry are prepared to engage in unlawful activities to try and harm our success”, said Singer. “I am pleased that my reputation has been vindicated through this strong ruling” he said.
Click here, to read the full judgment.
May 11, 2017 – Canada currently runs a lottery system for citizens and permanent residents who want to apply for parents and grandparents sponsorship for Canadian immigration.
Sponsors are invited to complete a basic questionnaire to enter the lottery, from which names are drawn to complete a full application.
The questionnaire is open for completion for a month, usually from early January to early February each calendar year.
The sponsorship system was introduced in 2017, replacing the old first-come, first-served system.
Sponsor Requirements for Parent and Grandparent Program
- You must be 18 years of age or older.
- Demonstrate, for a period of 3 consecutive years prior to sponsorship, income greater than the minimum published by IRCC.
- Sign an undertaking to financially support the parent or grandparent, and reimburse the government for any social assistance paid out to the relative, for a period of 20 years from the date of permanent residence.
Rules For Establishing Whether Sponsor Meets Income Requirements
- Only official documents issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will be accepted to demonstrate income for the three years prior to submission;
- If a co-signer is included in the sponsorship application, the combined income of the co-signer and the sponsor will be considered;
- Any amounts from the following sources will be deducted from the sponsor and co-signer’s income for the purposes of financial eligibility:
- Provincial allowances received for a program of instruction or training;
- Social assistance received from a province;
- Financial assistance received from the Government of Canada under a resettlement program;
- Amounts received under the Employment Insurance Act, other than special benefits;
- Monthly guaranteed income supplement received under the Old Age Security Act;
- Canada child tax benefit received under the Income Tax Act.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
Read more news about Canada Immigration by clicking here.
The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program issues periodic Invitations to Apply (ITAs) throughout the year. The table below shows all the ITAs issued for Manitoba immigration via Manitoba PNP draws in 2017.
|Date||Category||Invitations to apply||Lowest score|
|31-Oct-17||Skilled Workers in Manitoba||351||577|
|Skilled Workers Overseas||44||730|
|26-Sep-17||Skilled Workers in Manitoba||300||602|
|Skilled Workers Overseas||49||721|
|15-Aug-17||Skilled Workers in Manitoba||401||585|
|Skilled Workers Overseas||42||719|
|11-Jul-17||Skilled Workers in Manitoba||458||612|
|Skilled Workers Overseas||36||712|
|17-Jun-17||Skilled Workers in Manitoba||180||705|
|Skilled Workers Overseas||24||689|
|30-May-17||Skilled Workers in Manitoba||258||735|
|Skilled Workers Overseas||143||706|
|30-Mar-17||Skilled Workers in Manitoba||201||657|
|Skilled Workers Overseas||24||698|
|16-Mar-17||Skilled Workers in Manitoba||250||684|
|Skilled Workers Overseas||63||703|
|27-Feb-17||Skilled Workers in Manitoba||200||719|
|Skilled Workers Overseas||124||575|
|27-Jan-17||Skilled Workers in Manitoba||150||734|
|Skilled Workers Overseas||39||707|
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program: 2017 Business Stream Draws
Manitoba immigration also runs a successful business immigration program. Below is a list of the 2017 draws:
|Month||Invitations to apply||Range of scores||Applications received|
|September 2017||31||90 to 95||30|
|August 2017||27||90 to 100||41|
|July 2017||40||89 to 97||31|
|June 2017||50||87 to 97||84*|
|May 2017||40||87 to 99|
|April 2017||40||87 to 97||30|
|March 2017||50||87 to 95||41|
|February 2017||40||85 to 95||33|
|January 2017||40||85 to 100||35|
*Total for May and June combined
March 8, 2017 – The Quebec immigrant investor program (QIIP) is the only passive business investment program offering permanent immigration to Canada.
It was created by the provincial government in 1986 for high net worth individuals with a strong management background. The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) allows business people and their families, who invest $800,000, to enter the province of Quebec as Canadian permanent residents. In return, funding made available through the Quebec Government, (Investissement Quebec), helps provide subsidies to support small and medium sized businesses throughout the Province of Quebec.
The economic benefits of a passive immigrant investor program have been criticized by many stakeholders, including the Federal government. The federal government previously operated its own parallel program known as the Federal Immigrant Investor Program before it was repealed in 2014. It dismissed previous studies outlining the direct and indirect benefits of the former program.
The immigrant investor industry has proven to be a highly lucrative business bringing billions of dollars to governments for infrastructure investment. Canada had a stronghold on the mid-level investor market largely dominated by China and the Middle East. The province of Quebec continues to successfully promote its own immigrant investor program to high net worth individuals with at least $1.6 M. Approved applicants must invest $800,000, interest-free, in a government guaranteed investment scheme for a period of 5-years.
The previous Canada immigration investor program, the Federal Immigrant Investor program, a five-year interest-free passive investment, was established in response to growing demand for investment capital by Canadian businesses. During the 1990’s Canada received a much greater benefit from the investment capital attributed to higher interest rate environments.
However, even at the current low interest rates, a passive immigrant investor program is highly beneficial to the economy. A well managed program offers large revenue potential to governments and the private sector. The Province of Quebec, through Investissement Quebec, allocates on average from each immigrant investor, approximately $150,000 to a qualified Quebec small and medium sized business.
The benefits of the QIIP to the province are undeniable. During the period, January 2001 through February 2016, the QIIP program generated more than $700 Million from immigrant investors and this sum was allocated to 4,737 Quebec businesses located in 17 regions throughout the province.
During the period 2016/2017, Quebec received 1900 investor applications. It plans to receive a similar number in 2017/2018. Investment requirements will remain unchanged.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
Read more news about Canada Immigration by clicking here.
New guidelines from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) call for the mass arrest and detention of undocumented immigrants regardless of whether they have criminal convictions.
The document, issued by DHS Secretary John Kelly on February 17, 2017 and which calls for the hiring of thousands of enforcement personnel, outlines how the federal government plans to tackle illegal immigrants in the United States.
It follows in the wake of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program.
Trump signed the original order on January 25, 2017 – initially creating havoc because no-one knew exactly who it covered and who it did not.
The deportation guidelines replace more narrow policies focusing on immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes, are considered threats to national security or are recent border crossers.
Under the Obama administration policies, immigrants whose only violation was being in the country illegally were generally left alone. Those immigrants fall into two categories: those who crossed the border illegally and those who overstayed their visas.
This version of the DHS guidance comes 27 days since inauguration and only 8 days since the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court in San Francisco rejected a crucial government challenge. The original order remains suspended by the U.S. courts after government lawyers failed to overturn a restraining order put in place by a U.S. District Court judge on February 3rd.
A revised executive order is expected to be signed today, with the assumption being the DHS guidelines would then be applicable and more able to withstand future court challenges that will likely follow.
Here are some of the key points from the DHS document issued February 17, 2017:
Under the guidelines, illegals who cross the border overland from the U.S. or Canada will be immediately sent back to either country, where they will be held until they can be formally removed.
The document suggests these illegals should appear in court by video from Mexico or Canada to speed up the removal procedure. There is little further explanation of the intended procedure.
This would violate U.S. and international law requiring arrivals to be given a chance to request asylum and protection, as is the case in Canada, which has see a surge in illegal arrivals from the U.S. of late.
The guidelines also give no indication of how the U.S. will detain these illegal immigrants in Mexico and Canada, or any notion that either country has agreed to the policy.
Wall building and security Guidelines call for construction to begin on the border wall immediately, and at the same time an evaluation to take place on how available resources could improve border security.It requires all available funds to be used for the wall, as well as special funding requests above and beyond the current U.S. budget.Estimates suggest the wall will cost $21 million and be completed by 2020. Trump has promised to make Mexico pay, see point 12) below.
Beefing up security at U.S.-Mexico border
The guidelines call for significant resources to be directed at expanding all detention facilities on the border, including building temporary units for use by both the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Furthermore, credible fear and asylum-claim decisions will be made at detention centres, with the guidelines calling for staffing levels to increase accordingly.
Meeting such staffing levels has already proved a challenge, as explained in sections 5) and 8).
The document also make the unsubstantiated claim that those who are not detained ahead of a hearing “are highly likely to abscond and fail to attend.”
Priority prosecution for immigrant border crimes
The guidelines instruct specific action against organized crime, including people smuggling, by using cross-agency task forces to crackdown in areas including people trafficking, drug trafficking and visa fraud.
Again, there is a requirement for staffing levels to increase to allow this to happen.
Huge increase in detention of illegal immigrants
The guidelines instruct DHS officers to detain almost every immigrant it arrests until they:
- Can be removed from the country, OR
- Must be released lawfully, OR
- Can acquire a U.S. visa, green card or citizenship, OR
- Are deemed to credibly fear persecution, OR
- Are awarded parole.
Due to lack of staff (including judges) available at borders, these arrests will initially be prioritized based on threat to society and flight risk. Once staffing levels are adequate, detention increases will follow.
While the guidelines require a dramatic increase in detention, they do not cover where these immigrants will be housed.
The U.S. ICE currently has 34,000 spaces in detention centres and still manages to hold up to 50,000 people per day, above capacity. Conservative estimates suggest the new guidelines could see 200,000 arrests per day.
Some $2 billion in taxpayer money is already spent on detention. A required six-fold increase in capacity is dramatically outside that budget.
The guidance suggests mass hiring of border officers and judges would be required, despite another Trump executive order freezing government hiring.
Immigration judges are also in short supply, with the U.S. Department of Justice already failing to meet hiring targets.
Aside from practical issues, the guidance raises humanitarian problems with no exemption for children, the elderly, the disabled, or pregnant women.
Strict application of expedited removal
Expedited removal gives DHS the power to remove anyone without legal status not continuously present for two years no matter where they are in the U.S. The guidelines suggest this power will be exercised to its full capacity.
Under the previous administration, the policy was used for illegal immigrants found inside 160km of the border and inside 14 days since they entered the U.S. It also covered those arriving by sea and not through a designated entry port.
The broadening of this scope could mean illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for significant periods of their lives could suddenly find themselves subject to expedited removal.
It means anyone without the necessary documents when they are arrested could find themselves removed from the U.S.
This can happen within 24 hours and without hearing or legal representation.
What constitutes ‘credible fear’?
While the document does not change what constitutes ‘credible fear’ under U.S. law, it does suggest the current definition will be enforced in a more restricted way.
‘Credible fear’ determines whether an asylum seeker faces persecution if they are returned to their home country.
Thousands more border patrol staff
The guidelines require the hiring of 5,000 new border patrol agents (not including asylum officers and immigration judges). It also calls for 500 more air and marine patrol staff.
The agency responsible, the U.S. CBP, currently has a staffing target of 21,370 officers, which it cannot meet.
Taking aim at trafficking of children
The DHS guidelines call for strict enforcement of laws against smugglers who aid in trafficking children into the U.S.
It says undocumented family members already in the U.S. who hire smugglers are breaking U.S. law.
However, there is a lack of language in the guidance accounting for what drives families to subject their children to people trafficking, such as conflict in their home countries.
Local-level law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law
The guidelines instruct both the ICE and CBP to form agreements with state and local departments to enforce federal immigration law, particularly near the Mexican border.
Evidence shows using local police to enforce federal law causes trust issues between officers and immigrants.
There is also concern the broad terminology used for state law enforcement could mean the national guard being deployed. Further evidence of Trump’s intent to use the national guard has been leaked in the U.S. media.
What constitutes an unaccompanied minor?
U.S. authorities are instructed to produce instructions and offer training on how to ‘process’ unaccompanied minors when they arrive at the border.
Adjudication of asylum claims from minors and how to safely repatriate them are also to be included in the instructions and training.
The DHS document wants unaccompanied minors to be assessed to ensure they continue to meet the requirements for the special status as they are processed.
The overriding fear is that many children who arrive at the border who would previously have been protected under U.S. law will now be removed from the country after a short hearing. This comes down to a restriction of what constitutes an unaccompanied child.
Children could also be removed without ever coming before a judge.
Sources of Mexico aid
Guidelines call on the heads of every U.S. government executive department to detail direct and indirect aid provided to the Mexican government, as Trump looks for ways to pay for his border wall.
Limiting use of parole
Language in the guidelines suggests the use of parole for immigration detainees will be significantly limited.
It criticizes the current implementation for using ‘pre-designated categories’, designed to protect vulnerable people, but which it says have resulted in a ‘border security crisis’.
It calls for parole officers to be given new training on how to interpret the guidelines, and that future decisions should be on a case-by-case basis.
Making border security statistics available
Guidelines state that statistics related to the border security crackdown should be publicly available in an easy-to-understand format.
The latest policies confirm Trump’s objective to prove he is keeping promises made during the U.S. election campaign.
Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to bring to an end the EB-5 visa program, that awards American residency in return for a job-creating investment.
Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Republican Chuck Grassley jointly introduced the bill, that would terminate a program that has drawn billions of dollars in investment to the U.S. from mainly-Chinese candidates.
The 27-year-old program awards green cards in return for either a $500,000 investment in an area deemed to have high unemployment (TEA), or $1 million in other designated projects, provided they create at least 10 jobs for Americans.
Some 85 per cent of the average 10,000 visas awarded annually go to Chinese investors, forcing the U.S. to put a cap on the number of candidates from the Far East country.
Several unsuccessful attempts have been made to modify the current EB-5 in a number of areas. It has been subject to repeated temporary extensions during this process, with the latest set to expire on April 28, 2017.
Industry experts expect U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to favour the continuation of the program, the future of which has been under threat over the last two years.
Trump’s knowledge of the real estate industry and understanding of the importance of capital inflow will mean his outright support for the program, many are predicting.
This is despite an anti-immigration stance that saw the new president sign an executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries in January.
US EB-5 Investment Requirements
- An EB-5 investor must invest in a new commercial enterprise.
- The investor must invest at least $1 million when investing in a general area of business or at least $500,000 when investing in a targeted employment area (“Regional Centres”).
- Within two years of admission as a Conditional Permanent Resident, the investor must create or preserve at least 10 full-time, direct or indirect jobs belonging to qualified US workers.
- See Tax Implications of Gaining Permanent Residence Through US EB-5 Visa.
Two different proposals have been table to increase the investment thresholds by differing amounts.
One would see the TEA threshold rise to $800,000 and the general investment to $1.3 million. A second proposal called for new thresholds of $1.3 million for TEAs and $2 million in the general category.
The program has faced criticism from several sources, who want it abolished.
One of three key arguments against the EB-5 is that well-informed companies manipulate the rules to allow them to attract investment for major projects through the TEA class.
Major companies have funded projects worth billions in some of America’s richest areas by using a wider combined area to set unemployment rates.
Provided they can prove a certain level of unemployment, they can open themselves up to TEA investment.
Representatives of rural areas, who say they are desperate for such funding, have been overlooked as a result. Investors are more likely to opt for a safer major company investment rather than a riskier one in a smaller city or town.
To fix this, the US government is understood to be working on how it can redefine what constitutes a TEA.
The second argument is that there are not enough fraud protection controls in place, resulting in many examples where EB-5 investment dollars have been apparently misused. There are several ongoing court cases along these lines.
Fraud Cases Linked to EB-5
- The developer behind a biomedical research facility in Vermont, which benefitted from EB-5 funding, is currently being investigated for misusing the money. The project had attracted $83 million of investment from 166 foreigners, many of them Chinese, who now risk losing their money. Developer Ariel Quiros, and several of his associates, stand accused of using the funding to buy a ski resort, a luxury New York condo and to pay tax bills.
- Developer Lobsang Dargey was accused of defrauding Chinese investors out of money for a tower in Belltown. Dargey no longer has control of the project and denies any wrongdoing.
- American Life, a recipient of more than $1 billion in EB-5 investment money, was fined $1.2 million for facilitating payments to unlicensed intermediaries in the U.S.
There are calls for a body to be formed to oversee these transactions, to ensure transparency.
A third argument centres around waiting lists, particularly for Chinese investors, who make up 85 per cent of the candidates for the program, and must now wait up to eight years for their applications to be processed.
Portugal’s housing market is beginning to thrive, particularly in capital Lisbon, thanks to funds raised form its popular ‘Golden Visa’ program.
Mainly-Chinese investors have pumped €1.4 billion into the market since the program was implemented in 2012.
After a recent revamp, the investment has continued to flow in, boosting an economy struck down by the global financial crisis.
Of the 3,888 candidates given permanent residency under the program, 1,100 of them were granted in 2016. Some 766 were granted in 2015, 1,526 in 2014 and 494 in 2013. When the program was gaining traction in 2012, just two visa were awarded.
Investment Requirements: Portugal Golden Residence Investor Program
Transfer of capital of minimum value of €1 million into Portugal including through purchase of shares in companies
Creation of at least 10 new positions in Portugal
Purchase of unencumbered real estate in Portugal of a minimum value of €350,000. Co-ownership or purchase of property through finance is permissible provided each individual makes a mandatory minimum investment of €350,000.
Investment of at least €350,000 in constructed 30 years ago or investment for rehabilitation of properties located in Urban Rehabilitation Areas
Scientific Research and Development
Investment of at least €350,000 in R&D activities of institutions that are part of the national technological system.
Promotion of Culture
Investment of at least €250,000 towards financing of bodies pursuing cultural or artistic activities or towards renovation or maintenance of cultural heritage.
Small-Cap and Mid-Cap Finance
Investment of at least €500,000 towards purchase of units of small-cap or mid-cap venture capital funds.
Investment in Low Population Areas
20 per cent reduction in minimum investments in the above-mentioned categories when investment is made in a low population-density area.
Candidates overwhelmingly prefer the real estate investment stream of the program, which accounts for 3,669 out of the 3,888 visas awarded. There have been 213 visa offered in return for capital transfers and six for creating at least 10 jobs.
They included new investment options for buying older property, or buying a building in a designated regeneration area. Aa scientific research investment option was also introduced.
Existing investment classes include general real estate, capital transfer and job creation.
These latest figures go against fears candidates for investment immigration programs could start turning their attention away from European countries like Portugal and towards the Caribbean, because of the UK’s impending exit from the European Union.
‘Brexit’ could mean the investment immigration programs run by the likes of Cyprus, Malta and Portugal may no longer be able to offer visa-free travel to the UK, one of their key benefits.
Portugal’s golden visa has been highlighted as one of the chief drivers behind Lisbon’s emergence from economic difficulties.
Global real estate agency Savills says the property market in the capital is thriving thanks to the success of the investor program.
The Savills report uses data up until 2015, pointing out that €1.56 billion of investment could be traced back to the 2,697 golden visas awarded under the program. Chinese investors account for 83 per cent of real estate acquisitions.