Canada offers the most established and widely-used investment based immigration programs conferring permanent resident status.
The Canadian confederation system of government and the country’s social norms offer a “European alternative” to the more unabashed capitalism of the USA. Canada offers European-style social benefits with fairly high levels of taxation and unparalleled quality of life. Under the Canadian model, business immigrants can enjoy the benefits of a national health care program, affordable first-class education and a national pension system that provides measurable annual income upon retirement.
Business immigration offering permanent admission to Canada comprise of the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), Quebec Entrepreneur program, Quebec Self-Employed, several Provincial Nominee Entrepreneur programs, the Federal Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program and the Federal Start-Up Visa program. While the various entrepreneur and self-employed programs are aimed at individuals with a mid-range personal net worth who intend to establish and operate a business in Canada, the investor programs are suited for high net worth individuals who wish to make a passive investment with no obligation to establish a business.
As well, wealthy business immigrants may buy or establish a new businesses in Canada and qualify for a temporary work visa, under federal ‘owner-operator’ policies. After a period of time, applicants may qualify for permanent residence under a suitable immigration program.
Below is a summary of what Canada offers at the federal and provincial levels.
More information about each program is available at the links below:
|Quebec Investor||Quebec Entrepreneur||Self-Employed||Start-up Visa|
|New Brunswick||Prince Edward Island||Northwest Territories||Yukon|
Interested readers are invited to complete our Free Assessment to determine whether they qualify for immigration to Canada as a Business Immigrant.
The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program remains the sole option for business immigrants with a high net worth wishing to secure permanent residence on the basis of a passive investment.
The QIIP will begin accepting up to 1900 new applications, from September 10, 2018 through March 15, 2019. It will require an increased investment threshold and higher net worth requirement. Candidates will be required to invest $1.2 million, up from $800,000, for a period of five years bearing no interest. Applicants will also require a net worth of $2 million, up from $1.6 million.
Quebec Investor: 2018 Primary Requirements
- Legally acquired personal net worth of $2 million;
- Two years of suitable management or business experience within the five years preceding the application;
- Investment of $1.2 million into a passive government guaranteed investment for a period of five years bearing no interest;
- Intend to settle in the province of Quebec.
How to Qualify Under Quebec Immigrant Investor Program
Latest QIIP News
- Time Running Out For Quebec Immigrant Investor Program Applications
- Economic Benefits of the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)
- Quebec Immigrant Investor Program A Stable Alternative to US EB-5 (Audio)
- Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) Among World’s Most Popular (Audio)
The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program is passive in nature, meaning individuals are not required to establish or actively manage a business in the province.
Rather, the program (from the third quarter of 2018) requires an investment of $1.2 million into a prescribed (government guaranteed) investment. Applicants must have the intention of settling in the French-speaking province of Quebec.
Successful applicants are issued a selection certificate from Quebec for Canada immigration, which allows them to obtain Canadian permanent residence following health and criminality examinations by Federal immigration authorities.
Legally Acquired Net Worth
In order to meet the minimum net worth requirement of $2 million, applicants must demonstrate the net value of their current assets, as well as their history of acquisition of funds over the course of their careers with supporting documentation.
Net worth is established through bank statements, investor booklets, real estate evaluations, audited financial statements and other pertinent and up to date documentation. Candidates are required to declare all of their personal assets and liabilities; however they are not required to produce evidence of assets beyond $2 million.
Applicants must also demonstrate that their net worth was acquired legally. This takes into account the individual’s past employment income, businesses, local market conditions, inheritances and donations. While it is often difficult to produce detailed documentation of the early stages of an applicant’s career, clear supporting documents will facilitate the application process.
Suitable Management Experience
The intention of the program is to attract business acumen and investment to Quebec. A qualified applicant has typically owned or managed an active trade or business, which may include professional practices, rather than merely managing investment activities. In this context gray areas include professionals that don’t manage the business, passive real estate investors and investment managers. For example developing real estate may qualify whereas merely owning real estate may not qualify.
Suitable management experience is defined in the applicable regulations as:
“[T]he assuming, for at least 2 years in the 5 years preceding the application for a selection certificate, of duties related to the planning, management and control of financial resources and of human or material resources under the investor’s authority; the experience does not include the experience acquired in the context of an apprenticeship, training or specialization process attested to by a diploma.”
Investment and Financing
Successful applicants are required to make their investment with Investissement Québec for a period of five years, at the end of which the capital is returned without interest. The five year period begins upon issuance of the selection certificate, before the applicant has even landed in Canada. Proceeds from the investment are used to fund various business and social programs within the province of Quebec.
The Quebec Investor program permits applicants to finance the bulk of their investment through designated securities brokerage firms and investment banks. Typically, the financing schemes require a down payment before the bank loans the balance up to $1.2 million. The applicant then deposits the sum with Investissement Québec. The down payment is not refunded at the end of the five-year period. The bank takes fees and interest from the down payment, the immigration agent takes their commissions from the down payment. The net cost to the investor is the down payment.
Complete our Free Assessment to determine whether you qualify for immigration to Canada as an Immigrant Investor.
Quebec’s Department of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion intends to accept a maximum of 1,750 new investment immigration applications between 20th January 2015 and 20th March 2015. The province shall accept a maximum of 1,200 applications from investors from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Macao.
Under Quebec’s investment immigration program, investors are required to apply for issue of the selection certificates. Interested investors are free to apply for residency permit. The cases shall be analyzed and 1750 most-suitable cases shall be retained for issue of the selection certificate. In 2013, Quebec had accepted 1,250 applications from the total 5,000 applications that it had received.
Under the program, applicants with minimum net assets of $1.6 million are required to invest $800,000 through Investissement Québec into non-interest bearing government-backed Quebec government note with tenure of five years. The Quebec program requires investors to settle and reside in the province in the initial period after grant of residence.
The proceeds from the program are used to promote creation of jobs and economic growth through development of Quebec companies.
Attorney Colin Singer Commentary:
Since the Federal government eliminated its investor program in 2014, Quebec has become the face of Canada’s passive immigrant investor industry. At current thresholds this program is one of the cheapest in the residence through investment industry. Stakeholders expect the Quebec government to increase qualifying and investment thresholds from current levels when the program re-opens in the future.
The Federal Self Employed Class
The Self Employed Class is geared towards applicants who have relevant self-employment experience as well as the intention and the ability to create their own employment and make a significant contribution to the cultural, artistic or athletic life of Canada, or to create their own employment by purchasing and managing a farm in Canada.
A successful applicant is one who has at least two years of experience in the period beginning five years before the date of the application and ending on the day a determination is made on the application, in self-employment in cultural activities or in athletics; participation at a world-class level in cultural activities or athletics; or farm management experience.
To qualify, the applicant must demonstrate a sufficient financial net worth which, although somewhat less than an entrepreneur and not specified in the regulations, should enable the applicant to be self-employed in Canada and make a significant contribution to specified economic activities in Canada and to meet the initial settlement requirements for the applicant and accompanying dependants.
The Quebec Self Employed Program
Self-employed applicants are primarily differentiated from skilled worker applicants in that to qualify the self-employed must have two years of applicable experience, possess a personal net worth of $100,000 CAD, have sufficient settlement funding and will come to Quebec to create employment for the applicant by practicing a profession defined in the National Occupational Classification. Prospective applicants must also meet applicable occupational entry or licensing requirements.
Like skilled workers, the self-employed applicant is assessed under a selection grid (R31, R32, Schedule A), comprised of nine factors. Successful single applicants must obtain 38 points out of a possible 75 points during pre-selection and 44 points out of a possible 81 points on selection. Applicants with a spouse or de facto spouse must obtain 45 points out of a possible 87 points at pre-selection and 51 points out of a possible 93 points at selection.
Interested readers are invited to complete our Free Assessment to determine whether they qualify for immigration to Canada under the Self Employed Program or another Business class.
Critics are expressing concern over the Canadian government’s quiet cancellation of the Immigrant Investor Program last month.
Though most recent news coverage has been focused on the sweeping citizenship changes tabled by the government, critics as well as jilted potential immigrants are speaking out against the move to scrap the Investor program, which had allowed entrepreneurs to immigrate to Canada on the grounds of starting and investing in a business upon arrival.
Despite much reform and controversy in recent years, critics are concerned about the government scrapping such an innovative program at such a crucial time. Upon its inception approximately three decades ago, it was the first program of its kind and has since been mirrored in over 20 countries, according to former Immigration Minister Sergio Marchi.
Marchi worked under Prime Minister Jean Chretien to help further develop the program first established under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and says that scrapping it at this time is a wasted opportunity.
“If the government had concerns, then it should have consulted extensively, in an effort to address these problem areas, and seek out better ideas and practices,” argues Marchi in a recent piece for the Globe and Mail. “But there was no meaningful dialogue. The government failed to recognize that in developing sound public policy, how you do it is as important as what you do.”
That “how” could come back to haunt this government very soon, as many of the now-rejected applicants are banding together with the aim of taking legal action. Approximately 65,000 applicants were left hanging when the government announced it was axing the program. A similar case arose in Canada’s courts recently when the government wiped out the skilled worker applicant backlog, returning hundreds of thousands of unprocessed files to people who no longer qualified under new regulations.
Source: Globe and Mail
Business analysts are expressing concern over the Canadian government’s new immigrant entrepreneurship program, arguing that the changes are not enough to compete for talent in today’s global market.
For example, in a recent editorial for MSN Money, business and policy analyst Dierdre McMurdy points out that despite heavily trumpeting the new Start Up visa program both at home and abroad, the Canadian government has been less than specific about the details surrounding the investment regulations.
Furthermore, argues McMurdy, the new program will do little to address some of the more pertinent and wide-ranging concerns facing Canada’s labour market today.
“The entrepreneurs are a high-profile and relatively easy piece of the puzzle,” says McMurdy. “But achieving a genuine shift toward a more innovative national culture is a bigger task — with bigger problems.”
First off, the Canadian government must do more to address the underutilization of skilled immigrants once they arrive in the country. Secondly, the government needs to address the policy fractures that have occurred as a result of granting immigration jurisdiction to the provinces, complicating credential recognition processes and limiting mobility between cities.
As more and more countries gain economic prowess, there are less incentives to pick up and start over in a place like Canada. This, combined with Canada’s stagnant population growth rates, mean that now more than ever, the government needs to be clear, fair and effective when it comes to immigration policy.
Many of our clients require business immigration solutions that are beyond the scope of what Canada can provide. We offer our clientele comprehensive business investment immigration alternatives through our affiliated enterprise at www.investmentimmigration.com.
At Investmentimmigration.com we provide successful, internationally mobile, high net worth individuals and their families with upstanding counsel and expertise on secondary residence and citizenship-by-investment opportunities.
We understand the global investment immigration industry is a complex and dynamic interdependent business community comprising of accomplished entrepreneurs who require access to settlement based, wealth preservation planning strategies, in a variety of international venues.
Under the direction of Canada based Attorney COLIN SINGER, Managing Partner of www.immigration.ca and a leading international corporate immigration lawyer during the past 25+ years, we provide our business clients and their families with simplified yet comprehensive and reliable solutions providing secondary residence and citizenship-by-investment opportunities through our network of experienced professionals.
Our Canada based Law Firm is staffed with more than 25 licensed lawyers, licensed immigration consultants and technical personnel, and represents international celebrities in the fashion industry and performing arts as well as some of North America’s largest corporations in their immigration and staffing projects. We are frequently engaged by Canadian and USA based companies to provide immigration consulting services as well as search consulting and professional recruitment of technical and executive personnel. We take great pride in our ability to provide cost efficient solutions to our network of corporate clientele, human resource managers and independent business owners.
Alternative residence through investment immigration programs becomes an important consideration for many high net worth individuals. We frequently represent investors who seek fiscal solutions to address the implications of international tax agreements such as the 2014 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the 2014 OECD/G20 standard on automatic exchange of information.
We welcome the opportunity to provide our clients with residency based options that enhance quality of life, education opportunities and provide flexibility of travel in a safe and secure environment for family.
Entrust the professionals at www.investmentimmigration.com with the challenge to provide you and your family with the preferred investment immigration options.