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Quebec Immigrant Investor Program: Closed, but just temporarily

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The Federal and Quebec immigration systems offer Canadian permanent residency to qualified business persons under their Immigrant Investor categories. The immigrant investor visas for the Investor and his or her dependents result in unconditional permanent residency status, except for the residency requirements applicable to all Permanent Residents. Both the Federal and Quebec Investor Immigrant Programs have been extremely popular, and there are significant benefits to Canada resulting from these investments.

The Federal government declared a moratorium on the acceptance of new applications in the Federal Immigrant Investor Program on June 26, 2010. Now, four months later, Quebec has announced a moratorium in effect from October 13, 2010 on the acceptance of new applications under the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program.

Canada’s criteria for investor immigration remained unchanged since 1999 and the investment amount was one of the lowest as compared to similar programs offered in the US, Australia, the UK, etc. The criteria were in need of an update to remain competitive with these countries. The moratoriums will allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Immigration Quebec to reduce the backlog of applications. Once the programs re-open, procedural changes implemented during the moratorium will facilitate faster processing times. Undoubtedly, this is something business persons will appreciate.

While immigration is a Federal subject in Canada, the Federal Immigrant Investor Program is only available to those destined for settlement outside Quebec, as Immigration Quebec has the authority to select immigrants destined for the province of Quebec. Both the Quebec and Federal Investor Programs have identical eligibility criteria, apart from minor differences.

When the Federal and Quebec Investor Immigrant Programs re-open, the following eligibility criteria will be applicable to new applications:

An individual must:
• have a net worth of at least CAD$1.6 million,
• have 2 years of managerial experience in the preceding 5 years; and,
• be willing to make an investment of CAD$800,000 for a period of 5 years at 0% interest. The return of the capital is guaranteed by the government.

Under the new rules, applicants will be able to choose one of the following two options for making the investment:

1. Invest the entire CAD$800,000 out of the applicant’s own funds: In this case, these will be kept by the government for a period of five years, after which the funds will be returned in full; OR

2. Pay a financing fee in the range of CAD$200,000: Due to the secure nature of the investment, Canadian financial institutions are willing to make the investment with the government on behalf of the applicant, for a one-time financing fee in the range of CAD$200,000. The financing fee is paid up front and is non-refundable.

Current expectations are that the Federal and Quebec Investor Immigrant programs will be open for new applications by December 2010. If you are interested in one of these programs, it is best to start your application now so that it is ready to submit as soon as the programs re-open.

To find out if you qualify, click here.

Learn more about Federal Investor and Quebec Investor programs.

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