The governments of Canada and Quebec have both released information about forthcoming investor programs for Canadian immigration this week. These programs aim to attract high-net-worth investors to invest in the economies of Canada and Quebec, respectively. Successful applicants, as well as their spouse or common-law partner and dependent children under the age of 19, will become permanent residents of Canada.
Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program
The government of Canada will give permanent resident status to around 50 high-net-worth immigrant investors, as well as their spouse or common-law partner and dependent children under the age of 19, under its new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program. The government says that the program, which is scheduled to begin accepting applications in late January, 2015, aims to attract experienced millionaire investors who will contribute to economic growth and prosperity. Eligible candidates must:
- demonstrate a legally obtained net worth of at least CAD $10 million derived from lawful, profit-making business activities, which will be verified by a designated due diligence service provider. Only applicants selected for processing will be required to obtain a due diligence report from a designated service provider;
- make a CAD $2 million non-guaranteed investment for 15 years into the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital fund. These funds will be invested in innovative Canadian-based start-ups with high growth potential;
- prove language proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages, either English or French; and
- submit education credentials: a Canadian post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate, or proof of a completed foreign education credential and an equivalency assessment from a designated organization.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will accept a maximum of 500 applications for review within a specified period to be announced in January, 2015. Applications will be selected randomly for processing until 60 approved applications are finalized. Applications that are not retained will be returned to the applicant.
CIC aims to grant a decision on each application selected for processing within six months of receiving the complete applications.
Quebec Investor Program
Details regarding the Quebec Investor Program were disclosed this week. These details, together with information available previously, reveal the following factors concerning the program:
- The submission period will run from January 19, 2015 to March 20, 2015.
- There will be a cap of 1,750 files accepted for assessment, with a maximum of 1,200 applications made by applicants from any one country.
- The submission location for all applications will be Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- Only complete files may be accepted.
Potential candidates must:
- have acquired a minimum of CAD $1.6 million in net worth, alone or with a spouse or partner. Assets such as property, bank accounts, pension funds, stocks and shares may be included;
- sign an investment agreement agreeing to invest CAD $800,000 with an approved financial intermediary (this investment can be financed);
- demonstrate their intention to reside in Quebec; and
- have acquired a minimum of two years’ management experience in the past five years in a company (or companies) with a minimum of two full-time employees. It does not necessarily have to be profitable. It can also be an international agency, department or government agency.
Immigration to Quebec through any economic immigration program, including the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, is done in two stages. The first stage involves the applicant satisfying the requirements of the program itself and receiving a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de Sélection du Québec, commonly known as a CSQ), while the second stage involves the applicant and his or her dependent family members including their CSQs on applications for permanent residence made to CIC. These stages are subdivided into eight steps on CanadaVisa.com.
Investment as opportunity
“As one of the most open market economies in the world, Canada naturally looks to both its own population, as well as investment from foreign investors, in order to expand its economy and stimulate growth,” says Attorney David Cohen. “The new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program provides a pathway for highly successful investors to continue their careers and diversify their portfolios in a country that is right renowned as innovative and open-minded.
“The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program is interesting in a number of ways. First, the financial requirements are less demanding than those of the federal program. Second, the fact that francophones — indeed, anyone who can demonstrate advanced-intermediate French proficiency — are not subject to the cap provides those potential candidates with a huge opportunity to invest in and move to a province that is making huge strides to promote its business credentials, focused on the wonderful city of Montreal.
“In the case of both the federal and Quebec programs, a lot of effort is needed in order to satisfy the requirements, particularly those concerning due diligence reports. Retaining the services of an experienced immigration lawyer with a track record in preparing successful immigrant investor applications may provide candidates with the expertise that is needed to submit a complete application in good time.”
To find out if you are eligible for either the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program or the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, as well as other Canadian business immigration programs, please fill out a business eligibility assessment form today.
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