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One of the world’s most popular immigrant investor programs, the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, reopened for applications this week. This popular Canadian immigration option allows qualified immigrant investors and their dependent family members the opportunity to obtain Canadian permanent residence by investing CAD$800,000 risk-free through an approved financial intermediary.
The intake period for applications runs from August 31, 2015 to January 29, 2016, though many expect that the quota of 1,750 applications will be filled sooner than that. No more than 1,200 applications will be accepted for processing from any one country. Candidates with an “advanced intermediate” level in French are not subject to this cap. Moreover, their applications are given priority processing.
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.
Candidates must have acquired a minimum of two years’ management experience in the past five years. The company must have 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.
The candidate must intend to settle in Quebec and sign an investment agreement agreeing to invest CAD $800,000 with an approved financial intermediary. Eligible candidates must sign an investment agreement with one of the financial intermediaries—a broker or trust company—authorized to participate in the program. The investment can be financed by a financial intermediary.
The Quebec Advantage
Compared to many other investor immigration programs around the world, the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program has a number of clear advantages.
First, a successful application leads to a Canadian permanent resident visa. There is no probationary or conditional stage as there is for the EB5 visa in the United States, for example. For the EB5 program, applicants may obtain a two-year green card that is conditional on showing that they created 10 jobs or more in that time period.
Second, investment through the Quebec program is without risk. The investment of CAD $800,000 is guaranteed by the Quebec government and returned in full after five years. Moreover, the investment requirement is far less onerous than other investor immigration programs, including Canada’s Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program.
Third, all immediate members of the candidate’s family (spouse or common-law partner and dependent children) are included in the application and have the same status as the candidate. This is not necessarily the case for other investor immigration programs. Successful applicants and their families may enjoy the benefits of permanent resident status, including universal health care, free public education, and access to world-class universities.
“The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program is highly attractive to many international investors, not least because it is passive in the sense that there are no conditional management requirements after arrival. It isn’t as hands-on as most other immigrant investor programs. Moreover, successful applicants have the prospect of living in a diverse, multicultural province that also provides a wealth of education and job opportunities for families,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Given that the program is currently open and likely to fill soon, I would encourage interested investors to prepare an application and gather supporting documents swiftly in order to maximize their chances of success.”
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