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The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, one of the most popular investor immigration programs globally, reopened for new applications this week. This 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 May 30, 2016 to February 28, 2017, though, based on previous intake periods, it would be no surprise if the intake limit of 1,900 applications is reached before that date. Candidates with an “advanced intermediate” level in French are not subject to the intake cap. Moreover, their applications are given priority processing.
A maximum of 1,330 applications may be accepted from foreign nationals of the People’s Republic of China, including the administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao.
Candidates must have acquired a minimum of CAD $1.6 million in net worth by legitimate means, 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 experience is not limited to business endevours, but 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.
Firstly, 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, while the Quebec program has no such provision.
Second, the investment of CAD $800,000 is guaranteed by a Quebec government entity and returned in full after five years, or can be financed by a Canadian financial institution. Moreover, the investment requirement is far less onerous than other investor immigration programs, including the federal government of 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 under the age of 19) are included in the application and have the same status as the candidate. This is not necessarily the case for other investor immigration programs around the world. 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 isn’t as hands-on as most other immigrant investor programs — it is passive, in the sense that there are no conditional management requirements after arrival,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Furthermore, investors through this program have the prospect of living in a diverse, multicultural province that is increasingly showing to the international community that it is open for business. In addition to the range of opportunities to make a return on an investment, Quebec also provides a wealth of education and career opportunities for families of immigrant investors.”
“Given that the program is currently open and that previous application intake periods have filled quickly, I would encourage interested investors to prepare an application and gather supporting documents swiftly in order to submit a successful application while the opportunity is there.”
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