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The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), a Canadian immigration program that allows international investors to obtain Canadian permanent residence by investing CAD $800,000 risk-free, will reopen in less than two months.
The QIIP is Canada’s only passive investor immigration program, and is one of the most popular investor immigration programs globally, offering a number of advantages over investor immigration programs in other jurisdictions.
For example, there is no probationary or conditional stage, and a successful application leads to a Canadian permanent resident visa. This marks the QIIP as quite different to the EB-5 program in the United States, where applicants must prove that they created 10 jobs or more within two years. The QIIP has no such provision.
Second, the investment of CAD $800,000 is submitted through an approved financial intermediary. This investment can be paid by the applicant or arranged through a financial intermediary financing option. The investment is guaranteed by a government of Quebec entity and returned in full after five years.
Third, immediate members of the candidate’s family (spouse or common-law partner and dependent children under the age of 19) may be included in the application, and these family members also obtain Canadian permanent residence. 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.
Finally, the QIIP is a route not just to Canadian permanent resident status, but also to Canadian citizenship and the right to a Canadian passport. Currently, Canada’s citizenship naturalization criteria require only four years of residency in Canada within six years, and the current federal government aims to reduce this requirement to three years of residency out of five.
Applicants 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.
Applicants must intend to settle in Quebec and sign an investment agreement agreeing to invest CAD $800,000 with an approved financial intermediary. Applicants 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.
Applicants must have acquired a minimum of two years’ management experience in the past five years. The experience is not limited to commercial activities, but can also be an international agency, department or government agency.
The upcoming intake period for applications runs from May 29, 2017 to February 23, 2018, and up to 1,900 applications may be accepted for processing. Of these, 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.
Based on previous application cycles, it seems likely that the QIIP intake cap may be reached before the scheduled end date.
Candidates with an “advanced intermediate” level in French are not subject to the intake cap, and may submit an application at any time. Moreover, their applications are given priority processing.
“For French-speaking and non-French-speaking investors alike, the announcement that Canada’s only passive investor immigration program is reopening is sure to come as exciting news,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“It is a truly unique program, in which investors may take a less hands-on approach to business than is the case in other programs in other countries. I would advise potential applicants to take initial steps — such as proving net worth and working with an eligible financial intermediary on the application — as early as possible, to ensure the greatest chance of success through this program.”
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