Monday, November 19, 2007

Canada Investors Program

The Canadian Government has designed the Immigrant Investor Program in order to provide experienced business people and senior managers with a vehicle that may provide a unique opportunity to immigrate to Canada. The Immigrant Investor Program was created in 1986 by the Canadian Government to attract successful business immigrants to Canada. Since its inception, the Immigrant Investor Program has attracted 18,000 immigrants and over CAN$4 billion in direct investments to Canada. By satisfying certain requirements and investing a pre-determined amount of capital, prospective immigrants and their dependents can obtain Canadian permanent residence and benefit from Canadian citizenship at a later date. There are no assessment points nor passmark required in order to qualify under this category. Furthermore, no English or French language tests are required.

To be eligible for the Investor Program:
  1. You must have a minimum net worth of CAN$800,000 acquired through lawful economic activities;

  2. You must have a minimum of three years management experience (planning, supervision and control of financial as well as human and material resources) acquired over the course of 10 years preceding your application in a profitable and legal business (agricultural, industrial or commercial), in government or in an international organization;

  3. You must undertake to invest a minimum of CAN$400,000 for five years by signing an agreement with an approved financial intermediary such as a recognized stock broker or a trust company. This amount will be invested with a government agency in a province to fund a program to assist small and medium sized businesses in that province and for job creation and economic development. No further investment is required from the investor. At the end of the 5 year term, CAN$400,000 is repaid to the investor (without interest). The return of the investment is fully guaranteed by the province participating in the program. The province controls the investment during the five year lock-in period.There is a financing option available whereby investors can deposit CAN$120,000 and financing can be arranged by a major Canadian bank to assist you in completing the balance of the CAN$400,000 investment requirement. No personal guarantees or collateral are required for the loan. Once the loan is advanced, no future payments of capital or interest are required to service the loan and you will not receive any interest or capital return at maturity. The total cost of this financing package is therefore limited to your initial deposit of CAN$120,000.

  4. You and your dependents must pass a medical and security evaluation.The participating banks in the Immigrant Investor Program are large, well-known Canadian banks with many offices and branches overseas. They are among the world's largest banking and financial service organizations. Interviews under the Investor category take place in 2-3 months and the entire application process takes approximately 12-18 months. Once approved, the investor receives an unconditional Visa for Permanent Residence for himself and his dependents. No immigration conditions are imposed upon admission to Canada with a visa under the Investor Program. The investor can work, operate a business or retire. Investors are not required to start a business in Canada. Once you land in Canada with a permanent resident visa you are permitted to leave Canada for a cumulative period of three years in any five year period without losing your status. In other words, you must reside in Canada for a cumulative period of two years in any five year period. This gives you flexibility to temporarily live, work, carry on your business interests and travel outside of Canada while still maintaining your status as a permanent resident of Canada.You can apply for Canadian citizenship and a Canadian passport after three years of residence in Canada.

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