In 1986, the governments of Canada and Quebec created an industry that focused on ‘global residence’ by way of foreign investment in the country.
However, their control of the investment immigration industry has been lost as Canada pushes their Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) initiative.
The IIVC is a pilot program started by Canada’s previous Conservative government with the goal of raising a substantial fund of $120 million, sourced from a group of 60 lucrative foreign investors. The government will invest this in start-ups based in Canada touted for high growth.
Applicants who are approved will be charged a $1050 processing fee after the meet the criteria for this new and controversial investment immigration program:
Canada’s government terminated the previous program in 2014, closing the initiative by cancelling thousands of unprocessed applications.
Canada is the only foreign business immigration program that insists on language testing. The lengthy delays and stringent requirements involved in language testing and education assessment have turned off most potential investors, especially the super-rich in China.
As a result, the IIVC is now struggling to compete in the business immigration industry Canada had once dominated for more than a generation.
The US, Australia, the UK and Malta are among the leading nations that offer permanent residency programs for wealthy foreign investors. Compared to Canada, each country boasts significantly more appealing conditions including:
This is the conditional residency visa offered by the US – the new leader of the investment immigration industry since Canada’s 2014 implosion. The EB-5 has no minimum threshold for net worth but requires applicants to invest either $500,000 or $1 million in any one of the approved Regional Centers.
While the investment immigration program changes in recent years have seen Canada slide in the rankings, Quebec’s own program continues to thrive. With a small $800,000 threshold and $10,000 processing fee, the Quebec government can fund the entire annual demands of the program and remain competitive.
This was an older initiative created to cater to demand from Canadian businesses for more investment capital. Passive investments would be interest-free for 5 years.
While business environments with higher interest have historically contributed to much greater benefits for Canada, the lower rates of today still see Canada as the prime choice for mid-level investors in the business immigration market. This in turn has boosted revenue for both the government and private sector.
With almost 30 investment programs offering global residency and citizenship around the world, it’s easy to see the massive growth that lies ahead.
The investment immigration industry is dominated by many super-rich individuals in China and the Middle East. Canada’s decisions in recent years have effectively marginalised their potential to tap into this market.
Going forward from here, it’s imperative that the leaders and figureheads in Canadian businesses lead the way towards changes. Without this, Canada may well be left behind in an economic environment that is rapidly evolving.
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