Canada rejects citizenship for investment option

Published:  15 Jul at 6 PM
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As a number of expat-friendly countries open their doors to investment in exchange for residency and eventual citizenship, Canada closes hers.

Domenica, St Kitts and Nevis and other expat destinations are offering residency in exchange for substantial sums in passive investment, and citizenship can be had after a couple of years. Requirements in Domenica, St Kitts and Nevis and other offshore havens are minimal – it’s the cash that counts.

Canada remains a popular destination for would-be expats from the UK, the UAE, Asia and Europe, with a relatively straightforward policy for skilled workers and professionals. However, for investors, the previously available Federal Investment Programme has remained closed since 2012 and seems unlikely to reopen.

The only alternative, the Provincial Nominee Programme, considered an easy, fast way to get in, lacks a passive investor scheme. Applicants are expected to be active entrepreneurs willing to create businesses and jobs for Canadians as part of the requirements, no matter how mich money is involved.

Furthermore, should the business not be considered successful, the conditional visa allowing its setup will be revoked and residency denied. For example, British Columbia’s version of the programme requests an investment of no less than CA$400,000, to be used to purchase or set up a business anywhere in the province.

The conditional visa-holding investor must create at least three jobs, actively participate in the day-to-day running of the business and own no less than a third of its equity. Various other requirements must be fulfilled, dependent on the state.

However, Quebec province is about to launch a new scheme, Quebec Immigrant Investor Programme, which requires CA$800,000 placed in a government–controlled corporation at zero per cent return for five years. Another catch is that applicants must prove their net wealth of at least CA£1.6 million, and also prove that it was legally acquired either alone or with a spouse or partner.
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