New Canadian investor visa programme expected soon

by Ray Clancy on December 4, 2014

Investor visa programmes have proved to be popular in many European countries and Australia and now Canada is set to follow suit.

It is expected that prospective investors with one to two million Canadian dollars to invest will be able to apply for an investor visa with a residency option.

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It is thought that investors with 1 to 2 million will have to option to obtain a Canadian investor visa

These types of visas are very popular with wealthy Chinese people who have snapped them up in Australia. Australia’s premium investor visa programme offers permanent residency for people investing AUS $15 million or more into the country.

Also, the significant investor visa programme offers four years residency for an investment of AUS $5 million and had proven to be exceptionally popular. The most up to date figures show that 90.8% of applications and 87.7 % of visas granted went to Chinese applicants.

Conditions usually apply relating to where the money can be invested. For example, in the UK business investor programme, applicants cannot invest in real estate. Often, the investment must be geared to creating jobs and/or in government bonds.

But Portugal, Spain, Greece and Cyprus all have programmes where people investing in real estate for as little as €250,000 can qualify for a residency permit.

In Canada, the immigrant investor programme, which has existed since 1986 and led to residency for an investment of $800,000 was scrapped in February due to concerns that it seriously undervalued the value of Canadian residency.

There were also concerns about the number of Chinese applicants. Figures showed that it had been primarily used by Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China. Prospective immigrants from China comprised made up more than 80% of applicants when the programme last took applications.

In Canada, experts believe the programme will ask investors to put their money into a Venture Capital fund that would then invest in start-ups. It is thought that investment of around C$120 million could be expected.

A spokesman for Canadian Immigration confirmed that a new programme will be introduced, but details were not yet being made public.

The most likely route via venture capital funds would help to boost the sector which has decreased by 29% in the last 12 months, according to data from the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.

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