Move over, America: Canada is quickly becoming the destination of choice for wealthy Chinese investors due to the country’s high-quality lifestyle and expanding property markets. According to recent surveys conducted by the Hurun Research Institute, Canada has now surpassed the United Kingdom for preferred destinations, placing the America’s northern neighbor as the second most popular country for Chinese nationals to live in.
The survey also evaluated countries based upon immigration policy, investment opportunities, tax amenities, travel freedom, and health care benefits, among other categories. Countries that followed the United States, Canada, and the UK included Australia, Malta, Portugal, and Spain, as well as the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica.
The latest surge of foreign nationals moving to Canada are comprised of the China’s wealthiest, with an individual’s net worth averaging between CAD $1.8 million and CAD $37.3 million. Until now, the United States has remained the number one choice for business immigration, largely due to Chinese interest in the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. However, this trend has shown evidence of decline following the election of Donald Trump, and Chinese nationals are moving farther north to the cities of Toronto and Vancouver, which offer a number of investment opportunities in addition to economic and social benefits afforded to permanent residents.
Chinese nationals listed education and poor air quality as the main reasons for emigration, with many voicing underlying concerns about further depreciation of the yuan. Chinese nationals seeking better opportunities hardly come as a surprise; with the country’s open-door immigration policies, rich economy, and government initiatives to increase foreign investment, it’s no wonder Canada is continuing to attract the world’s wealthy in droves. Even more, several Canadian universities frequently rank as leading institutions around the world and offer international post-graduate students paths for integration into Canada’s society and workforce.
So how are China’s wealthiest citizens moving to Canada? The most common avenue is through business immigration, or “economic immigration,” which allows foreign investors and/or business-minded men and women to obtain Canadian permanent residency (PR) in exchange for a substantial capital investment into the economy. Below we will outline specifics of Canada’s most popular immigration program for high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals, the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP).
Business Immigration to Canada: The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)
Business immigration to Canada can be accomplished in a number of ways, with the most popular route being the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP). One of the most appealing aspects of this program is that it requires a guaranteed investment and does not obligate the investor to take an active role in a business, as with Provincial Nominee Programs. Although the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) does not require applicants to establish or purchase a business, candidates must demonstrate prior business experience as a manager within the last 5 years of applying.
General qualifications also require a candidate to have a legally-obtained minimum net worth of at least CAD $1.6 million, in addition to making the proper investment and completing medical examinations and security checks. All candidates must be willing to invest CAD $800,000 with Investment Québec (IQ) for a period of 5 years (the investment is guaranteed and reimbursed in full by the government once the 5-year holding period ends).
If the candidate does not want to make the full CAD $800,000 investment, he or she has the option of financing the investment through various securities brokerage firms and banks. With the financing option, the investor must make an initial down payment, whereby the selected securities brokerage firms and banks will the loan the investor the remaining CAD $800,000 balance to deposit with Investment Québec (IQ) for 5 years. Those who finance their CAD $800,000 investment through securities brokerage firms and banks will not be reimbursed after the 5-year holding period ends; the overall cost to the investor is the down payment.
The application intake cycle for the Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) re-opened on May 29, 2017 and will run until February 23, 2018, unless the application quota is met before the closing date. The current quota for accepting applications is set at 1,900. At present, up to 1,330 applications may be accepted from the Republic of China (ROC), including the territories of Hong Kong and Macao.
Due to the popularity of the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), quotas usually fill quickly and long before the application intake cycle is scheduled to close. For this reason, we encourage prospective candidates to begin their application process as soon as possible. If you are considering business immigration to Canada, contact QICMS (Invest-Visa) today to discuss your options through the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP).
Note: Last week, Quebec Immigration clarified that in order to take advantage of the QIIP’s advanced French language exception, applicants will need to achieve a score of B2 in both oral expression and oral comprehension. This will apply for all new submissions as of as of July 7, 2017.
For more information about the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), please click here.
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