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The Immigrant Investor Program: A guide to Canadian investor migration

by Tom 05/05/2010 12:51:00

Download our PDF brochure for
more information on the Canadian
Immigrant Investor Program

We recently launched a specialist service for applicants interested in the Immigrant Investor Program, a Canada Business Immigration Program pathway that enables business owners and qualified managers to immigrate to Canada with their families.

More information on the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program is available in our PDF brochure and potential applicants can receive a free assessment of their eligibility by completing our online enquiry form.

To provide a little more explanation though, qualifying for the Immigrant Investor Program is based on an assessment of two factors:

  • The applicant's net worth; AND
  • The applicant's business or management experience.

Meeting the net worth requirement

Net worth is determined by the value of an applicant's combined assets, which must exceed their combined liabilities by at least CA$800,000 (approx. £500,000). The figures used must be fair market value and evidence of this is required in the application. 

All assets must have been obtained legally and, in some instances, evidence of source of income is required.

Meeting the investor business ownership /management experience requirement

If an application relies on business ownership then the applicant will need to demonstrate that they part-owned and managed a qualifying business for at least 2 out of the past 5 years. A qualifying business is defined as one in which at least 2 of the following 4 criteria are satisfied:

  • The percentage of equity of the applicant and their spouse in the business multiplied by the number of full-time job equivalents in the business is greater than or equal to 2;
  • The percentage of equity of the applicant and their spouse in the business multiplied by the total annual sales is greater than or equal to CA$500,000;
  • The percentage of equity of the applicant and their spouse in the business multiplied by the net income in the year is greater than or equal to CA$50,000;
  • The percentage of equity of the applicant and their spouse in the business multiplied by the net assets at the end of the year is greater than or equal to CA$125,000.

Alternatively, if the application relies on business management experience as opposed to business ownership then the applicant will need to demonstrate that they managed the equivalent of at least 5 full-time employees per year in a business for at least 2 out of the past 5 years.

Making the investment and emigrating to Canada

Once an application is approved, the applicant is then required to make an investment of CA$400,000 with either the Canadian or Quebec government for a period of 5 years. In practice this investment is almost always financed, which significantly reduced the outlay and overall cost. As the Canadian Visa Bureau has banking relationships in Canada and the UK, we have access to the most competitive financing options available.

Once the applicant's Investor visa is approved they are then free to settle in Canada with their family. There are no restrictions once the applicant has settled in Canada. 

The Investor visa holder and their spouse are then free to work, set up business and purchase property. They will have access to state education, health care and other benefits enjoyed by Canadian citizens. After 3 years the Investor visa holder will be eligible for Canadian citizenship.

- Tom Blackett is Online Editor for the Canadian Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

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