Quebec IIP And The US EB-5 Visa Program Comparison
Posted on August 23, 2015
Unlike conventional investment decisions that are usually finalized on the basis of safety of capital and returns, investment immigration applicants consider factors like standard of living, access to facilities like healthcare and education for family members, and ease of travel to other nations when comparing multiple options.
Some programs, like Cyprus, Malta, Antigua and Barbuda etc, are popular for their lenient requirements, quick processing, and low investment requirements. Permanent residence programs offered by developed countries like the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia are popular for those seeking the benefits of living in a modern and developed nation.
Here are the some important points that tell Quebec IIP and the US EB-5 Visa Program Comparison:
The Canadian Quebec Investment Immigration program and the US EB-5 visa option are popular amongst high net-worth individuals seeking permanent residence without onerous residency requirements.
The US EB-5 visa offers green card to investors contributing a sum of at least $500,000 in a qualifying Regional Center. In other cases, the minimum investment rises to $ 1 million. Further, the investment must create 10 jobs within the first two years, which must be sustained throughout the tenure of the investment.
The Quebec program requires a minimum investment of CAN$800,000 or $640,000. Unlike the US program where the funds are invested in businesses that may fail, the Quebec Government is the recipient of funds received under the Canadian program. Both programs require applicants to stay invested for a period of five years.
US EB-5 applicants cannot use borrowed money to finance their applications. On the other hand, applicants can borrow funds from Canadian financial institutions to finance their investment. This five-year loan requires payment of a one-time fee of $200,0000. The loan is automatically repaid once the tenure of investment expires.
Those opting for the Canadian program are required to deposit the investment only after the investment immigration application has been approved by the Quebec government. US EB-5 applicants must make the payment upfront irrespective of their chances of being approved.
The US program scores over the Quebec investment immigration program on multiple aspects like location of residence, processing time, and physical residence requirements. EB-5 visa holders can stay anywhere in the USA. The Quebec program grants residence only in the province of Quebec, although transfer to another province is not impossible.
EB-5 applications involve a processing time of around two years, which can be around 3-4 years for Quebec IIP applicants. This also depends on one’s nationality and the extent of demand for the program amongst fellow citizens.
Those holding the EB-5 visa must be physically present in the USA for at least one day in a period of six months. Quebec Permanent Residence rules require physical residence for at least 750 days over a period of five years. Further, those planning to apply for Canadian citizenship must reside in the country for at least six months in a year and at least four years over a span of six years. The USA has a comparatively lenient requirement of 2.5 years out of five years for aspiring citizens.
However, one aspect where Quebec is preferable to the USA is the fact that permanent residence, once issued, is unconditional subject only to the maintenance of the minimum investment. EB-5 visa holders receive a conditional green card that is valid only for two years. The applicant is required to submit proof of creation or maintenance of jobs as well as maintenance of the investment before receiving an unconditional right to reside in the country.
Chinese nationals constitute a significant proportion of investment immigration applicants all over the world. Due to very high demand, the USCIS has imposed retrogression on Chinese applications with the cut-off date set at 1st May, 2013. This means that those Chinese nationals who had applied for the EB-5 visa after this date will not have their applications processed any further. There is no such restriction imposed on Chinese nationals seeking permanent residence in Quebec.