Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Immigration - I want to invest in Canada

Published:Tuesday | February 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

Can you tell me how I can qualify for immigration as a businessman? I heard about some venture capital programme, and I have some money that I would like to use to invest in Canada so that I can get permanent residence. What are the requirements? How do I apply?

- KO

Dear KO,

Your question is very relevant at this time as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has recently announced the launch of the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Programme. CIC will be accepting a limited number of applications and will take the time to evaluate the effectiveness of this plan to determine whether it should be continued. This is welcoming news since on June 19, 2014, the Federal Immigrant Investor and Entrepreneur Programme was terminated.

Requirements

The first fundamental requirement is that you need to provide evidence that you have a net worth of CAD$10 million. Your funds must be acquired through lawful private business or investment activities. You cannot use inheritance or your private personal residence as part of this proof.

Another critical requirement is that you will need to submit an educational credential report if your studies were done outside of Canada. You will also need to present your English examination results and the required fees. Further, the usual health and security checks will be necessary.

If your application is selected, you will be required to present a due diligence report at your own expense. This report must be obtained from one of the designated service providers listed on CIC's website. This report will be an independent evaluation of your personal net worth, your past business or investment experience, and the source of your funding. This report will assess your source of funding to ensure that it is legal and legitimate. This report will be sent directly to CIC and will be used to determine whether you will be finally selected.

Non-guaranteed Investment

Once you are selected under the pilot programme, you will be required to enter into an agreement with CIC whereby you commit the sum of CA$2 million to the IIVC Fund for approximately 15 years.

The disadvantage of this programme is that there is no guarantee of returns on the investment. Your returns will be directly related to the performance of the investment of the fund. The fund will be used to invest in Canadian start-ups with high growth potential and will be managed by the investment arm of the Business Development Bank of Canada. Your returns will be directly linked to the success or failure of the start-up programmes.

If your application is approved, you will be asked to submit your passport to receive your approved permanent residence visa. It is anticipated that this application would be processed within six months after CIC receives and approves your application.

The other issue is that you do not have a lot of time to submit an application as this pilot programme will end on February 11, 2015. Therefore, if you think you qualify, then I strongly recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer immediately to ensure that you meet the critical deadline.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in Immigration, real estate, personal injury, family and administration of estates. Email info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration or telephone 613.695.8777.