CANADA IMMIGRATION PROGRAM
Well-off business immigrants are buying businesses and turning to Canada’s owner-operator policies.
For many foreign investors, the pathway to Canada is divided into two stages, beginning with a temporary work permit under the federal owner-operator rules.
Under this policy, the foreign investor can receive a work permit following the sale and transfer to the foreign national, of the majority share ownership of an existing profitable Canadian business.
Once admitted on a work permit, candidates can at a later stage, apply for permanent residence to Canada under many immigration programs. This can include the Federal Skilled Worker Program, under the Express Entry system, or under a suitable provincial (PNP) business immigration stream.
WHAT IS THE OWNER-OPERATOR PROGRAM?
The owner-operator policy is not a formal immigration program. Instead, it is a work permit issued under the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). There is no annual quota on the number of works permits that can be issued.
The latest rules governing new business owners under the TFW program is gaining considerable local and international attention to many foreign business entrepreneurs and investors.
WHY IS THE OWNER-OPERATOR PROGRAM ATTRACTIVE TO FOREIGN INVESTORS?
Current federal permanent immigration programs, although operational on paper, are not attracting interest from foreign investors.
Opportunities under federal investment-based immigration programs are unfortunately very limited in Canada.
Most provincial investment-based residence immigration programs operate under expression of interest scheme. Most candidates must begin with a temporary work permit and then apply for permanent admission once approved by the province.
These programs operate under quotas and often require candidates to invest a lot of time and money.
This leaves a large pool of international investors seeking permanent admission to Canada to compete for a relatively small number of quota-based openings under Canada’s provincial business immigration programs.
The Province of Quebec dominates this area with its Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP). However, this program is quota-based and is only suitable for ultra-high net worth applicants.
A foreign investor-entrepreneur, motivated to live in a particular area of Canada, can purchase a suitable business and relocate to that area of choice before the permanent residence is granted. This is far more advantageous than trying to meet provincial immigration program requirements in areas of Canada that are not desirable.
WHO IS AN IDEAL CANDIDATE?
To qualify as an owner-operator, the foreign investor must have:
- Verifiable, transferable management experience.
- Sufficient assets to purchase the targeted business in Canada.
- Sufficient language abilities in either English or French to actively work as a manager in the industry.
- Controlling interest in the business: own more than 50% of the shares and cannot be dismissed.
Ownership of shares does not by itself guarantee that a foreign national qualifies as an owner-operator. The offer of employment must be made to a foreign investor that will be actively engaged in the management of the business. This will be assessed by reviewing the foreign national’s intention to operate the company as well as prior experience in managing or running a business.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
- .The foreign investor identifies a Canadian business to purchase
- .A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is submitted along with a suitable business plan
- Once a positive LMIA opinion is issued, the foreign investor applies for 12-24 months, renewable .temporary work permit at the management level.
HOW LONG DOES THIS PROCESS TAKE?
Once a suitable business is found, it will take 2-3 months to complete the LMIA application process. It will take less than 3-months in most jurisdictions to receive a work permit.
WHEN CAN THE WORK PERMIT HOLDER APPLY FOR CANADIAN PERMANENT RESIDENCE?
During the first year of working in Canada, the foreign investor along with immediate family members can apply for permanent residence if they qualify under a suitable program, either the federal Express Entry or a provincial nomination program. In most cases, the process can be completed in less than 12 months.
HOW CAN ALAN AND PARTNERS HELP?
Through our established network of licensed professionals, we can help foreign investor-entrepreneurs to identify suitable businesses for sale in Canada. Once an appropriate company is identified and purchased, we rely on our 12+-years of legal experience, recognised in the Canadian legal community, to complete the required immigration formalities.
QUEBEC IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PROGRAM
The Quebec government will receive up to 1900 new applications under QIIP, during the period September 10, 2018, through August 31, 2019.
Applicants must have these qualifications:
- The legally acquired personal net worth of $2 million.
- Two years of suitable management or business experience within the five years preceding the application.
- Investment of $1.2 million into a passive government guaranteed to finance for a period of five years bearing no interest.
- Intend to settle in the province of Quebec.
The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program is passive in nature, meaning individuals are not required to establish or actively manage a business in the province. Instead, the program requires an investment of $1.2 million into a prescribed (government guaranteed) investment. Applicants must have the intention of settling in the French-speaking province of Quebec.
Successful applicants have issued a selection certificate from Quebec for Canada immigration, which allows them to obtain Canadian permanent residence following health and criminality examinations by Federal immigration authorities.
HOW TO QUALIFY UNDER QUEBEC IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PROGRAM
The Quebec investor program offers high net worth applicants with CAD 2 Million permanent residences through a risk-free investment of CAD 1,2 Million.
The investment can be financed through a recognized intermediary under a ‘walk-away’ financing scheme. With approved “walk away” financing, the liquidated cost is approximately CAD 350,000 ($270,000), depending on interest rates.
QIIP is the only option in Canada for high net worth business immigrants to secure Canadian permanent residence based on a passive investment.
QIIP will accept a maximum of 1900 new applications during the period from September 10, 2018, through August 31, 2019.
This includes 1235 applications from China, Macau/Hong Kong and 665 applications from the rest of the world.
HOW TO QUALIFY?
- A legally acquired personal net worth of CAD 2 Million
- Two years of suitable management or business experience within the five years preceding the application
- Invest $1.2 Million in a passive government guaranteed investment for a period of five years, bearing no interest
- An intention to settle in the province of Quebec
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
- Gather documentation supporting your net worth and managerial experience. You must also prove the legal, historical accumulation of all your assets.
- The completed application is reviewed for compliance, by an approved licensed financial intermediary with quota allocations from Quebec immigration authorities.
- The application is then submitted to Quebec immigration authorities.
- Quebec issues a file number within 30-days after the reception.
- A notice of interview or interview waiver takes place within 12 months after submission.
- A decision takes place within 30 days after the interview.
- Approved applicants will be requested to make their investment within 110 days of a favourable decision.
- After the investment, you will receive a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ). This document allows you to apply for permanent residence at the federal level.
- Submit a full application to federal immigration authorities, who will conduct security and medical checks.
- Depending on the visa office, applications are finalized to visa issuance within a range of approximately 12 months (North America, Western Europe and South America) to 44 months (China).
- After approval, passports are requested, and a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) is issued to the applicant and dependants.
- Applicants and dependants must travel to Canada before the expiry date on the COPR document. The COPR will have a validity date near 12-months, corresponding to the 1st anniversary of the medical exam.
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
If you are a potential investor seeking more information on your eligibility or wish to validate information provided by our partners or other advisors on Alan and Partners’ Immigrant Investor Programs, please use the following contact form to get in touch with us.
Within 48 hours or so, we will be more than happy to get back to you and provide you with valuable recommendations, without any obligations on your part.
At Alan and Partners, we value privacy. No information will be shared with third parties under any circumstances.
FEDERATION OF CANADA
|Capital City ||Ottawa |
|Total Area ||9,984,670 km2 |
|Languages ||English, French |
|Population ||37,602,103 (2019 estimate) |
|Currency ||Canadian dollar ($) (CAD) |
|Visa-Free Countries ||183 |
|Nearest Country ||Canada is bordered by Alaska (USA) in west, and by 12 US states of the continental United States in south, Canada shares maritime borders with Greenland (an autonomous territory of Denmark) and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, an island which belongs to France |
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