Canada Citizenship by Investment Program

If you're interested in acquiring Canadian citizenship by investing in the country's economy, this comprehensive article will serve as your guide. It covers all the necessary information, including eligibility criteria, the application process, and the advantages of becoming a Canadian citizen through investment.

 Explore the details below to learn more about Canada's highly appealing citizenship by investment program, which is considered one of the most attractive in the world. Continue reading to gain a thorough understanding of this opportunity.

Pros of the Canadian citizenship

Obtaining Canadian citizenship through the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program brings numerous economic benefits. However, before delving into those advantages, it is important to highlight Canada's commitment to ethnic diversity and its reputation as a welcoming nation for people of all backgrounds and nationalities.

Canadian citizenship offers the following benefits:

  1. A Powerful Canadian Passport: The Canadian passport holds a strong position, ranking eighth on the Global Passport Index. It provides visa-free travel and visa-on-arrival access to 172 countries, including all Schengen countries, the United States, and Australia.
  1. Universal Healthcare System: Canadian citizens enjoy free access to a universal healthcare system that is globally recognized as one of the best, ensuring quality medical care.
  1. Dual Citizenship Permitted: Canada allows dual citizenship, giving individuals the freedom to retain their current citizenship while obtaining Canadian citizenship.
  1. High Social Progress Index Ranking: Canada ranks tenth in the world on the Social Progress Index, which evaluates factors related to human well-being, demonstrating the country's commitment to societal progress.
  1. Business Opportunities: Canadian citizenship reduces barriers when conducting business with customers based in the United States, fostering cross-border economic activities.
  1. Favourable Taxation: Canadian citizens benefit from a tax-friendly environment, including no inheritance or gift tax. Additionally, capital gains are only taxed on 50 percent of the gains.
  1. Top-Ranked Pension System: Canada boasts one of the world's leading pension systems, ensuring financial security and stability for its citizens.
  1. Excellent Education System: Canadian citizens have access to an exceptional education system, recognized globally for its quality and numerous educational opportunities.

By obtaining Canadian citizenship through the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, individuals can enjoy these significant benefits and contribute to Canada's diverse and thriving society.

Steps to acquire Canadian citizenship through investment

  1. Eligibility and Investment:

 While most Canadian immigration programs have stringent criteria related to education, age, and profession, the option of obtaining permanent residency and subsequently citizenship through investment exists. Eligible foreign investors can make an investment in the Canadian economy to qualify.

  1. Canadian Permanent Residence Program:

 The Canadian permanent residence program is open to individuals aged 18 and above, along with their immediate family members, including spouses or common-law partners and dependent children. Parents living in Canada and parents-in-law are ineligible to be included in the application. They may apply for immigration once the investor has successfully obtained residency and settled in Canada.

  1. Investment Timeline:

After making the financial investment, it typically takes five years of residence in Canada to become eligible for Canadian citizenship and a Canadian passport. However, the permanent residency obtained through the investment grants the applicant and their family the same rights as Canadian nationals, except for voting rights and the right to hold public office.

  1. Québec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP): 

Following a restructuring of federal and provincial programs in 2014, only the French-speaking province of Québec offers a citizenship by investment scheme known as the Québec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP). It is the designated program for investor visas in Canada.

By following these steps, individuals can pursue the pathway to Canadian citizenship through investment, primarily through the Québec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP). It is advisable to consult immigration experts or authorised consultants to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information on the requirements and processes involved.

Applicants requirements for the Québec Immigrant Investor Program

The Québec Immigrant Investor Program is a popular Canadian immigration scheme that allows business immigrants to apply for permanent residence in Québec, leading to Canadian citizenship and a Canadian passport for themselves and their families.

Under the program, applicants must meet specific requirements set by the Canadian government:

1. Minimum Net Worth

 Applicants must have a minimum net worth of CAD 2 million (approximately $1.47 million) in financial assets. This net worth can be shared between the applicant and their accompanying spouse or common-law partner. The origin of the net worth must be proven, and it should not include grants received within six months prior to the application.

2. Management Experience

 Applicants must have at least two years of management experience acquired within the five years preceding the application submission. The experience must involve functions such as planning, financial resource management, human or material resource control, and must not be gained through apprenticeships, training courses, or specialisation leading to a diploma.

3. Investment Agreement

 Applicants must sign an investment agreement with a financial intermediary, either a trust company or an investment broker approved by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration) and IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc.

4. Investment Amount

 Applicants must invest a minimum of CAD 1.2 million (approximately $880,000) through IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc. The investment must be held for a period of at least five years.

5. Points Calculation

 Applicants are evaluated based on six factors using the Québec Economic Class (QEC) selection grid. A minimum score of 40 out of 89 points is required to meet the threshold for elimination.

6. Medical Examination

 Applicants must undergo a medical examination to ensure they meet the health requirements for immigration.

7. Knowledge of Democratic Values

 Applicants must complete an attestation demonstrating their knowledge of Québec's democratic values based on the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

It is essential to stay updated with the official guidelines and requirements of the Québec Immigrant Investor Program, as the program is suspended until January 2024.

Breakdown Investments of the Québec Immigrant Investor Program

  1. Capital Transfer

 The investment is structured as a capital transfer, and at the end of the five-year requirement, the investment amount is returned to the investor with zero percent interest. The five-year period starts upon the issuance of a Québec Certificate of Selection (CSQ).

  1. Utilisation of Earnings

 Earnings generated from the investment are utilised to fund various economic and social programs within the province of Québec, contributing to the development and growth of the region.

  1. Financing Option

 Foreign entrepreneurs have the option to finance the investment requirements through specific securities brokerage firms and banks. These financing programs typically require a down payment from the applicant. The selected securities brokerage firm or bank provides a loan for the remaining balance.

  1. Deposit with IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc

 The applicant is required to deposit a sum of CAD 1.2 million with IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc. This amount serves as the investment under the program.

  1. Cost to the Investor

 The cost to the investor includes the down payment made during the financing process, which is not refunded at the end of the five-year period. The selected securities brokerage firm or bank may deduct fees and interest from the down payment.

Applicants who have met the Canada investor visa requirements and successfully passed

To be eligible for citizenship, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Permanent Resident Status: Applicants must currently hold permanent resident status in Canada.
  1. Physical Presence: They must have been physically present in Canada for a minimum of three out of the five years preceding the citizenship application.
  1. Tax Compliance: Applicants should have filed tax returns, if required, for at least three out of the five years before applying for citizenship.
  1. Language Proficiency: They must meet the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) in either English or French, with a minimum level four or higher.
  1. Knowledge of Canada: Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of Canada's history, geography, economy, governments, laws, and symbols.
  1. Clean Criminal Record: A clean criminal background check is required for both the applicant's home country and any other countries of residence.

By meeting these eligibility requirements, applicants who have obtained permanent residency through the Canada investor visa program can apply for Canadian citizenship, leading to the acquisition of a second passport.

The process of applying for Canadian citizenship through the Québec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)

Here is a summary of the steps involved:

  1. Gather Required Documents

 Collect all necessary documents, including completed application forms, notarized and translated copies of passports for the applicant and family members included in the application, confirmation of kinship (marriage certificate and/or birth certificate), criminal record certificates, proof of minimum financial net worth, confirmation of managerial experience, and passport photographs.

  1. Pay the QIIP Review Fee

 Submit the QIIP review fee of CAD 16,874 (approximately $12,380) to the Minister of Finance of Québec.

  1. Submit Documentation

Send all required documents to the Québec government by mail for review and assessment.

  1. Make the Five-Year Investment

 Complete the required five-year investment through IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc. as specified in the program.

  1. Learn about Canadian and Québec Values

 Obtain an attestation of learning about Canadian values and Québec values, which demonstrates knowledge of the cultural and societal aspects of Canada and Québec.

  1. Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency

 After fulfilling three years of Canadian permanent residency within a five-year period, submit your permanent residency permit and application forms for citizenship to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Pay the application fee of CAD 630 ($467).

  1. Attend Citizenship Hearing

Attend a citizenship hearing, which may include an English or French language test and a test to demonstrate knowledge of Canadian history and values.

  1. Citizenship Ceremony

 Upon successful completion of the citizenship hearing, applicants will receive a Notice to Appear, specifying the location and time to attend a citizenship ceremony. At the ceremony, applicants take the oath of citizenship and officially become Canadian citizens.

The application process for Canadian citizenship through the QIIP typically takes around two years, including the waiting period before receiving the Notice to Appear after a successful application. It's important to note that specific timelines and requirements may vary, and it's advisable to consult official sources or specialised agencies for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the application process for Canadian citizenship by investment.

Applying for the Canadian citizenship by investment through the Québec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)

  •  Prepare Required Documents: Complete the application form and gather notarized and translated copies of passports, confirmation of kinship, criminal record certificates, proof of minimum financial net worth, confirmation of managerial experience, and passport photographs.
  •  Pay QIIP Review Fee: Submit the review fee of CAD 16,874 to the Minister of Finance of Québec.
  •  Submit Documentation: Send all required documents to the Québec government by mail.
  • Make the Five-Year Investment: Invest the required amount for a five-year period through IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc.
  • Learn about Canadian and Québec Values: Obtain an attestation of learning about Canadian values and Québec values.
  • Apply for Permanent Residency: After completing three years of Canadian permanent residency within a five-year period, submit your permanent residency permit and application forms for citizenship to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Pay the application fee.
  •  Attend Citizenship Hearing: Attend a citizenship hearing, which may include language and knowledge tests.
  • Citizenship Ceremony: Upon successful completion, applicants will receive a Notice to Appear for a citizenship ceremony and take the oath of citizenship.

 Business immigration options in Canada:

  1. Startup Visa: This program provides Canadian residency to foreign entrepreneurs with innovative business proposals that will create jobs in Canada. Applicants need to be endorsed by designated organisations, such as venture capital funds or business incubators.
  1. Québec Entrepreneur Program: This program is for individuals who want to start a new business or acquire an existing company in Québec. Applicants must meet specific net worth and investment requirements.
  1. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): Each province in Canada has its own PNP, offering investment immigration opportunities. These programs cater to foreign investors who meet the economic needs of the specific province. Provinces may have different categories, such as entrepreneur immigration for starting or investing in businesses, regional pilot programs, and strategic projects categories.

Additional ways to acquire Canadian citizenship:

  1. Citizenship by Birthright: Individuals born in Canada or with at least one Canadian citizen parent are eligible for Canadian citizenship by birthright.
  1. Citizenship by Naturalization: Lawful permanent residents can apply for citizenship by naturalisation after three years of residence within a five-year period. Permanent residency can be obtained through various means, including investment programs, marriage, family reunification, work permits, skilled work immigration programs like Express Entry, and specific community pilot programs.

These alternative pathways provide individuals with opportunities to become Canadian citizens, whether through birthright or by meeting residency and naturalisation requirements.

Importance of Global Citizen Solutions to Canadian citizenship:

- Personalized Assistance: Global Citizen Solutions provides personalised Canadian citizenship assistance to expats and foreign investors throughout the application process.

- Minimise Visits: Their specialists can help minimise the number of visits you need to make to the designated country, saving you time and effort.

- Dedicated Representation: Having someone working solely on your behalf can streamline the application process and ensure your interests are represented.

- Hassle-Free Application: Global Citizen Solutions can help reduce the hassle associated with putting your application together, providing guidance and support.

- Insider Knowledge: Benefit from the insider knowledge of experts with years of experience in the market, gaining insights and advice throughout the process.

- Moving Forward: Global Citizen Solutions aims to help you move forward in your journey to obtain Canadian citizenship and a Canadian passport.

Electronic Travel Authorization System in Canada

Canada has an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) system in place for eligible foreign nationals who wish to visit Canada by air. Here is some information about the eTA for Canada:

1. Purpose

 The eTA is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. It is electronically linked to the passport and is valid for multiple visits over a period of five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.

2. Eligibility

 Citizens of countries that do not require a visa to enter Canada are generally eligible for an eTA. Some countries excluded from this list are the United States and those who hold a valid Canadian visa. It's important to check the official Government of Canada website to verify if your country of citizenship is eligible for an eTA.

3. Application Process

 The eTA application is completed online through the official Government of Canada website. Applicants are required to provide personal information, passport details, and answer some basic questions related to their travel history, criminal record (if applicable), and medical conditions.

4. Fee

 There is a processing fee associated with the eTA application, which needs to be paid online using a credit or debit card. The fee is non-refundable, even if the application is not approved.

5. Approval Time

In most cases, the eTA is granted within minutes of submitting the online application. However, it is recommended to apply well in advance of your travel plans to allow for any unforeseen delays or additional processing time.

The Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for Canada is a personal travel document that is linked to the passport of the individual applying for it. Each family member, including spouses, common-law partners, and children, must apply for their own eTA using their own passport.

When travelling to Canada, it is essential that every family member has their own approved eTA. The application process for each individual is the same, involving the provision of personal and travel information, answering questions related to health and criminal history, and paying the CAD $7 application fee.

Once approved, the eTA is electronically linked to the passport of the respective individual. It allows the holder to travel to Canada for up to six months or less for tourism, business, or transit purposes.

To ensure a smooth travel experience, it is important to ensure that the information provided on the eTA application matches the information on the passport. Any discrepancies could potentially cause issues at the border.

Remember, the eTA is a personal travel document, and each family member must have their own approved eTA to travel to Canada.

Frequently asked questions 

How does one become a Canadian citizen?

To become a Canadian citizen, an individual typically needs to meet certain requirements, including having permanent resident status in Canada, residing in Canada for a specified period of time, demonstrating knowledge of Canada's official languages (English or French), passing a citizenship test, and meeting other criteria outlined by the government. Once these requirements are met, an individual can apply for Canadian citizenship through the Citizenship by Naturalization process.

How long does it take to acquire Canadian Citizenship by Investment program?

Canada does not have a Citizenship by Investment program. Therefore, there is no specific timeframe for acquiring Canadian citizenship through investment. The process for obtaining Canadian citizenship is typically based on meeting residency requirements, language proficiency, passing the citizenship test, and fulfilling other criteria through the Citizenship by Naturalization process.

What amount does one invest to get a permanent residency in Canada?

The specific investment amount required to obtain permanent residency in Canada can vary depending on the immigration program chosen. The most common program for investors is the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), which requires a minimum investment of CAD 1.2 million. Other programs, such as the Start-up Visa program or Provincial Nominee Programs, may have different investment requirements. It's important to note that these figures are subject to change, and it is advisable to consult with immigration authorities or legal professionals for the most up-to-date information.

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