Why Canada Needs to (Re-)Start an EB-5 type Immigration Program in 2021

A Business Immigration Lawyer’s Take

The US established the EB-5 visa program in 1990 to facilitate increased investment in its economy.

The investment under the EB-5 program can lead to a green card for the investor to permanently live and work in the US with their dependent family members. Later, the investor and his/her family may also become eligible and apply to become US citizens.

An Accompaniment To This Article

The EB-5 program requires investors to invest in a domestic commercial enterprise a significant amount of legally obtained (and not borrowed) money and create at least 10 permanent full-time jobs in the US.

In short, the EB-5 program has brought in billions of dollars to the US economy, created hundreds of thousands of new jobs and brought in a flow of immigrants to the US since its inception.

As Canada is battling to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and spending billions of dollars, it must seriously consider attracting qualified investors who are willing and able to invest. Foreign investment will help us to rebuild the Canadian economy better and in a more sustainable way.

Looking at the success of the US EB-5 program, It’s time for Canada to create its own new and long-overdue investment immigration program.

What Should the New Canadian Investment Immigration Program Look Like?

Before delving into this question, let’s focus on what Canada wants to achieve overall through its various immigration programs.

On a very high level, by running immigration programs on federal, provincial and regional levels, Canada wants to achieve the following 3 main goals:

  • A continuous increase of the younger population that works, pays taxes and contributes to a large fund that is used for many purposes, including providing adequate retirement income and services for its retiring population.
    It’s very important and simple. We have one of the highest average life expectancies in the world. We have one of the lowest and declining fertility rates in the world. Canada is in great need of more young, working and income-earning taxpayers.
    This goal is partially achieved by attracting foreigners to come to Canada temporarily or permanently through various immigration programs. A glance at Canada’s permanent immigration programs tells us that Canada wants working-age, skilled and educated permanent residents and pays much attention to this category of immigrants.
    The graphs at the end of this article give a snapshot of these issues.
  • Creating more new jobs and preserving existing jobs have been the focus of any level of the Canadian government. Small and medium business owners want to retire and sell their businesses to new owners; otherwise, the businesses will close down and jobs will be lost. Various levels of government are trying to launch big infrastructure projects and, thus, create new jobs.
    However, currently, Canada does not have a “passive” investment immigration program that would allow it to raise free money to finance such projects.
  • Attracting and retaining the best talent from around the world is a priority of several Canadian federal and provincial immigration programs. The availability of good-paying jobs, affordable university tuitions and prospects of straight-forward immigration can help attract talent from many countries. Having attracted such talent, the other challenge is to keep them in Canada and not lose them to the US.
    So far, Canada was successful in attracting such talent, but once the “hunt for talent” is back after COVID-19, we must do our best to retain the talent in Canada. Again, the infrastructure projects will come in handy to accomplish this task.

Keeping all these goals in mind, can a new “passive” investment immigration program help Canada achieve them? I believe that it can and here’s how.

The Main Features of The New Passive Investment Immigration Program

Although very successful, the US EB-5 visa program had its pluses and minuses. Canada has to take the best features of the EB-5 program and avoid its worst features such as discrimination based on the citizenship of the applicant and per country limitations on the number of EB-5 visas.

The table below will outline the main 11 features of the desired investment immigration program and provides why certain features are important.

#Key FeaturesWhy
1.No requirement to show the net worth of the investor. If the investor is financially able to set aside and invest the required amount, then there’s no problem.Asking the investor to show they have a net worth higher than the actual investment amount is not necessary. Maybe the investor wants to put all his/her money into this immigration program. The absence of such requirements will widen the pool of eligible candidates.
2.No requirement of "active involvement in managing a business" in Canada. Just invest the required money and get a conditional 2-year work permit that can lead to permanent residence, if all conditions are fulfilled.Those who are willing and able to invest large amounts of money should have the liberty not to be involved in the day-to-day of the business.
3.Process all those who have met the necessary investment amount and encourage more-than-minimum investment by adding more points to those candidates who can invest more.This encouragement mechanism will result in more investment from those who want to become permanent residents faster, i.e. in less than 2 years.
4.No caps based on the citizenship of the applicant.
More than being un-Canadian, discriminating based on the citizenship of the applicant is not effective, because the applicants can “purchase” the passport of an island country and apply as its citizen. In turn, this means that a part of the available capital flows to that island country and not to Canada.
5.The investor immigration program becomes a new category - “Investor Immigration Class” - under the existing point-based Express Entry program.As the qualifications and investment of the applicant can add more points and, thus, bring him/her closer to the Canadian permanent residence, running the new program under the Express Entry program makes sense.
6.The applicant and his/her immediate family can act as a team to collect necessary points faster.

Getting more points for:
- advanced language skills
- applicant’s and family member’s Canadian education and working experience
- time/each day spent in Canada
- creating or purchasing a new business which creates more jobs other than the jobs created under the new immigration programs
- doing so in rural and small cities would give even more points
- paying taxes based on higher declared income
- an extraordinary contribution to Canada (a separate application and assessment is required).
All these “encouragement points” will allow the investor immigrants to invest more and commit more to Canada, and become permanent residents faster than others.

These points may encourage (not force) the applicants to adopt a more active approach to their immigration.
7.Processing speed compatible with the Express Entry program. All applications must be processed and finalized within 6 months after the application. A dedicated office with the Canadian immigration authorities may be created.Faster processing time means more applicants for this new program.
8.Options to leave the invested money in the relevant project for more than 2 years and turning the investor applicant into a shareholder in the project using the Public-Private-Partnership models. Additional bonus points may be considered for those applicants who subscribe to become the shareholders at the end of the 2 years and fulfil all requirements of the investor immigration program. The investor/shareholder can sell the shares if he/she wishes later on.This would encourage continuous support to the Canadian projects after the applicant obtains permanent residency in Canada. It will also increase the applicant’s sense of belonging to Canada and sense of ownership of Canadian projects/companies.
9.The program has one federally-approved organization and one provincially-approved organization in each province that will receive and administer the investment money given by the applicants. Government-approved projects are preferred to those administered privately. That was the case with the EB-5 Regional Centres when compared to independent projects.
10.Because Canadian government bodies (federal & provincial) will be receiving the investment and administering the projects, the applicants need not worry about the eligibility of the project under this new investor immigration program.Such a unified approach will give significant peace of mind for the applicants.
11.The minimum investment amount should be less than what’s required under the US EB-5 program and should be one single amount regardless of the actual location of the project. The task to invest the received funds in the right locations across Canada should be for the Canadian authorities to complete.Such an approach will be more equitable for foreign applicants who don’t know much about Canadian needs. Also, as noted above, if the applicant invests more in other locations (on top of his/her initial investment), then the applicant can collect more points.

So, How Can A New Investor Immigration Program Help?

In the post-COVID-19 world, Canada needs to be more realistic. There are many needs that Canada could address by attracting the right investor immigrants and their families. Many potential investors are willing and able to invest their money in exchange for the opportunity to live in Canada.

A new investor immigration program that is significantly improved than the US EB-5 visa program can bring that necessary boost to reignite Canada’s economy and demographics once we successfully tackle the COVID-19 problem.

Additional Graphs

average life expectancy in north america graph

canada population graph

 

canada fertility rate graph

 

canada immigration population graph

 

Bringing You, Your Tech Talent & Your Business To Canada

Get started and make your first step towards Canada. Book your 1-hour strategy meeting with a licensed Canadian immigration lawyer.

Immigration to Canada can be very complicated for businesses, business owners, and foreign employees. Hiring business immigration lawyers with the skill, experience, and patience is often crucial to successfully navigating this complex process. The experienced professionals at Sobirovs Law Firm offer tailored legal services in all business and corporate immigration matters. Contact us for more information on how we can help you meet your immigration needs.

We have worked with & represented clients from all walks of life. Always just one call – or click – away, weʼre happy to help you begin your & your familyʼs journey to Canada.

Book 1-Hour Strategy Meeting

tried and tested

Our Clients Say…

Yemi Okunbor
Yemi Okunbor
From the initial consultation to the successful acquisition of my permanent resident card, the entire process was seamless and stress free.A big thank you to the entire Sobirovs team, especially Yulia, and Farouk. They demonstrated exceptional expertise and professionalism throughout, guiding me with precision and clarity. Their commitment to providing personalized and thorough assistance made a significant impact on my overall experience. Thank you, Sobirovs law firm for your exceptional service and for making my journey to permanent residency a smooth and gratifying experience.
Kenneth Leong
Kenneth Leong
I must say that SOBIROVS has an excellent team to guide us to getting our work permits approved. I want to personally thank Feruza, Judy, Owen and Medina in getting us "pass the gates". Not to mention the entire team that is behind the scene. My family and I are deeply grateful for their excellent work and professional advice. A special thanks to Ms Judy for her untiring dedication to making this opportunity a reality for my family and I. We have full confidence in Feruza and her team and I will continue to use their services for the next step of our application for PR status later on.
Siarhei Vasilyeu
Siarhei Vasilyeu
My family (5) have chosen Sobirovs for our ICT visa application, and now we confidently recommend them! Right from the start you will be assigned a special team within their firm who will be busy with your plans, needs and documents. The process is organized very efficiently, what is crucial when you run your own business on your side. Once the documents submitted to IRCC, the pre-submission team entrust your case to post-submission group, who monitor the progress and keep you constantly updated what's going on with the case. As a result, our ICT application was approved in just several weeks from submission, just wooow. Thank you and thumbs up for Monique, Mariam, Owen, Madina, and Ms. Feruza who was our lead lawyer. Sobirovs is your smart choice, they know how to do the rest.
Muzammil Habib
Muzammil Habib
I would like to thanks Sobirovs Law Firm team especially Monique, Mariiam Jamal, Owen and Ms. Feroza. They done a great job and help me to get ICT work permit. Their team work was excllent and they worked professionally. Here I would like to present my special thanks for Monique who communicated with me nicely. She respond me quickly whatever I have questions in my mind. She is so nice I like her working style. In the end I can say that all of them are really professional. Thanks for all this. Hope to see you soon.
Rahul C
Rahul C
Exceptional service of the utmost quality and professionalism. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the entire team, with special acknowledgments to Nity, Judy, Feruza, Owen, and Medina, for their invaluable assistance in securing the approval of my application. I am sincerely appreciative of the outstanding service and unwavering support provided. This is by far the best immigration law firms in Canada who work with complete transparency.
Ulugbek Holmatov
Ulugbek Holmatov
Great job 👏👏👏👏 Great leader, Rakhmad Sobirov for his leadership skills and great managers: Feruza, Monique, Mariam, Owen, Madina for their respective professionalism 👌👌👌 Well organized and professional law team for Canadian immigration. I really enjoyed with my Canadian business visa process. I really appreciate Sobirovs Law firm for their great service and experience. P.S.: This law firm was selected by Our company among top 5 law firms for Canadian business immigration process Great successes🎉
Thomas Bulmer
Thomas Bulmer
Mariam, Monique and the team have been great to work with. Sobirov's has helped a number of our team members identify, apply for and get granted the necessary visas for us to set up our Canadian enterprise. Recommend.
Jason Tsarouhas
Jason Tsarouhas
Mariam and her team have helped us migrate our entire workforce from Australia to Canada. We couldn't have been more prepared by the time we made it to the border. The team were accessible, informative and detail orientated which is exactly what you want when you have stresses of moving your company and life to the other side of the world! A HUGE thank you to the team for their efforts so far and future work we'll be doing together! Jason, Learning Online!
Victor Arakaki
Victor Arakaki
We're incredibly grateful for the fantastic work done by the entire Sobirovs team!. While our work permit application had its share of challenges, Feruza, an outstanding lawyer with extensive expertise in business immigration, played a pivotal role. Her leadership and guidance were so important in getting our Work Permits approval. We must also acknowledge the exceptional contributions of Judy Lee, Nitty, Monique, Rachel and the rest of the team who supported us on this journey. It's clear that we'll continue to entrust Feruza and her team with any of our future legal needs. We have full confidence in Feruza and her team and highly recommend their services.
Hardik Vyas
Hardik Vyas
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I cannot express enough how impressed and satisfied I am with Sobirovs Law Firm's immigration services. Their professionalism and extensive knowledge in the field of immigration are truly outstanding. We recently applied for an ICT (Intra-Company Transfer) application, and to our amazement, we received a decision within just two months from the date of application. This prompt and efficient service reflects the exceptional quality of Sobirovs' work. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Feruza, Mariam, Monique, Owen, and the entire post-submission team who guided us through every step of the application process. Their dedication, expertise, and willingness to assist were invaluable throughout the entire journey. We are now filled with excitement as we embark on our new journey, thanks to Sobirovs Law Firm's assistance. Without a doubt, we will be relying on their services for all our future matters related to permanent residency or immigration services. I wholeheartedly recommend Sobirovs Law Firm to anyone seeking top-notch immigration assistance. Their commitment to their clients and their ability to deliver results is truly commendable. Thank you, Sobirovs, for making our dreams a reality!

insights

Our Lastest Insights

We publish helpful tips about Canadian immigration programs and are happy to share our knowledge with you.
Best Cities in Canada for Business, Startups and Entrepreneurs in 2024 Cover Photo February 25, 2024

Best Cities in Canada for Business, Startups and Entrepreneurs in 2024

In the ever-evolving tapestry of global business, Canada emerges as a centre of entrepreneurial spirit and innovation. As we will soon embrace 2024, the country’s...
Success Story of an Indian Business Owner Permanent Residence in Only 4 Months Cover Photo February 22, 2024

Success Story of an Indian Business Owner: Permanent Residence in Only 4 Months

If you are a foreign entrepreneur in Canada, you could qualify for permanent residency with just 12 months of self-employed experience. Discover the inspiring journey...
February 10, 2024

Case Study: Approved Permanent Residence for C11-Entrepreneur from Pakistan

If you are currently working in Canada as a self-employed business owner, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence after accumulating 12 months...