An Argument for a New Canadian Investor-Class Immigration Program

As we enter year 2 of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we’ve become painfully aware of the economic impact that 2020 alone has had on Canada which is projected to continue into 2021 as well. With tens of thousands of businesses closing their doors for good and trillions of dollars being poured into economic relief and COVID health and safety measures, economic recovery will be at the forefront of what post-COVID Canada will look like. As early as August 2020, talks of big economic recovery plans sparked but as the pandemic looms at least until 2022, it’s time to think bigger and more creatively.

Ultimately, Canada has a cash flow problem that just isn’t going away. So, the question is, how do we access global cash flow with countless countries across the world vying for the same thing? What is Canada’s competitive edge?

The answer is crystal clear: immigration – Canada’s secret economic magnet.

The Success of the US EB-5 Program is a Lesson for Canada

Immigration has long been a driver of economic growth with several economic programs existing specifically for this purpose. With border closures and subsequently reduced immigration, this economic growth has been significantly jeopardized. It won’t be enough to simply resume regular immigration practices if we want to climb out of this recession. Now is the time to think more innovatively and proactively. Canada sorely lacks any meaningful investment-based immigration programs. This gap in the system costs Canada billions of dollars in lost opportunities and capital annually.

Put simply, Canada needs a federal investment-based visa program like the United States’ EB-5 Visa Program to truly recover economically in a post-COVID future.

The US EB-Visa Program was introduced in 1990 as an investment-based immigration program that offered immigrants and their immediate family members permanent residence in exchange for a substantial investment in domestic businesses and the creation of at least 10 permanent full-time jobs. Building on this, Congress later introduced the Regional Centre program in 1992 to further direct economic stimulus and development beyond major urban hubs and focus on underdeveloped or harder economically hit areas of the country. Each year, the US Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) makes 10,000 EB-5 Visas available to prospective investors and carefully selects successful applicants to come to the US on conditional permanent residence visas.

However, the EB-5 program did not gain popularity in the US until the “Great Recession” in 2008 when it became a source of low-cost (almost free) capital with a high return.

This program has been widely successful in the US, with over $11 billion in capital investment generated between 2014 – 2015 in the Regional Centre program alone. This program doesn’t just provide a quick, one-time cash injection either, that $11 billion turned to nearly $34 billion in investments and related expenses, and 207,000 American jobs sustained, accounting for 4% of total job growth in the US private sector in those 2 years. What’s more, the $2.7 billion federal tax revenue contributed by the Program was equivalent to 634% of the total amount of funds that the federal government allocated for economic development programs through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) between 2014 and 2015, all at no cost to the American taxpayer.

The program has worked so well in fact that there is a backlog of applications worldwide for the EB-5 Visa.

To be eligible, prospective investors must make an “at-risk” capital investment in a for-profit American business. At a minimum, prospects must be prepared to invest either $900,000 in a regional program project or $1.8 million through the regular stream.

EB-5 Investor applicants are put through a rigorous application process to verify their capacity to invest and the sources of their funds. This detailed 2-year petition process works to ensure that only clean money is invested. Once this petition is approved, they become eligible to apply for a conditional 2-year Permanent Resident Visa to begin investing and sustaining the economic and employment conditions they commit to. During this conditional period, they are free to live and travel anywhere in the US provided they maintain their economic commitments to the for-profit business they chose. 

At the end of this conditional period, their investments are evaluated and if they have fulfilled the program’s requirements – namely to invest the amount they have committed to and to create and fill at least 10 permanent full-time jobs – they are granted a permanent green card. 

Canada is no stranger to investment-based immigration programs, like our very own Treaty Investor Program, we just haven’t explored their full potential. The US has already established a highly successful model that we can modify to meet Canada’s specific needs. 

The Canadian Investor-Class Permanent Residence Program can be developed to target areas that have been hardest hit by COVID-19’s forced unemployment and economic recession, and more broadly, areas that generally have higher unemployment rates and lower levels of immigration. Further, unlike the EB-5 Visa, this model can require investors to live and remain within the provinces they invest in at least until they receive unconditional permanent resident status to ensure continued economic stimulus and investment within the region. The Canadian model may even go as far as to assign projects to investors based on their professional experiences and available investment funds.

COVID-19 has presented an opportunity for greater, long-term economic investment. Where this immigration program may be developed to combat the economic effects of a global pandemic, it can grow to become Canada’s security against economic instability or a route towards more rapid scale development of underserved areas. The possibilities are endless.

How the Process Should Work in the New Investor-Class Immigration Program?

Ultimately, a Canadian model would have to engage in 4 phases:

  1. Selecting specific target areas that need to be developed on a provincial basis. This level of data collection already exists and is already being compiled to prepare for post-COVID recovery.
  2. Selecting specific businesses or industries in need of investment. In addition to federal and provincial industry assessments, businesses can apply to become eligible for-profit companies or projects to be matched up with a foreign investor.
  3. In-depth financial evaluations and selection criteria to verify prospective investors’ sources and accessibility of investment funds. All available Canadian business immigration programs require a financial evaluation to assess the feasibility of foreign investment. Programs like the LMIA programs go as far as to defer to the expert assessment of the ESDC, a practice that can be similarly adopted by the new Investor-Class Immigration Program.
  4. After the conditional PR period, investors and their businesses must be evaluated to ensure that they have complied with all the conditions of their particular investment program and their immigration program more broadly. This is par for the course for any immigration status extension or renewal and would be based upon specific criteria provided to investors when they receive their conditional status and evaluated based on the evidence they can provide to support their compliance.

These mechanisms all exist and are currently in use across different programs, departments and ministries on both provincial and federal levels. Bringing them together to formulate an economically advantageous Investor-Class immigration program is the most obvious solution.

Canada’s on the cusp of a perfect storm. We are in a recession; unemployment is the highest it’s been since the 1970s and there is clear and consistent global interest in an investor visa of this kind. All that’s left to do is act fast. A Canadian Investor-Class Permanent Residence program is not only promising but also within our grasp.

Frankly, Canada cannot afford to return to the status quo, we need an option like the US EB-5 Visa. Read our continuation, here.

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.

Talk to a Lawyer

tried and tested

Our Clients Say…

Lucia Lu
Lucia Lu
I cannot say enough good things about Sobirovs Law Firm’s exceptional team. My work permit application was quite complex and underwent numerous tests, including a rejection from the first attempt. Feruza developed a tailored strategy that contributed to the best chance of success in the resubmission, and her entire team presented my case with unparalleled expertise and genuine care. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Maggie, a phenomenal consultant who supported me in every step of the application, took the time to understand my unique situation and answered all my questions patiently. Her in-depth knowledge of the work permit program, proficiency in preparing my application and professional communication were reassuring and truly remarkable. Thanks to your team’s extraordinary work, I can now pursue my business goals in Canada with peace of mind. I am grateful for your hard work and the compassionate support you provided throughout this journey. You have my highest recommendation without any reservations.
Nomin Dunburee
Nomin Dunburee
I had the pleasure of collaborating with the highly skilled professionals at Sobirovs to achieve my goals. Feruza's extensive expertise was invaluable, as she guided me through the most suitable pathway for my business immigration. I am profoundly grateful for choosing Sobirovs and highly recommend their exceptional services!
Bimal Banik
Bimal Banik
I really appreciate Sovirovs professional services ,I am truly happy and satisfied with their team work .I wish them all the best
Amirov Temur
Amirov Temur
I am happy with the help I got from Sobirov Law Firm. They were always there for me : answering my questions and giving me support through the visa application process and with general immigration related questions. They made everything easier and were quick to respond whenever I needed them. I would recommend Sobirov Law Firm to anyone needing visa assistance for Canada. I trusted them, and did not regret! Thanks for all your help! I hope for further cooperation with you.
Yuri l
Yuri l
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Ms. Feruza Djamalova, Ms. Judy Le and the entire team of Sobirovs Law Firm for their highly professional and excellent work in the complicated process of obtaining approval of our application for the business immigration program. I had several previous refusals over the course of 5 years. At that point, I contacted Sobirovs Law Firm. Their knowledge, competence, and perseverance turned my application into a success! My case was dealt by Feruza and Judy and I sincerely appreciate what an incredible job they have done and how much they have helped us. I believe they have a special gift and talent for assisting their clients. I want to particularly thank Judy for her patience and attention to detail in our case and also for thanks to her diligence, skill and attention to detail. I highly recommend Sobirovs Law Firm to anyone who wants to move to Canada using Business Immigration Programs and is looking for an immigration law firm capable of making a dream come true. They are highly professional and specialized in this field. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for their support.
Syed Namdaar Ali
Syed Namdaar Ali
My experience with Sobirov's was very rewarding. Starting from LMIA to Work permit it was a smooth sail. The entire team especially Yulia prepared my case painstakingly. They guided me on every little detail. Special thanks to Feroza, Farukh, Madina and the entire team for making this happen.
Bhrushank Ved
Bhrushank Ved
I had an amazing experience with the Sobirovs in applying for my C11 Work Permit. Feruza, Maggie, Judy and Yulia planned every step of the way and made the process a breeze. Benjamin was also quite knowledgeable and assisted me with the business plan for my application. I recommend Sobirovs team if you plan to expand your existing business or start a new business in Canada. Highly recommended!
Senol Ercetin
Senol Ercetin
Dear Sobirovs Team, I would like to thank you (Yulia, Faruk, Feruza, Madina) for taking care of us closely in obtaining the necessary work permits for the establishment of the Canadian branch of our company and the necessary visas for our family. You have carried out a flawless process. With sincere regards
Rakesh Shrivastava
Rakesh Shrivastava
I had a great experience working with the Sobirov Law Firm. The entire team was professional, prompt, and meticulous in their approach. We started working with them on LMIA under GTS of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The time it took from creation of an Incorporation to submission and approval of our application was around 8 weeks. Work Permit approval took another 2 weeks. They also helped us get shared office space since it was a new experience for us. They guided us in finding a payroll service provider and a realtor to help with the relocation of the foreign employee. My sincere thanks to Feruza Djamalova and Rakhmad Sobirov (Attorneys), and Yulia Kan (Team Lead).

insights

Our Lastest Insights

We publish helpful tips about Canadian immigration programs and are happy to share our knowledge with you.
From Work Permit to Permanent Residency as an Entrepreneur Cover Photo July 12, 2024

From Work Permit to Permanent Residency as an Entrepreneur

Congratulations on securing your work permit through Sobirovs Law Firm! This was a huge milestone in business immigration, and we did it together! Your team...
LMIA Recruitment and Advertising Requirement Cover Photo July 12, 2024

How to Pass LMIA Recruitment and Advertising Requirement: Step-by-Step Guide

To save you time and effort, we are sharing our expertise on how to run a successful recruitment and advertising period in alignment with your...
uOttawa and Sobirovs Law Firm entrance scholarship July 4, 2024

Sobirovs Law Firm Establishes Entrance Scholarship for uOttawa Law School Students

Sobirovs Law Firm is excited to introduce the Sobirovs Law Firm Entrance Scholarship. This scholarship is meant to support international graduate students from Central Asia...

Sign Up to be

First on Immigration News

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.