Canada News Article – August 2003

If you are a business person who cannot meet the new definitions imposed by the Canadian Government but still want to immigrate to Canada, the Investor category may be the only option left for you!

You must meet several criteria and can apply either under the Federal Investor Program or via the province of Quebec and the Quebec Investor program.

For each option, you must meet several base requirements. These are:

  • Have a Net worth of CAN$ 800,000
  • Have a minimum of two years business and/or managerial experience
  • Make a passive investment of CAN$400,000.

In a nutshell, if you meet the requirements above, you can invest CAN$ 400,000 for a term of five (5) years. After this term, you receive your investment back with no interest.

Because the Investor category is structured and guaranteed by the Government, 100% of your investment will be fully reimbursed at the end of the five-year term. This Program is therefore risk-free.

If you do not wish to liquidate your assets to come up with the CAN$ 400,000 mandatory deposit, there are financing plans available. These plans offer you the possibility to limit your down payment to as little as CAN$ 120,000 (approx. £55, 000), for the Quebec Program or CAN$ 125,000 (approx. £58, 000) for the Federal Program.

The financing option allows you to meet all the requirements of the Investor category and to obtain Canadian permanent residency for you and your family.

Generally, the interest you would lose on CAN$ 400,000 over five years will be greater than CAN $ 120-125, 000, so financially speaking, the financing option is the most viable and the most popular.

If you meet the above criteria, this is an excellent option for you as your visa is unconditional. This is very different to the Entrepreneur category where you are granted a provisional visa and must meet certain thresholds before you are granted permanent residence in Canada. By choosing the investor category, you eliminate these conditions as well as the stress, worry and uncertainty that go with it.

The definition of “managerial experience” for the Quebec Program is looser than that of the federal program, so this may be the only option for those who cannot meet the federal definition. To qualify under the Quebec Program, you must have at least 3 years of full-time management experience (planning, management and control of material, financial and human resources) acquired in an industrial, commercial or agricultural business enterprise that is profitable and legal (for each of the 3 years in question).

Under the Federal Program, you must show that, for at least 2 years within the previous 5-year period, there is evidence of any 2 of the following:

  1. Percentage of equity x full-time employees is at least 2 full-time employees
  2. Percentage of equity x total annual sales is at least CAN $500,000
  3. Percentage of equity x net income is at least CAN $50,000
  4. Percentage of equity x net assets is at least CAN $125,000

OR that you have managed at least 5 full-time employees for at least 2 years within the previous 5-year period.

As an added safeguard, your investment is not required until you have either been granted your Certificat de Selection du Quebec (Quebec Selection Certificate) or your federal visa, (if you apply under the Federal program).

As per the immigration requirements, you will also have to satisfy the medical and security requirements as well as demonstrate the source and legality of your funds. You will also have to state where you in tend to live in Canada.

Dennis Brazolot is a Member in Good Standing with the Association of Immigration Counsel of CANADA (AICC) and can be contacted on +1 450 458 2186 or He travels regularly to the UK to meet with clients.

21 July 2003