Immigrant Investor initiative are created by countries to induce foreign individuals to make substantial investment to gain the right of residence and citizenship. This is also known as Business Immigration.
Targeted inbound foreign direct investments can be accomplished by these projects. Most Countries can specify which parts of the economy the foreign investments must be directed to.
For example, in the United States, the EB5 immigrant visa program is one of the most famous Immigrant Investor programs. This program requires foreign entrepreneurs to invest at least $500,000.
Furthermore, the program mandates that jobs for Americans must be created. Once the investment is made, the applicant can get a U.S. Green card for himself and his immediate family members. Only 10.000 EB-5 Visas can be granted each year, but the cap is almost never filled.
After 5 years of lawful permanent residency, it is also possible to apply for U.S. Citizenship. It is important to note that U.S. law does not prohibit Dual Citizenship.
In Canada, there is one of the most famous and sought after business investor programs. Quebec, the second province in Canada by population, run its own VIP Immigrant Investor Program.
Its requirements have been the same since its creation, and it has become one of the most affordable ones. As of June 26, 2010, the requirements for the program were heightened and the program was suspended while the new changes became effective. The new updated program was reopened on December 1, 2010.
Nowadays, the program is severely backlogged, with an estimate wait time of 12 years.
Some applicants will consider other alternatives, such as other investment programs, while other will simply wait for the backlog to clear. Some experts are predicting a swing away from Canada to other destination countries. It will depend on the awareness of foreign entrepreneurs of other investor immigration programs.
To qualify for this program, an investor must have at least two years of business investment experience, have minimum net worth of CAD$1,600,000; and make a cumulative investment of at least CAD$800,000. Finally, the applicant must meet strict health and security requirements.
Created by the federal government to promote business immigration, the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program (CANIIP) enables qualified investors to obtain permanent resident status (Canadian Green Card). Under this investor program, qualified applicants and their immediate family members will receive permanent and unconditional Canadian residential visas, and will be able to apply for Canadian citizenship after a certain number of years of residency in the country.
Other similar programs exist in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria and other countries of the European Union. St. Kitts and Nevis offers a very attractive economic citizenship program that foreign investors can join with a qualified real estate purchase or investment into the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation.