The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) of Quebec in Canada and the EB-5 investor immigration program of the US are two of the world’s most popular investor immigration programs. While Quebec Immigrant Investor Program is a major pathway to Canada permanent residency for high net worth individuals, EB-5 program of the US attracts wealthy immigrants looking for a better life in the new country. Though the final outcome of both the programs is permanent residence in return for investment, Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) has a number of advantages over the EB-5 investor immigration program of the US. They include:
Under QIIP, the investor has to make an investment of CAD $800,000. After five years, this initial amount is returned without interest. This passive investment is guaranteed by Quebec government and hence, it is risk-free.
Under EB-5 program of the US, the investor has to make an investment of USD $500,000 or USD $1 million in a job-creating project. He/she has to pay $500,000 for investing in a Targeted Employment Area with high unemployment. In other projects, he/she has to pay $1 million.
While QIIP offers the investors an option to finance their investment, EB-5 does not offer financing option to the investors. Canadian financial institutions will pay the province of Quebec $800,000 in the name of the investor for a one-time fee of $220,000. The financing option makes QIIP one of the cheapest ways to obtain Tier 1 residence.
Once the application of a candidate is accepted under QIIP, a Quebec Certificate of Selection is awarded, using which he/she can apply for permanent residence in Canada. But EB-5 program offers conditional permanent residency or a US green card to successful applicants.
Compared to EB-5, QIIP offers risk-free investment. Investment under QIIP is passive and the Quebec government guarantees that the amount will be returned after five years. But EB-5 investment involves risk as the investor has to make the investment in a new for-profit business or in an area of high unemployment. Further, investment under EB-5 is for a term of around five years, which will be returned to the investor after that period. There is no guarantee for money and there is a chance that the investor could lose some or all of their investment, though the chances are very rare.
As investment under QIIP is passive, there is no requirement for job creation. But EB-5 scheme has a condition that the investment must create at least 10 jobs for American workers within two years after the investor arrives in the US. The duration of the conditional visa is also two years, which explains the significant risk involved in the EB-5 investment.
EB-5 program is fraught with issues including fraud, manipulation of the Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) and a huge backlog of applications. In this regard, Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) is a stable investment option.
Moreover, Quebec is likely to maintain the QIIP investment threshold at CAD$800,000. But in the case of EB-5, a few proposals have been tabled in the US Congress to increase the investment threshold to US$800,000.
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