Friday, August 29, 2014

Canada's Termination of Investment Based Immigration Program to Result in Opportunity for EB-5 Investment Program in the U.S.

Canada recently terminated its’ decades-old investor program that had allowed scores of wealthy Chinese to immigrate over the years. The program allowed rich foreign investors to apply for permanent residency in Canada if they had a minimum net worth of 1.6 million Canadian dollars ($1.5 million) and invested 800,000 Canadian dollars in the form of a multi-year, interest-free loan to the government. Approximately 65,000 pending applications -- which the Canadian government estimated would have taken six years to process -- will be returned and paid fees refunded. About 70% of the backlog came from Chinese applicants.

The termination of the Canadian program has left wealthy individuals from China and other countries scrambling for investment based immigration opportunities. This has opened the doors to tremendous opportunities for the EB-5 Investment Program in the United States. The EB-5 Investment Program requires a minimum of $500,000 investment in exchange for permanent residency. With no limitations as to industry or type of project that can utilize the program, EB-5 Investment Program provides a source of “cheap” capital for entrepreneurs.

Traditionally, the EB-5 Investment Program has been utilized by the real estate developers. However, the flexibility and scope of the program makes the program an invaluable source of capital for all industries from biotech, green energy to education. Furthermore, recent changes to the program has made the EB-5 Investment Program far more attractive and easier to utilize. With traditional capital markets still at a premium, foreign investment is an attractive option for all entrepreneurs.

Shahzad Qadri

Wong Fleming | Washington 

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