There are currently many different investment immigration programs offered by countries around the world, all of which offer their own unique benefits. Two popular programs are the EB-5 Visa Program in the United States and the Quebec Investment Immigration Program (QIIP) offered in Canada. The following comparison provides an in-depth look at the parameters of the two largest investor immigration programs in North America.

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Minimum Investment Amount

For the U.S. EB-5 Program, the minimum capital investment amount is USD 500,000 for an investment into a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which is a rural area or area of high unemployment. For all other investments, a minimum of USD 1,000,000 is required. However, it is anticipated that these minimum investment amounts may increase in the near future. Applicants to the QIIP must agree to invest CAD 800,000 risk free, which will be returned after 5 years. This investment is fully guaranteed by the Quebec government.

Minimum Net Worth

While there is no minimum net worth requirement for the EB-5 program, QIIP applicants must demonstrate net worth of at least CAD 1.6 million obtained through lawful means, either alone or together with their accompanying spouse/partner. Net worth includes assets such as property, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, investments, and pension funds, among others.

Type of Investment

EB-5 investors must make an at-risk investment into a new commercial enterprise, meaning any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business; this does not include non-commercial activity such as ownership of a private residence. On the contrary, investments under the QIIP are risk free and guaranteed by the Quebec government. The minimum investment amount will either be returned in full after 5 years or can be financed by a Canadian financial institution.

Job Creation Requirement

As mentioned above, there is no job creation requirement for the QIIP. However, each EB-5 investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of the investor’s admission to the U.S. as a Conditional Permanent Resident. This can be either direct job creation for 10 identifiable W-2 employees at the commercial enterprise where the investor directly made his capital investment, or it can be indirect job creation, in which jobs are shown to be created collaterally or due to investor’s capital investment into a commercial enterprise affiliated with a regional center.

As one of the largest law firms with offices located around the globe, Greenberg Traurig is equipped with an extensive network of attorneys, uniquely positioning us to enable seamless investment immigration, regardless of which country’s program you ultimately choose.