A GUIDE TO RESIDENCY BY INVESTMENT

As a privileged opportunity for enthusiastic entrepreneurs, professionals, investors, and HNWIs based across the world, Residency by Investment casts a hassle-free simple path for obtaining the residency and ultimately citizenship of the world’s most developed countries like the U.S. and Canada. Due to several pervasive economical, environmental, political, cultural, and social reasons, migration has been a putative practice across the globe since ancient times. Demographic pressures and the impact of climate change on vulnerable societies have further encouraged the people across the globe to opt for the course of migration. In this respect, Residency by investment is a unique and opportune solution as it promotes multifold objectives. Generally, the Residency by investment process is mechanized to attract foreign investments in order to bolster the domestic economy of the nation, and in return for this investment, the Residency status is legally bestowed to the investors and their families along with special entitlements and benefits. It is a mutually beneficial scheme adopted by some of the world’s most advanced countries for their holistic growth and development. On one hand, this allows the investors to enjoy the special privileges and benefits provided by the country for the overall betterment and security of its residents and/or citizens, and on the other hand, the huge inflows of foreign capital as a result of these investments benefit host countries significantly. In addition to direct financial benefits, such foreign investments play an imperative role in benefiting the economy far beyond the impact of the initial investment. Such a Residency by investment programs significantly supports the country in meeting its job creation goals for its own native-born people. Benefits of Residency by Investment for investors: Residency/ citizenship of economically and politically stable nations have enabled individuals and families to secure the highest levels of life satisfaction, financial security, personal safety, and health. A wealth of natural resources, aerospace, IT, tourism, real estate, hospitality, infrastructure, and automobile manufacturing industries in these multi-cultural developed nations like the U.S. and Canada provide an abundance of business, investment, and employment opportunities to investors/ prospective immigrants. Although there is an extensive list of benefits attached to Permanent Residency in any of these developed countries, most of these privileges and benefits are based on principles of universal human rights. These privileges and benefits are common in nature to almost all these developed countries like easy accessibility to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities (jobs and business). There are several pull factors manifesting the benefits of migrating to one of the developed nations like the U.S and Canada. Such factors are driven by several inline motivations like career objective, aspiration, goal, abundance in the food supply, a better environment, social and economic security, more freedom, etc. Some of these factors are briefly discussed below: Security: Residency or citizenship status in a developed nation like the U.S. and Canada can provide social and financial stability and security especially for the investors who face some of the below scenarios in their native countries:
  • lack of infrastructure
  • lack of job opportunities
  • low standard of living
  • economic downturns
  • natural calamities like cyclones, floods, earthquakes, etc.
  • war or political unrest
  • discrimination and bigotry
Economic opportunities: It opens a gateway to the new lucrative markets which are far more developed and cash-rich. It significantly increases economic opportunities in terms of job-oriented career prospects for the professionals on one hand and business success and higher returns for the entrepreneurs on the other hand. Mobility: It eases the mobility status, as the acquired residency/ citizenship status of such developed nations enables the investors to travel freely to and within the country. Also, once citizenship is acquired ultimately, the second passport can entitle the investors to visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to hundreds of foreign countries. Standard of living: Residents/ citizens of the developed nations like the U.S. and Canada enjoy a very high standard of living due to the strength of their economies. These countries deliver superior quality of life relative to most of the other countries and rank above the average in housing, subjective well-being, personal security, health status, social connections, environmental quality, jobs and earnings, work-life balance, education and skills, civic engagement, income and wealth, thus, improving the overall standard of living. Glimpse of North America’s most popular Residency by Investment programs:  U.S. EB-5 Visa Program: The Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) visa category is a government residency program intended to encourage the flow of capital into the U.S. economy and to promote the employment of workers in the United States. Foreign nationals and their families are eligible to become permanent residents of the United States in exchange for investing in a business that creates jobs for U.S. workers.
Country  U.S.
Name of ProgramEB-5 Immigrant Investor Program  
Investment type  Approved EB-5 Project
Investment Amount$900,000 USD  
Spouse  Yes
ChildrenYes (under 21 years of age)  
ParentsNo (can be sponsored after citizenship)  
Processing Time18 to 24 months (Average)  
Physical Residency RequirementsLand once in every 6 years to maintain permanent residency Live 2.5 out of 5 years for citizenship  
Length of status receivedNon-expiring green card/ permanent residency  
Permanent residencyImmediately direct Green Card/ Permanent Residency  
CitizenshipAfter 5 years of Permanent Residency  
Benefits ·       Visa-Free Travel to the United States and Canada ·       Freedom to live and/or work in the United States while keeping another residence (if desired) in another country ·       Freedom to not live/stay in the United States as minimum stay requirements are landing once in every 6 months as per the regulations of the US Customs and Border Patrol ·       Children have the right to attend free public education ·       College-aged children have the rights to scholarships, grants, and domestic tuition rates in public post-secondary institutions ·       Option to acquire United States Citizenship and Passport after 5 years of holding the green card if 2.5 out of 5 years have been spent in the United States ·       Benefits extended to the investor’s family, including the spouse or partner, and all children under the age of 21.
U.S. E-2 Visa Program: The E-2 Investor visa category is a government residency program mechanized to attract foreign investments in order to bolster the domestic economy and to promote the employment of workers in the United States. To accomplish these goals, the United States government has allowed the citizens of the countries which have a Treaty of Trade and Commerce with the United States to enter and work inside the United States based on a substantial investment made into a bona fide enterprise.
Country  U.S.  
Name of Program  E-2 Investor Program  
Investment type    Business
Investment Amount  Minimum USD $150,000 (Recommended)  
Spouse    Yes
Children  Yes (under 21 years of age)  
Parents  No  
Processing Time  60 to 120 Days  
Physical Residency Requirements  Must be physically present in the United States  
Length of status received  2 to 5 years of renewable  
Permanent residency  Does not lead to permanent residency
Citizenship  Does not lead to citizenship  
Specific Program Requirements·        Business Plans and viability reports ·        Must invest and work in a business in the U. S  
Nationality DisqualificationsOnly available to nationals of Treaty countries  
Benefits·        Can be obtained quickly ·        Spouse can work anywhere ·        Hassle-free travel for the entire family ·        No exact investment requirements ·        Can avoid taxation on worldwide income ·        Children may be able to attend U.S. schools ·        Can be obtained for 5 years, renewable indefinitely
U.S. L-1 Visa Program: The L-1 visa category is a government program intended to be used for the transfer of management and executive skills to the United States from foreign companies abroad. This augments new business ventures in the U.S., the movement of foreign-based companies into the U.S., and therefore employment of workers in the United States. To accomplish these goals, the United States government allows for foreign company owners to start, purchase, or invest in a U.S.-based company and therefore transfer themselves as the management level executive who will be able to operate the company in the United States. Typically, L-1 visa holders will also be eligible for an EB1-C and can apply for that after a year on L-1 status. In some instances, the EB1-C can be applied directly after the L-1 (dependent on if the business has been already operating for more than a year and there are 25+ employees on payroll). The EB1-C is the application process that leads to the green card.
Country  U.S.  
Name of Program  L-1 Visa Program  
Investment type    Business
Investment Amount  Minimum USD $250,000  
Spouse    Yes
Children  Yes (under 21 years of age)  
Parents  No  
Processing Time30 to 90 Days  
Physical Residency Requirements  Must be physically present in the United States  
Length of status received1- or 2-Years subject to extension  
Permanent residencyEligible after 1 to 3 years on L-1 Visa
CitizenshipAfter 5 years on permanent residency  
Specific Program Requirements·        Detailed business plans and viability reports ·        Prove one year of managerial experience in prior three years ·        U.S based business owned by foreign business  
Nationality Disqualifications  No  
Benefits·        Short Processing Times (sometimes less than 3 months) ·        Spouse receives a dependent visa with the ability to work ·        Children under 21 receive dependent visas and can attend school ·        Visa-free travel in and out of the U.S. ·        Can obtain a green card through EB-1C later
CANADA PROVINCIAL ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMS: The entrepreneur programs are administered by individual provinces. These programs are designed to support individuals from outside of Canada who are looking to implement a new business idea or buy an existing business in the Province of their choice in Canada. The entrepreneur programs offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to invest in their business and get nominated for permanent residency once their business has been successfully established in the selected Province.
Country  Canada
Name of ProgramCanada Provincial Entrepreneur Program  
Investment type  Business venture
Investment AmountCND $150,000 to $600,000 (Varies by Province)  
Spouse  Yes
ChildrenYes (under 22 years of age)  
ParentsNo (can be sponsored after citizenship)  
Processing TimeVaries by Province (9 to 12 months average)  
Physical Residency Requirements2 out of 5 years
CitizenshipAfter 5 years of Permanent Residency  
Benefits 
  • Visa-Free Travel to Canada
  • Freedom to live and/or work in Canada
  • Children have the right to attend free public education
  • College-aged children have the rights to scholarships, grants, and domestic tuition rates in public post-secondary institutions
  • Option to acquire Canadian Citizenship and Passport after 5 years of holding the permanent residency if 3 out of 5 years have been spent in Canada
  • Benefits extended to investor’s family, including the spouse or partner, and all children under the age of 22
Migration catalyzes economic augmentation, reduces inequalities, and connects diverse societies, thus helping in establishing a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, secular, and non-sectarian population dividend. In light of the current prevalent circumstances triggered by Covid-19, Residency by investment programs may undergo progressive “investor-friendly” changes as countries are embracing greater flexibility in dictating and implementing policies, to cope up with economic challenges. There may be an imminent paradigm shift in countries’ immigration policies as the countries might resort to positive investment immigration changes to catalyze economic growth, by encouraging investment/ business immigration over skills-based immigration.        

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