How immigrant investors are making a real difference in city-wide real estate projects
In a recent article posted by the Real Estate Weekly in New York, it was reported that mega city-wide real estate projects were being financed by immigrant investors in exchange for residency rights in the US with great success.
In Canada and Quebec, the immigrant investor program is different. It seeks experienced business people committed to an interest free and passive investment of C$800 000 into Canada’s economy in return for permanent residency. Investors need to show that they have business experience and a minimum net worth of C$1 600 000. The investments are managed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and are guaranteed by the Canadian provinces that use the interest generated to create jobs and help their economies grow. In Quebec, it is Investissement Quebec (IQ) that manages these investments and the Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities of Quebec (MICC) that selects these investors.
According to the Fortin-Ware-Paradis report (October 2010), the Canadian Program is clearly competitive vis-à-vis similar initiatives designed to attract wealthy immigrants throughout the developed world. Since its inception, the top 5 countries of last permanent residence for immigrant investors in Canada are China (29 %), Hong Kong (23 %), Taiwan (22 %), South Korea and Iran. After 1999, mainland China became the main source country, accounting for 53% of all investor immigrants. Approximately 7 500 immigrant investors enter Canada each year. British Columbia is chosen as the primary province of settlement by 49% of all investor immigrants, followed by Ontario (23%) and Quebec (22%). They spend on average $721 500 in personal and business assets including real estate with 12% having invested more than $1 000 000.
Do you think the Canadian and Quebec program is competitive? Do you think immigrant investors should be offered gap financing opportunities to complete funding of city-wide real estate projects in Canada and Quebec?