Investors soak up the Visa Dividend
Offshore investments are routinely used in the UK to legally manage investments. And it’s a compelling offer: realise tax-free gains, diversify risk, and quite possibly add layers of privacy, financial resilience and security.
None of this is new. What is new is how many of these same investors are following their money.
Increasingly, retirement savers and entrepreneurs alike are concluding that their money is stored in the places where they prefer to spend it, and they are securing permanent residency options at pace.
United States: Red carpet rolled-out for investors
The United States continues to offer perhaps the world’s most popular investment visa scheme.
Well-established, and offering investors a wealth of low-risk investment options, the US offers green cards upon arrival, as well as being among the most affordable and reliable investor visas anywhere.
Once relegated to the backwaters of US immigration, the take-up rate for the US EB-5 visa remained lethargic for years. But today those numbers have shot-up. Chinese investors face a wait of 10 years or more to secure them, and demand remains strong.
Most European jurisdictions have not yet bumped up against EB-5 annual quotas, so wait-times remain modest.
While it is widely anticipated that the admission prices will soon increase, proposals to raise the investment minimums to date have stalled at the consultation stage.
Canadian Federal Investment Programme: A cautionary tale.
Among countries with the highest overall quality of living, Canada often takes the top slot, and has consistently ranked in the top five, year after year.
In 1986, to meet the demand for permanent residency visas, whilst also creating direct benefit to the Canadian treasury, the government introduced a federal investment visa programme.
Participants would lend the Canadian government funds to be held in a zero-interest bond for four years, at which point the donor would receive the entirety returned to them, less fees. Adjusting for exchange rates and date of entry, funds deposited ranged from GBP £300k to £450k.
In return, the donor and their family received Canadian permanent residency. Nearly 130,000 applicants and their families took advantage.
Citing flaws in the programme’s structure and enforcement, in 2011 the government shut the programme to new investors. The programme was ultimately terminated in 2014.
. . . But Canada is still an option
Was the Canadian federal investment programme a success?
That depends on who you ask.
Ask one of the programme’s 130,000 successful participants, and new Canadian residents, and you’ll get a different answer than you’d get from the folks who closed it down.
And note: that government was tossed out when PM Justin Trudeau rode to power in 2015.
Meanwhile, Canadian provinces each have their own views about the value of inward investment, which means that despite a more complicated picture, Canada remains a preferred destination for investors and entrepreneurs.
Existing programs -- and today’s admission prices -- cannot be taken for granted, and there are typically complicated rules governing eligibility and the application process itself.
We can help you answer these and many other issues, as well as ensure that your visa process is executed smoothly and efficiently.