The UK Tier 1 Investor and the Quebec Investor represent investment immigration avenues to permanent residence in two of the most sought-after countries in the world. They are in direct competition given the economically-developed status of the UK and Canada.
A recent increase in threshold for the QIIP means the investment requirements for both are similar, although the UK program also includes higher investment for a shorter waiting period for permanent residence.
Immediate permanent residence and the established, stable nature of the program gives the Quebec Investor the slight edge, although both remain viable investment immigration opportunities for high-net worth candidates.
Here, we compare the two.
Compared: Quebec Investor vs UK Tier 1 Investor
|QIIP||UK Tier 1 Investor|
|Investment threshold||$1.2 million|
|£2 million up to £10 million ($1.2m up to $5.8m). Higher investment means permanent residence is achieved more quickly|
|Net worth requirement||$2 million||Applicant must show they have at least £2 million under their own control in a financial institution.|
|Nature of investment||Passive investment over 5 years bearing no interest||Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies|
|Residence qualification||Immediate permanent residence||Initial temporary residence, made permanent in 64 months for £2 million investment, 36 months for £5 million and 24 months for £10 million|
|Physical presence requirement||To maintain permanent residence, you must live in Canada for at least two years in a five-year period. To qualify for citizenship, you must be physically present for three years in the last five, as well as meet other requirements.||Main applicant and their spouse should not spend more than 180 days per year outside the UK.|
|Business experience required?||Yes, two years in the last five of suitable management or business experience.||No|
|Application window||The QIIP sets managed application periods, with the recent threshold set at 1,900 applications, including a maximum of 1,330 from China, Hong Kong and Macao. With families, the program welcomes 5,000 new permanent residents each year. The next application period is expected to open in Q3 2018.||Remains open to new applications.|
|Financing available?||Yes, formal financing schemes available||No|
|Controversies||The main controversy surrounding the QIIP is that investors use it as a back door to Canada (Vancouver and Toronto). Despite attempts to make investors state their intention to reside in Quebec, once they have permanent residence status, they are free to move anywhere in Canada. The program has been blamed for inflating house prices in Vancouver and Toronto.||The UK Tier 1 Investor program has hit controversy recently for allegedly failing to conduct due diligence on mainly-Russian applicants. This could lead to a crack down in the wake of a recent spy poisoning scandal.|
|Political climate||Canada’s political climate is stable and welcoming to new immigrants.||Brexit is the key unknown factor in the operation of the UK Tier 1 Investor visa. Will applicants get access to the European Union?|
|Program stability||The QIIP has just increased its investment and net worth thresholds for the first time in nearly a decade. The program is a well-established part of the Canadian immigration landscape.||The UK Tier 1 Investor visa is exclusive because of its high investment requirements, with the two upper thresholds introduced in 2011. It attracts the same ‘citizenship for sale’ criticism as all investment immigration programs, but there are no signs it will be disbanded. The Russian scandal mentioned above is expected to lead to tighter due diligence.|
For stability, the guaranteed and passive nature of the investment and established financing option, the QIIP is among the best investment immigration options available. Access to Canadian permanent residence for approximately $325,000 with the financing option gives the program a crucial edge over some of its rivals. There are no direct threats to the future of the program and while Ontario and B.C. would like to see some of the benefits spread across Canada, the economic advantages of the QIIP are clear. Asian-based investors can currently expected processing delays of between three and four years.
The UK Tier 1 Investor is suffering from the unknown of whether British permanent residents will have access to the European Union after ‘Brexit’. However, the country remains a sought-after destination in its own right. Recent controversy surrounding the level of due diligence conducted on Russian candidates is expected to result in a tightening of the numbers of visas awarded.
Both have effectively guaranteed investment, with the Quebec investor program’s immediate permanent residence and established program history giving it the edge over the British program.
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