Canada opens its arms for immigrants
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Canada opens its arms for immigrants

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Monday, 25 October 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Canada is increasingly seen as an ideal destination for business immigrants in view of the political stability, good standard of living, legal system and proximity to the US, reports Economic Times.

For Indians, the added advantage is the historical links that Indian immigrants have with the country. Permanent residents are granted access to almost the same medical, educational and social benefits that are offered to Canadian citizens.

To support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy, the country welcomes three classes of business immigrants: investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons.

Investors must make an investment of around $400,000 that is used by the provinces for economic development and job creation.

Entrepreneurs must own and manage a business in Canada that creates employment for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Self-employed persons must have the ability to employ themselves and make significant contributions to cultural activities, athletics or farming.

Some of the potential areas that Indian investors and entrepreneurs will find suitable in Canada include tourism & travel, hotels & motels, trucking, fisheries, restaurants, food supermarkets, garment & convenience stores, pizza outlets, computer learning centres, farming & poultry, auto parts manufacturing and trading. Many provinces provide valuable information and services to assist business immigrants in setting up and successfully operating businesses in Canada.

Some of the Canadian provinces that have attractive business class immigration programmes are Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

Under the Nova Scotia nominee programme, the applicant will be able to select, upon landing in Canada, an employment contract with a salary of Canadian $20,000, at middle management level with a company from a list approved by the provincial government. To qualify, a minimum net worth of $300,000 and a non-refundable contribution of $130,500 is required which will be returned if residence visa is refused.

Financial companies like Cornwallis Financial Corporation, based in Halifax, help immigrants identify and set up businesses. Nova Scotia is the business, financial and educational capital of Atlantic Canada.

“We see business class immigration as the next big wave to Canada and offer services in market research, choosing a business, preparing project reports, tie-ups with banks for loans, and linkages with real estate companies and insurance companies,’’ says B.S. Sandhu, chairman & MD, WWICS Global Resettlement Solutions.

The Quebec Investor programme of Canada is also very popular since Montreal, the economic hub of the province, has corporate headquarters of firms specialising in IT, biotech, aerospace, technology and pharmaceuticals.

“The province has the best educational institutions and public education is free up to college level. This makes sense for investors who immigrate since they actually get back their entire investment in terms of children’s education and health insurance which is also covered for all Quebec residents,’’ feels Sam Buffone, vice president, Renaissance Capital Inc, a Montreal-based financial institution.

Under the Quebec programme, net assets of applicant and spouse should amount to C$300,000 and management experience of three years acquired in lawful and profitable business is needed.

A business plan has to be submitted by the applicant to manage or be a partner in day-to-day operations of a business that will employ at least three Quebec residents other than the applicant and members of immediate family. In the Saskatchewan nominee programme too, the business nominee has to identify a business opportunity in the province’s key sectors.

In Saskatchewan, the business applicant must intend to manage and operate a business in the province and live there. Business plans that involve investments in a business where the applicant will not have responsibility to manage and operate the business will be deemed passive investment schemes and disallowed.

Passive investments include business plans where the applicant will not have direct daily management responsibilities in business; has representation on the company board only or invests in the business for a period of time with a return of investment under specified conditions.

To be eligible for immigration as an entrepreneur, an applicant must have managed and controlled a percentage of the equity of a qualifying business for at least two years in the period beginning five years before the date of application; have a legally obtained net worth of at least $300,000; and intend and be able to manage and control a percentage of the equity of a qualifying Canadian business equal to or greater than 33 1/3 per cent, and create at least one full-time job equivalent for Canadian citizens or permanent residents, other than the entrepreneur and his or her family members, for a period of at least one year within three years of arriving in Canada.

To be eligible for immigration as a self-employed person, an applicant must have at least two years of experience in the period beginning five years before the date of application, in world-class level cultural activities; athletics; or have farm management experience. Self-employed persons must have the intention and ability to be self-employed in Canada and to make significant contributions to cultural activities or athletics, or to purchase and manage a farm.

To be eligible for selection as business immigrants, applicants must first meet the definition of the class under which they are applying (investor, entrepreneur or self-employed person).

Applicants are then assessed against five selection criteria and must obtain a minimum of 35 points. The selection criteria and points allocated are on the basis of education, experience, age, proficiency in English or French and adaptability.



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