Residency program in US, Canada, Panama
The most powerful country in the world and the only remaining Super Power, the United States of America attracts people from around the globe who seek to reside, invest or conduct business in the country. The country has a complicated visa and residential permit regime and there are a number of categories for obtaining a US Visa.
For the High Net Worth individual, among the most preferred is the EB-5 Investor Visa Program which enables the individual to obtain permanent Resident Status (also called ‘Green Card’) within a very short period of time. The program requires an investment of $1 Million to create at least 10 direct jobs or the $500,000 if the investment is made in a rural area or an area of High Unemployment.
There are no requirements of any past experience in managing a business, age or any specific language requirements to be eligible for the scheme. However, the investment must be made from legitimate funds. The program, however, has various other nuances including supervised and unsupervised processes and a possible progression towards citizenship, which can be provided on request.
Canada is well renowned across the world as a cosmopolitan society and as a destination that is welcoming to individuals from across the globe. The country also boasts of a high living standard, comprehensive social security legislation, and a well preserved natural environment. It is home to some of the most liveable cities in the world including Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary which have been ranked at 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively.
The Canadian Government has tried to promote investment in the country and attract wealthy businessmen into the country. The Government has started two schemes under which the investors and their immediate family members can claim for a Permanent Resident status in Canada.
The two programs are called:
- The Federal Immigrant Investor Program, and
- The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program
The two schemes almost have similar application and assessment criteria that have to be fulfilled. However, the quotas for any of the schemes may be filled at a given time and it is essential to have detailed knowledge of their application quota status. Under most circumstances the criteria for application are as follows:
(a) The investor has to have proper Business Experience as defined under Regulations and the investor must have previously managed or operated a business at least for two out of five years preceding the application.
(b) The combined net worth of the couple must exceed CAD 1.6 million with legitimate funds.
c) The family must have passed Medical and Security evaluations as per the Canadian Government requirements.
(d) An investment of CAD 800,000 must be made for a period of 5 years in two Government Guaranteed investor programs where the amount will be paid back without any interest at the end of the period.
The Central American nation known mostly for the Panama Canal and its tropical forests also provides a widely known program of obtaining a Second Passport without any need for a long waiting period. The Government of Panama has started the system to promote deposits in the banks of the country and the passport is offered to any depositor who is able to show a fixed income of $850 as interest per month from the deposit in the Bank.
On deposit of an amount around $300,000 at the National Bank of Panama or at La Caja de Ahorros (savings bank) an investor may request a Temporary Residence Visa with an Independent Retired Status (Rentista Retirado). The Government will also issue a special Panamanian Passport to the applicant along with the resident permit. The investor is also allowed to bring his dependent family members.
The special passport is granted for a period of 5 years and can be renewed after that duration subject to the existence of the system. Although the Passport does not grant citizenship rights, it allows Visa-Free to travel to more than 100 countries including the Schengen Zone nations.