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Unlike the non-immigrant visas, when it comes to immigrant visas, quickness and ease do not always follow the lowest cost in the short run. Since I believe a quick and easy approach can often be the cheapest in the long run, I will go with that approach.
Investor Visas - Quickest and Easiest Immigrant Visas
Probably the best immigrant visas for the United States and Canada are the investor visas. In the case of the United States, (with the one exception of a multinational executive transferring as an inter-corporate transferee which we will talk about later) the EB5 investor approach is the quickest and best.
The U.S. requirements that are easiest to comply with are that the investor invests approximately $975,000 with a regional center economic development organization approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. The reality of the requirements is that the investment will be for a minimum of about five years. Assuming everything works out normally the investment is placed in some office building development or other project with companies that have pretty sold reputation. Since the U.S. government is involved in approving the investment vehicles there is some measure of security in the investment although caveat emptor still is the guiding principle.
For placing this investment (not to be confused with the NAFTA E-2 investment of only say $ 200,000 which is a non-immigrant temporary vehicle) the investor gets a greencard and permanent resident status within about a year. The greencard is two-year conditional greencard, conditional on the investor maintaining the investment for two years. But then the condition is removed and the greencard becomes the regular greencard others hold. For more details details contact us.
As for Canada, there is no passive investor program at the moment. The most popular investor-related program is Canada's start up visa program. You can learn more from my Forbes article on this subject to be found here. There are also several provincial investor programs that generally lead to work permits which can often later be turned into permanent residence. The amounts required vary from province to province. However, as a working rule, I would suggest the investor should have a minimum $ 200,000 U.S. to consider the programs. Contact me for more information on these.