Canada Itself – An Introduction
Canada is a country located in the northern part of North America and is the second largest country by total area and the fourth by land area. Its border with the United States of America is also the world’s longest land border. Despite its gargantuan size, Canada is relatively sparsely populated and approximately four fifths of Canada’s 35 million citizens can be found living near the southern border. This is because the northern parts of Canada are largely covered by forest, tundra and the Rocky Mountains, with a severely cold winter climate. Although cold in the winter also, the southern more inhabited parts of the country do experience more warmth in the summer periods.
Canada is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, so UHNWI looking to visit should feel welcome. It also boasts the world’s eleventh largest economy in the world, for which it attributes much of its wealth to its plentiful natural resources and highly connected international trade networks. It has the tenth highest nominal per capita income on a global scale, and ranks ninth in the Human Development Index. Canada holds firmly steadfast to principles of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education, making it a desirable location for UHNWI who want to invest in a culture with more liberal leanings.
With the world’s largest proportion of fresh water lakes, Canada is only second in overall size to the behemoth that is Russia. Canada stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; to the north lies the Arctic Ocean. It also has the longest coastline in the world, with a total length of 243,042 kilometres (151,019 mi). It is also geologically active, having many earthquakes and potentially active volcanoes: notably Mount Meager, Mount Garibaldi, Mount Cayley, and the Mount Edziza volcanic complex.
Politically, Canada operates a parliamentary system with a constitutional monarchy led by Queen Elizabeth II. The current Prime Minister of Canada is Justin Trudeau whose office is one of the most powerful in government: most legislation is initiated from this office and sent to Parliament for approval. There is also a Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition who is usually the person leading the party who gained the second most seats and they are then used to monitor and criticise the current government where necessary to keep them in check.
Economically, Canada is the world’s eleventh largest economy and one of the world’s top ten trading nations, with a highly globalized economy. It prides itself on its relatively low level of income disparity which again reflects on the principle of civil liberties and quality of life it cherishes. The country’s average household disposable income per capita is over USD 23,900 higher than the OECD average. In terms of stock exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange is the seventh largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization and lists over 1,500 companies with a collective market capitalization of over US$2 trillion. Exports equalled over C$528 billion, while its imported goods were valued at over $523 billion, of which approximately $349 billion originated from the United States, $49 billion from the European Union, and $35 billion from China. After the recession in 2008, Canada has recovered well and continues to grow steadily and securely, although there is still some volatility with oil prices and higher than normal unemployment rates. Other than the USA who is its number one exporter, Canada has seen an increasing amount of exports to Asia which is now its second largest exporter. For UHNWI who are looking to trade in both the US and Asia, Canada is a potentially great location in which to operate.
For the UHNWI with children considering a permanent relocation to Canada, they will be pleased to hear that Canada is the most educated country in the world with the highest number of adults having a tertiary education and over 50% of adults obtaining at least an undergraduate college or university degree. Canadian educational bodies are taught in both English and French.
The citizens of Canada place high importance on equality and inclusiveness for all its people and is famous for its welcoming approach to new citizens. Multiculturalism is a corner stone of the country and its people. There is also a large passionate following for ice hockey and lacrosse which are Canada’s national sports.
Canadian Citizenship by Investment
Although Canada does not offer a direct citizenship by investment program as it closed in 2014, it does offer a fast track scheme for investors who can acquire their citizenships faster through the process of naturalisation. The two programs on offer are as follows:
Canada Business Investor Fast Track Program
If you are a UHNWI operating their own business, then setting up a branch of your business in Canada can be a path toward achieving faster Canadian citizenship. Your business must be reasonably successful and therefore you setting up a branch in Canada will benefit the Canadian economy and provide new jobs for its citizens. The total cost of the move and paperwork should amount to approximately USD 130,000. If this is a possibility for you and you can see some benefit to branching your business out to Canada other than acquiring a fast track to Canadian citizenship then this is the best option available.
Quebec Immigrant Investor Program
The other alternative is the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program. In order to qualify, the UHWNI needs to make a donation of approximately USD 650,000 which has to be invested on fully guaranteed interest free government term deposit for 5 years. However, the payment does not have to be made up front and financing options can be considered: for example, there are payment schemes in which an initial down payment of USD 170,000 could be considered.
Completion and acceptance from either of these programs will afford the UHNWI permanent residency in Canada. From this point, after a further two years permanent residency and one other year in total of general residency (three years total), you can apply to become a Canadian citizen via the naturalisation process.