084: Does Canada need an investor immigration program similar to American EB-5 program?

Episode #84

What this episode is about?


In the midst of COVID 19 pandemic we, Canadian Immigration Lawyers often ask ourselves – what is going on with immigration and how Canada can adapt to the new normal with existing and new potential immigration programs? In light of the ongoing and severe economic crisis Canada really could use some investment and even consider rolling out a new immigration program to get back on track with the recovery from consequences of the pandemic. This would allow our country to bring in new awesome people, give a boost to our economy, create new jobs across Canada.

As a chair of the Canadian Bar Association Immigration Section I have had a great opportunity to discuss immigration with number of organizations, including the Conference Board of Canada, which has been proposing some alternatives to the investor program. So, in this episode I bring on Phil Cohen to discuss what can we do as a country to help encourage more investment in Canada. During this episode we look into investor programs existing in other countries, in particular EB-5 program that exists in United States. This, then leads us to a discussion of how a program, similar to EB-5 would be of benefit to Canada.

EB-5 is an American immigration program that allows both, Americans and foreign nationals to set up companies that can raise money from immigrant investors. In return, investors can qualify for a Green Card (alternative to Canadian Permanent Residence) so long that the business achieves certain requirements, such as:

  • The investor has to invest a minimum amount of $900,000 or $1,800,000 USD
  • The business must create a minimum of 10 jobs for each investor the business takes on

This program allows to attract significant amount of investments to small and large businesses.  In times of economic uncertainty the program like EB-5, without a doubt, benefits not only the business seeking investment, but also has a great positive impact on economy and the public. Moreover, the cost of the capital typically ends up being much lower when businesses seeks for investments through EB-5 program.

Tune in to learn more details about American EB-5 program and potential benefit Canada would enjoy if we implement similar program in our country.

About today’s guest of the Canadian Immigration Podcast


Phil Cohen is the founder and president of Strategic Element as well as the Editor-in-Chief of The EB-5 Definitive Guide (see: www.starteb5.com for more information). Phil has a long history of developing businesses, business concepts and products, dating back to 1993. With a career that began in the manufacturing sector, and grew to include new developments in technology and a variety of start-ups, Phil has progressively built up experience in the area of new business development with a focus on transforming ideas in to viable business models.

Phil has worked with large public companies as well as small and mid-sized start-ups and businesses.

Beyond the development of business concepts, models and plans, Phil has taken a hands-on role in the launch of several businesses and business initiatives. In so doing he has faced firsthand the realities and challenges faced by new businesses. This firsthand experience has provided him with the insight and real-life exposure necessary to develop businesses and business plans that work.

About the host of the Canadian Immigration Podcast

Mark Holthe is a Canadian Immigration Lawyer based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He has started his legal career with a large national law firm in Calgary where he initiated the business immigration practice at the firm. Since those early days, he has had the opportunity to work in a wide variety of law firm configurations before finally realizing that the best place for him was within the confines of an immigration boutique firm of his own making.

As a Canadian immigration lawyer, Mark has particular experience in assisting clients with all aspects of Canadian immigration law. He assists large national and multinational companies in navigating the complex world of Canadian immigration and provides strategic immigration advice to international and domestic companies seeking to recruit and retain foreign skilled and semi-skilled personnel.

Mark also assists temporary foreign workers with their transition to permanent resident status in Canada and over the past few years, he has taken great satisfaction in helping individuals and families with their various immigration related needs. Mark finds no greater satisfaction than helping to facilitate the reunification of families.

While attending law school, Mark worked as an Immigration officer for Citizenship and Immigration Canada on the Alberta/Montana border. While completing his final year of law school, he worked as a pro bono student to the Canada Border Services Agency Hearings Officers representing the minister before the Immigration Appeal Division in Calgary, Alberta. As a result of his prior experience as an immigration officer, Mark has been able to enhance the services he offers to his cross-border and overseas clients. Since that time, he has continued to work hard fostering positive relationships with the various immigration related government departments and has focused a significant portion of his practice on cross-border matters.

About the Sponsor of the Canadian Immigration Podcast

This episode sponsored by Canadian Immigration Institute, a platform designed to help people navigate Canadian immigration on their own. On this platform, I offer Do-It-Yourself (DIY) video courses guiding you through the process of submitting your immigration application without a need to hire a lawyer. These video courses not only allow people to better understand Canadian immigration but also earn me sufficient revenue to continue pushing out great free content on Canadian immigration.

Visit Canadian Immigration Institute: https://www.canadianimmigrationinstitute.com

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