EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 2 Issue 2 | Page 67

Other expensive options include New Zealand ( at NZ $ 1.5 million ) and Australia ( at at least A $ 1.5 million ). While both nations have been enormously attractive to foreign investors , they tax at 33 percent and a hefty 45 percent , respectively . Austria , however , takes the cake with the most expensive program . One can either make a charity donation of at least € 2 million to an Austrian charity or else make a recoverable € 10 million investment into the economy . Even more incredible is the fact that the effective tax rate is 50 percent .
On the other hand , for investors not interested in splurging , the island federation of St . Kitts and Nevis , with its tempting tropical climate and zero personal income tax , allows two relatively cheap alternatives . The first is a $ 250,000 contribution to the country ’ s Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation , while the second is a real estate investment of at least $ 400,000 . The twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda offers investment options at the same rate . The most attractive option price-wise of all , however , is the island of Dominica , which only requires a $ 100,000 deposit to the National Bank of Dominica . For the sophisticated investors that cannot be bothered to attend the mandatory interview with a government-appointed committee , he or she can opt to fly a three-member interview panel to his or her respective country . This is certainly a rare perk .
The consideration of where to invest goes beyond the price of the passport , as investors typically look at the form the investment must take , and the benefits and demands that citizenship will offer . An investor may be willing to pay more for access to a country with characteristics they value .
If I buy a house , can I get a passport ?
The most common investment forms are government-backed loans , real estate acquisitions , and bank deposit-type investments . Each of these investment models has differing perks that appeal to narrow groups of investors . Some investors prefer the security of a short-term government backed loan , some have the proclivity for acquiring real estate , and others still prefer the purchase of securities in the hopes of residency and a return on investment .
One of the chief benefits of the recently shuttered Canadian program was that would-be immigrant investors posted up to CAD $ 800,000 in zero-interest five-year loans to one of Canada ’ s provincial governments . The fact that the funds were guaranteed by the provinces and therefore almost certain to be returned , was extremely attractive . In Canada ’ s absence , Bulgaria has picked up on the appeal of this model and currently offers a very similar opportunity for BGN 1 million , which is much cheaper than the United Kingdom ’ s option of at least £ 1 million . The security attached to a guaranteed return of funds is in stark contrast to the EB-5 program ’ s “ at-risk ” requirement , but it also offers no opportunities for returns on investment .
Another attractive structure is the purchase of government backed bonds or similar securities offerings . For example , Hong Kong requires investors to invest at least HK $ 10 million in permissible investment asset classes that include certain government backed debt securities , certificates of deposits , or a few other collective investment schemes . As long as the value of the investments continues to be maintained in accordance with the current rules
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Spotlight on the Shutdown

by Courtney Creedon
In February of this year , Canada announced its plan to shutter its federal Immigrant Investor Program and Federal Entrepreneur Program . Citing “ limited economic benefit ” and extensive backlogs in applications , the Canadian government has decided to abandon the programs in favor of new , yet-to-be-revealed , pilot programs .
The programs , previously popular alternatives to the U . S . EB-5 program , were structured quite differently from their American counterpart . Instead of an at-risk investment , investors in the Canadian IIP were asked to make an $ 800,000 ( CAD ) loan to be divided between provinces and territories . The interest free loan would be used to fund projects and create jobs for a period of five years , and was guaranteed to be repaid .
Perhaps because of this loan structure , the Canadian program never provided the desired economic benefit . Despite the lack of results , the IIP alone had 65,000 individuals queued for processing — more than any other investment immigration program in the world , according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada ’ s Feb . 11 , 2014 news release . Those jilted investors are now likely looking elsewhere for immigration opportunities .
The cancellation of the Canadian program has occurred at the same time that the EB-5 program is experiencing explosive growth , with a record number of investor applications in 2013 . The U . S . EB-5 program is not the only alternative immigration avenue , however . Though EB-5 remains highly competitive with its relatively low minimum required investment and attractive U . S . green card , immigrant investors have a wealth of options , as evidenced in Rohit Kapuria ’ s accompanying article .
Until the Canadian government discloses further details of its suggested venture capital program , EB-5 may just be perfectly poised to pick up the slack .