A growing number of expatriates in the UAE are increasingly looking for cost-effective ways to obtain a residency in Canada, according to a consultancy firm.
Vazir Group, a UAE-based immigration advisory boutique, said that they have seen a “surge” in applications from residents in the country for Canada’s Entrepreneur Permanent Residency Program, which allows foreigners to emigrate to Canada in exchange for an investment of $180,000 or more than 600,000 UAE dirhams.
Over the last few weeks alone, the number of applicants jumped by 300 percent, with many of those who have expressed interest originating from Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, India and Bangladesh.
Vazir Group did not provide the exact number of people who actually emigrated from the UAE to Canada last year, but published reports would show that hundreds of individuals have already obtained a Canadian residency in recent years.
“We receive an average of 100 new inquiries any given month which proportionately translate into eligible applicants… This number exceeded 400 during November 2019,” Vrinda Gupta, managing partner at Vazir Group, told Zawya.
About 15 percent of the world’s adults, roughly 750 million people, prefer to move to another country, according to a Gallup study released in 2018. People’s desire to work and live permanently overseas is driven by several factors, including conflict, famine and disaster in their home countries.
Gallup also found that Canada is now the second-most preferred country for potential migrants, just behind the United States.
Vrinda said they started noticing a significant increase in the number of immigration applications since the Quebec Investor Program, which previously cost $1.2 million, was suspended last November 1, 2019, due to the high volume of applications yet to be processed.
Vrinda said people who wish to migrate to Canada are concerned that there would be more policy changes, so they are on the lookout for other avenues to move to the state.
Besides, the Entrepreneur Program is seen as a cost-effective option because it only costs a fraction of the Quebec Investor Program.
“Several potential candidates expressed the concern behind their interest in the Entrepreneur Program to be the suspension of the Quebec Program and many indicated their sudden urgency to capitalizing on existing options before further policy changes,” added Vrinda.
Around 300,000 immigrants from around the world are allowed entry into Canada every year.
The Entrepreneur Permanent Residency Program allows foreigners to move to Canada with their spouse and children, as well as avail themselves of benefits such as free healthcare, education and social services.
And since beneficiaries become permanent residents, they can travel visa-free to 23 more countries and are eligible to obtain Canadian citizenship after living three out of five years in Canada.
Those who opt to live outside Canada can benefit from zero tax on any income earned abroad.
(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)
© ZAWYA 2020