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General Immigration Programmes

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Immigrant investor programmes provide people the chance to become citizens or residents of a nation more readily and rapidly in exchange for making certain investments or starting up a business.

Generally speaking, the schemes provide either residence by investment (golden visa) or citizenship by investment (golden passport or "pay for passports"), or a hybrid with permanent residence followed by the option to become a citizen.

Typically, there are several requirements for qualification for programme candidates. A donation to government funds either the acquisition of qualifying real estate (such as certain government-approved projects) or the investment in a qualifying firm (such as a certain industry) or the creation and investment into an innovative business idea, or the creation of a predetermined number of jobs for locals, which are all just a few examples of investment.

Immigrant investor programmes are being offered by an increasing number of nations. The most popular are listed below with brief summary:


Canada offers many pathways to permanent residence. For those who do not qualify for the standard “Economic Class” through the points based “Express Entry” system, a viable option is the Start Up Visa program where an innovative business idea can be established in Canada and a partnership with Canadian venture capitalists, angel investors or business incubators has been agreed upon. If you are an ambitious and innovative business person who can prove your business idea is unique, this program is very appealing.

Dependents like spouse and children can be included in the application and can accompany the applicant to Canada and study and/or work. Once the permanent residence is attained, residence of a minimum of three years is required prior to applying for citizenship, which is a simple process.

United Kingdom:

An investor immigration category called Tier 1 is available in the UK. In addition to meeting other qualifying requirements, applicants must spend £2 million or more in the UK. Holders of visas are permitted to stay in the UK for a maximum of 3 years, 4 months, with the option of applying for an additional 2 years. After five years or fewer, the visa holder may apply to settle; the more the investment, the shorter the waiting time.


The United States has two main investor visa programs: the E-2 and EB-5 visas. The merits of the visas are described below:

EB-5 Visa (green card)

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services oversees the EB-5 visa programme (USCIS). A green card application can be made by successful candidates and their families.

Depending on the project's location, the EB-5 visa programme requires applicants to invest at least US$800,000 into a new business. To qualify for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme, the investor must demonstrate and substantiate the source’s validity. Additionally, at least 10 employment must be either generated or maintained.

The EB-5 programme has a maximum of 10,000 applicants each year. Especially in Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) with significant unemployment, the initiative is intended to promote foreign investment in infrastructure projects. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security currently only designates regional centres as enterprises through which funds are distributed. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission's $200 million development is an example of a project.

E-2 (non-immigrant)

The E-2 investor visa programme enables foreign individuals of specific nations to make investments in start-up companies, purchase businesses or franchises, and live lawfully in the United States.

Depending on the reciprocity agreement between the United States and the applicant's place of citizenship, the first visa duration ranges from three months to five years and can be extended indefinitely.

The E-2 visa is renewable forever, and the investor has the option of converting to a green card (e.g. EB-1A, EB-2, EB-3 or EB-5). Although the E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa, so it does not directly lead to green card. In order to go from an E-2 visa to green card, you must apply and get approved for an immigrant classification.

The E-2 visa investor is required to make a recommended investment (often $100,000) and generate at least two American employment. At the other extreme, an investment of $10 million for a $100 million business would likely qualify for the E-2 visa based on the sheer magnitude of the business itself.

For more information about general immigration programmes:

Contact our dedicated immigration team at or +971-800-277-529 or click below for more information.


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