Investor Visas: An Overview

Dec 17, 2020 | Global

This article provides an overview of investor visas in several countries.


There remains only one passive (i.e., not at risk) investor program in Canada, and it is being piloted by the Province of Québec. As a pathway leading to permanent residence in Québec, it requires a net worth of at least CAD $2 million; a five-year, non-interest-bearing deposit of CAD 1.2 million; and two years of recent management experience. This program traditionally opens every year to a very small quota of spots, and is currently suspended until March 31, 2021.

There are more immigration opportunities for active investors who choose to start, invest in, or acquire a business in Canada. The federal Start-Up Visa program, for example, targets business founders supported by certain business incubators, angel investors, and venture capital funds. Certain provinces also offer entrepreneur streams. New Brunswick, for example, designed a program for experienced business owners and senior managers who wish to become permanent residents by owning a business and managing it while residing in Québec. Ontario hopes to attract entrepreneurs from outside of Canada interested in starting a new business or buying an existing business in Ontario. In British Columbia, experienced entrepreneurs who can support innovation and economic growth in the province can apply for the local provincial nominee program. Also noteworthy is the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream, which allows Alberta to nominate qualified international graduates from local post-secondary institutions who want to establish or operate a business in Alberta to apply for permanent residence.


The Investor Visa for Italy program is an option for investors seeking to enter Italy to engage in capital investments that benefit the Italian economy. The following types of investment/donation qualify for this program: €2,000,000 in Italian government bonds (at least two years’ validity); €500,000 in a company based and operating in Italy ( €250,000 in case of an innovative start-up company); or a €1,000,000 donation supporting projects of public interest in the fields of culture, education, immigration, scientific research, recovery of cultural assets, or landscapes. The application can also be filed using a company controlled by the applicant.

The application for the clearance that is necessary to apply for the visa is filed through a dedicated website, Once the clearance is issued, the applicant must apply for an investor visa valid for two years, travel to Italy to apply for the relevant residence permit, and make the required investment/donation within three months of entry. The investor visa holder will receive an investors’ residence permit (permesso di soggiorno “per investitori”) valid for two years and renewable for an additional three years to prove that the investment is still in place. Investor permit holders are exempt from the residence requirement.

For more information, see


Currently Turkey has no functioning investment residency program, although the country does have a popular investment citizenship program. Turkey passed a law and regulations in 2017 for a new permanent residence program, the “Turquoise Card Program,” in which investment was one of the qualifying categories. Unfortunately, the ministry charged with implementing the Turquoise Card program has not yet created an application form or procedure for this program.

This contrasts with Turkey’s Investment Citizenship Program, for which the Interior Ministry in 2018 lowered the qualifying investment levels and created a special department. This department actively pursues expediting these applications, which take a far shorter period to adjudicate than standard citizenship cases.

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