May 8, 2011: Citizenship For Investor Immigrants : Jason Kenney Guarantees Fire-Sale Price

CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP FOR INVESTOR IMMIGRANTS : JASON KENNEY GUARANTEES FIRE-SALE PRICE

Jason Kenney has recently stated that he will maintain Canada’s Investor Immigrant program. Currently, Canada has  offices in 9 cities around the world to fast-track business immigrants such as Investor Immigrants. According to Kenney, this will ensure that Canada gets “adequate value” for its focused expenditure on that program..

Despite the name, the Investor Immigrant program is essentially the sale of Canadian Citizenship to wealthy foreigners. The big question should not be “Is Canada getting adequate value” but instead : “Should Canada be selling citizenship—–period?”  Mr. Kenney would probably say that Canada is getting valuable business experience from Investor Immigrants. But as recent Globe and Mail reports show, the people coming to Canada as Business/Investor Immigrants do not really have the business experience that they say they have. In fact, as with so much of Canada’s entire immigration intake, Mr. Kenney should note that there is ample evidence to conclude that Canada is being thoroughly duped again.  As absurd as it sounds, it may be shown, with full-cost accounting, that Canada, rather than having Investor Immigrants pay to enter this country, is actually paying Investor Immigrants to come here !!!

Here is the big picture.

In 2010, Canada allowed 3223 Investor Immigrants Investors to become citizens. These people brought 8492 dependants (spouses and young children) with them.  In 2010, these “investors” and their dependants totaled 11,715 immigrants. In the 5-year period 2006–2010, a total of 47,699 investor immigrants and their dependants entered Canada.

In the book “Betrayal and Deceit”, Charles Campbell provides insights into how the Immigrant Investor program began. He also explains how, despite all the damning evidence that the program was corrupt and should be terminated, the program continued. Mr. Kenney should note that the same corruption and need for termination of this program exist today——25 years later !!! Here are 9 important points Mr. Campbell made :

(1) The Immigrant Investor program began in 1986. It was intended to provide seed money to fund Canada’s economic growth. In return for investing between $150,000 to $250,000 for 3 years, Investor Immigrants received immigrant status for themselves, their spouses and young children. Between 1986 and 1998, 15,427 investor immigrants entered Canada. When combined with dependants, the total number granted immigrant status was estimated to be about 80,000.

(2) From the very beginning, the value of immigrant investors was questioned. Canada’s Economic Council, which consisted of Canada’s most eminent economists, stated that there was plenty of investment money available in Canada and that there was no need to look for such money outside the country. Investor money might have been of use in highly technical, high-risk ventures, but, as the Department of Immigration learned, most Immigrant Investors were afraid of risk.

(3) In 1997, an Immigration Department study quizzed Investor Immigrants in order to determine the quality of the people to whom it was giving Canadian Citizenship. It concluded that most investors were unable to function in either French or English and were poorly educated. In addition, the study said “there is little control over questionable financial arrangements, money laundering, the involvement of organized crime and funds from illegitimate activities”.  Furthermore, the Immigration Department study concluded that a common perception was that Canadian citizenship was being sold and therefore devalued. In fact, immigration consultants shamelessly told potential clients that it was easy to dupe Canada. For example, an ad to attract Dubai investors boasted that an investor did not have to live in Canada to get Canadian citizenship. The ad stated that the investor’s family could get unconditional immigrant status as well as enjoy Canada’s medical and educational benefits, but was not required to start any Canadian business or employ Canadian nationals.

(4) By 1992, the major requirement of an Investor Immigrant was that the person have a net worth of $500,000 and make an investment of $150,000. This investment requirement rose to $350,000, but investment managers in Canada, who had control of the so-called “investor’s money”, distorted the purpose of the program by requiring only about $100,000 from investors. This $100,000 was the real cost the Investor paid for his and his family’s immigrant status in Canada. It included the fees that the Canadian immigration consultant/investment manager charged. It also covered the interest on a loan the immigration consultant arranged from Canadian lenders for the investors. This will shock many Canadians because the so-called “Investor Immigrant” did not really have to make most of his “investment” with his own money. He borrowed the money from Canadian institutions, thus completely negating the idea that the investor was bringing new money into the country. For a family of 5, the $100,000 that the Investor Immigrant did pay meant that each of the 5 people in his family could obtain Canadian citizenship for about $20,000. If the 4 parents of the investor family were brought in, the total number of people increased to 9 and the cost to each person for Canadian Citizenship dropped to $11,000.

(Editor’s Note : The cost to Canada of providing education to the investor’s children was not mentioned, nor were other costs such as medical care. If these had been included, it is probable that before the Investor Immigrant and his/her family actually received their Citizenship at the end of the investment period, education costs and other taxpayer-funded benefits would probably exceed the amount that an Investor Immigrant had paid to enter Canada.  In other words, Canadian Citizenship was literally being given away to these Investor Immigrants and their families. Mr. Kenney should note that it is very probable that the situation in 2011 has not changed.)

(5) About half of all investor immigrants between 1986 (the year the program started) and 1998 settled in B.C. Most came from Hong Kong and Taiwan.  Between 1994-1998, Canada’s Department of Immigration hired David Webber, senior forensic accountant with the World Bank, to conduct compliance reviews of 42 immigrant investor funds. Mr. Webber’s job was to determine whether immigrant investors had complied with regulations. At the same time, three other accountants were engaged to review 60 additional funds.

(6) In a front page Globe and Mail article (“Immigrant Investor Plan Denounced As Massive Sham”) on September 15, 1999, Webber described these programs that had been designed to provide foreign investment for small businesses in Canada, as being “riddled with fraud”. He said that “claims made by Immigration Canada about the program’s success were a gross exaggeration and that rules introduced by Ottawa… to combat the fraud are completely ineffective.” One major flaw was that the new rules did not apply to Quebec. This allowed immigration consultants to set up shop there and to work by the old, weaker rules. (Editor’s Note : Although the Quebec loophole has been blocked to a point, Mr. Kenney should note that almost all the rest of Mr. Webber’s criticism probably applies today.)

(7) Webber continued : “I found that in many cases there was no investment at all or that the amount of that investment was grossly inflated.” and that “Canadians gave up something of real value—a visa or passport—and received very little in return.”

(8) Around 1999, the investment was increased to $400,000 and required payment to be made to the Receiver General of Canada. This money was forwarded to The Canadian Immigration Commission which allocated immigrant investments to approved provincial funds. The government had to return this $400,000 to the Investor Immigrant after 5 years.

(9) “Charles Campbell concluded : “The work of Mr. Webber and his colleagues was commissioned by and for the government, presumably to assist and guide in the administration of the Investor/Entrepreneur programs. Their findings must have been received continuously over the four years 1994 to 1998, and a succession of ministers, in turn, must have been aware of the running disaster.”  (Editor’s Note : Mr. Webber would probably conclude today that very little has been done to correct the situation. )

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The most recent regulations require that investor immigrants have 2 years of business experience, have a minimum net worth of $1,600,000 that was obtained legally, and make an $800,000 investment. Canada’s Department of Citizenship and Immigration states that “Investor immigrants are not subject to monitoring or other regulatory requirements once they arrive in Canada”.  Considering the past widespread fraud in the Investor Immigrant program, most Canadians would be shocked to read that no monitoring is being done.

The $800,000 is provided interest-free to the province where the Investor Immigrant settles. Considering the lack of real “Investor Immigrant investment”  in the past, most Canadians would ask whether the $800,000 is actually the Investor Immigrant’s money.  If we assume it is, and that the Investor Immigrant is providing that money interest-free to the province he goes to, the province is avoiding the payment of interest of at least $24,000 per year and a total of $120,000 over 5 years. (interest rate of lender = 3%) That means that for a family of five who enter Canada through that program, each pays about $24,000 for Canadian citizenship. If the 4 parents of the investor and spouse enter Canada, each of the 9 pays only $13, 333 for their citizenship.

Again, Mr. Kenney should note that the cost of providing education to the Investor Immigrant’s young children is not included, nor is the cost of other things such as medical care to any of the 9. It is actually possible that when full cost accounting is done, the result may show that Canada is paying Investor Immigrants to come to Canada !!! Is Mr. Kenney willing to face this conclusion?

To give the bigger picture, the Investor Immigrant program received 45,000 applications last year, 32,000 of which came from China.

Mr. Kenney should note that there are other very negative factors to be considered. In addition to getting citizenship at a fire-sale price or even at no cost, Investor Immigrants (and offshore speculators) have been buying real estate in parts of Canada, particularly in the Metro Vancouver area. In the 1990′s, Hong Kong and Taiwanese Investor Immigrants grossly inflated house prices in Metro Vancouver. Recently, Mainland Chinese have done the same thing—-rendering house prices even more unaffordable for many Canadians.

In addition, as in the past, Canada’s post-secondary institutions have been promoting “Diversity” in their student populations. This means that they are giving preference to non-mainstream Canadian students. If Mr. Kenney wanted to see the true cost to Canada of the Investor Immigrant program, he should investigate how many children of Investor Immigrants have been granted preference in Canada’s post-secondary institutions by naive and gullible academics. The latter seem to assume that Canada’s Department of Immigration, our government and all politicians are acting in the interests of Canadians.

When questioned recently, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney claimed that Investor Immigrants contributed to Canada. Mr. Kenney should ask himself whether inflating house prices, discriminating against mainstream Canadian students and literally giving Canadian Citizenship away or paying Investor Immigrants to come here (to cite just a few items of concern) constitute “contributions” to Canada.

To those Canadians who want more proof of corruption,  we provide the following conversations that a Globe and Mail researcher had with several Chinese immigration consultants in China. The conversation demonstrates that Mr. Webber’s conclusion in 1999, that the Investor Immigrant program was riddled with fraud, is as apt today as it was in the 1990′s. In the interviews, immigration consultants in China shamelessly admit that they coach Chinese Investor Immigrants in ways to cheat on the requirements they are supposed to satisfy to enter Canada.

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Phone Interviews Between Globe and Mail And Chinese Immigration Consultants

Globe and Mail (GM)
Feb. 16, 2011

The following interviews  were conducted on the phone by the Globe and Mail with Immigration Consultants in several cities in China.  The Globe and Mail researcher pretended to be someone wanting to enter Canada as an Investor Immigrant. Several of the interviews were edited and published in The Globe and Mail on April 21, 2011.  They are available at the following link :

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/read-edited-transcripts-of-the-globes-calls-with-chinese-consultants/article1996244/

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Read edited transcripts of The Globe’s calls with Chinese consultants

Globe and Mail Update
Published Friday, Apr. 22, 2011 9:31PM EDT
Last updated Saturday, Apr. 23, 2011 10:25AM EDT

These are edited transcripts of four of the nearly two dozen recorded phone conversations The Globe and Mail had with consultants in China about the prospect of our fictional applicant immigrating to Canada via the investor route.

Call 1

Tongchuang Tongde, based in Beijing

Feb. 15, 2011

Globe and Mail: Hello, I’d like to ask about investor immigration.

Which country?

GM: Canada.

There are a few ways. You should have 10 million (yuan) in assets. It costs 1.5 million, and it will take a one year or so. There is another way called warrant of assessment which you will spend about 1 million, equal to 150,000 Canadian dollars. It will also take about a year or so.

GM: Wait a minute. What is the first option?

The first option is a bit stricter. It needs you should have over 10 million assets. And your house and savings should have the identification documents to show them. They will estimate the value. And you will have to spend 1.5 million and won’t get it back. It’s for the federal [program]. And you should also have over three years of executive management experience, such as vice general manager or higher title. The second option is different. There is no condition of your assets. Our Canadian lawyer in Vancouver will help you finding an enterprise and the enterprise will provide the documents for you to immigrate there.

GM: Do you mean you will find me a company over there to provide the deposit for me?

Yes, in other words, the company hires you as their executive manager, but they’re not really hiring you. It costs about 1 million.

GM: Why is the first requiring both of 10 million assets together with 1.5 million, but the second only 1 million?

It’s just different forms. The second also requires executive management experience. Do you own a company or are you the executive manager?

GM: I’m not. I’m working in the department for quality control at a state-owned enterprise.

Oh, a department, that is probably not going to work. You’d better find a company, and say you are the executive manager of the company.

GM: How can I do it?

May I ask your age?

GM: 56.

That’s fine. What is your education?

GM: I have a college degree

That’s also okay. Do you want to go alone or with family?

GM: I want to go by myself first.

I think your situation is fit to the second option, because the first option is quite strict…

GM: You mean you find me a Canadian company to make the documents for me, and I can make it there with the cost of 1 million yuan?

Right.

GM: But I still do not have three years of management experience.

About this, you’d better find a company, enterprise or joint venture.

GM: You mean they will issue me a document to prove…?

Yes

GM: I have a brother who is also considering of immigration (to Canada).

He can’t go together with you. Canadian immigration only allows the spouse or children to immigrate together. Brother or parents need to apply separately. He can apply the same way (as you).

GM: But my brother, you know, has been in prison … that kind of thing…

Oh, that would be probably be a problem … because they require that you show a non-criminal certificate. Can he make one? A non-criminal certificate?

GM: That would be difficult.

Well, he could actually immigrate to Sweden. They do not require a non-criminal certificate. We are also doing this business, and we do it faster. He would have a Swedish working visa first. Four years later, he can immigrate to Sweden.

GM: Not Canada?

Didn’t you say he has a record? Can he make it a non-criminal certificate? If he can’t get it, it is difficult to do it (to Canada). We can’t do it. He can only apply to Sweden. Please leave me your contact details. We welcome you and your brother to come by together when you are free.

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Ya Kai Shi Immigration Consultant Company (Beijing)

Feb. 16, 2011

Can you tell me the approximate value of your assets?

GM: About 9 million.

Then you can consider federal immigration. It requires 1.6 million Canadian dollars assets, which is about 10 million RMB. You need to have two years of executive management experience … Do you have your own company?

GM: Ten million? No. I don’t have company.

Do you have corporate shares or do you have an executive title of manager in a company?

GM: No.

Hmm … what kind of job are you doing?

GM: I’m in the quality control section of an import-export company.

Is it a government department or a private enterprise?

GM: Government.

Basically, Canadian immigration welcomes applicants who have the experience of working in private enterprises. They definitely require two years of executive management experience. Regarding your situation, is it possible for you to find a company which will allow you to attach yourself to them? It means they say that you are working there as an executive manager, or your wife used to be an executive manager in the company, or has the company’s shares. That works too.

GM: It’s not so easy to find…

Have you ever considered other countries?

GM: I feel Canada’s environment is pretty good. I prefer Canada.

If so, there are two options. One is that you need to find a company which can prove you are the executive manager. Our company will help look for a proper company for you and make some documents.

First, we need to be able to prove you are the executive manager of the company, which means you need to provide the relative employment contract, and the pay records of the employees who are under your administration, etc. The main purpose is to prove that you are the executive of that company.

Second, we need to prove your income. Canada needs to see your income details, such as the bonuses from corporate shares, your income, etc. In your case, we can help finding a company and have the necessary procedures done. The second option is B.C. province, which has a kind of working immigration … We will help you find a company in B.C. province of Canada, and that company hires you to work as their executive manager. This company is usually the big one, one of the top 500 in the world. They urgently need a capable and experienced executive manager.

We need to do some procedures, such as they will come to China to interview you. And we need to shoot some still photos and video materials. And you will need to sign a contract with this company. And then we hand those materials to B.C. province’s immigration bureau, so that you could to work there. We help you find the proper company, and certainly you need to pay a sum of money to that company. It costs about 150,000 Canadian dollars.

GM: One hundred and fifty thousand dollars?

You have to understand if a company needs to hire someone from anther country, so it can’t be a small company. Normally, it’s a working visa, but could start applying for the immigration after working for two years over there. But in the second option as I told you, we can directly apply for the immigration for you… .We only charge you 50,000 RMB for our service.

GM: How fast is the first option?

It will also take a year or so, but it requires more strict application materials. First, you need to prove your income. You may have the houses, funds, stocks, and other bank stuff. Your house, we need to take a simple value assessment. But they require us to show the purchase record from when you bought the house.

For example, you have a house valued at four or five million RMB. In the beginning, you paid, for example 300,000, they need to see how this 300,000 comes from, for example, maybe it’s from your salary income. Second, they require you to have two years of management experience… . It requires a lot of documents.

As you have no managing experience, there are many things that our company has to help you to make. First, we need to find you a company; Second, we need to make all of the above materials for you. Our working load is quite heavy.

GM: I have a brother who also wants to immigrate. He has the criminal experience, if that’s the right term for it. Is it easy to have him immigrate with me?

It depends on the situation. House arrest is fine. If he was imprisoned, it takes more effort, because we need to show a non-criminal certificate issued by the local police station. It’s unavoidable. … If he can’t get it, it’s quite troublesome.

GM: How can he…

Well, guanxi (personal connections, or a bribe)… find somebody… the immigration bureau won’t investigate it very strictly. It’s just up to the police station which we can get it issued from. The immigration bureau won’t check whether an applicant really has no criminal record or not, because it is from the government … it has credibility.

(Subsequent call, Feb. 28, 2011)

GM: Do you have a good rate of success?

Quite high. Our company was founded in 2001. Last year we were named one of top 10 agencies in China. It’s quite an award. We are not a small agency. If you have time, you can come over. We have a working licence, etc. You can have a clear view [of us] when you come by.

GM: I heard I will also need to do an interview (with Canadian immigration)?

The federal program has the possibility of an interview. It’s mainly up to how well we prepare the materials and the application. It is possible to have an interview.

GM: Is it easy to pass?

It’s quite easy. Before you head to interview, we will tutor you. The interview is not to test your language skills, but you are quite likely to be asked about your past experience. For example, if we say you are working in the clothes factory of your friend or relative, they may ask the structure and the source of your money. You can answer according to your papers. You can’t say anything else.

For example, if you have five houses, but three of them are worth a combined 10 million, we will only say you have three houses on the application. But you can’t tell them about the remaining two houses during the interview. Don’t say anything that isn’t in your application.

GM: After the [landed immigrant] card is done, will Canada investigate me again?

No. After you receive the immigration paper issued by Canada, you go to the embassy to get your visa. After you get the visa, you go to Canada. When you get off the plane, there is a special immigration bureau office. You need to fill in some forms there. And the green card will be issued to you within two months. All of these are just procedures. There won’t be another investigation into you. You don’t need to worry. As soon as you receive the immigration paper, there won’t be any problems any more.

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Kunpeng International Consultant, Beijing

Feb. 21, 2011

What kind of work are you doing?

GM: I’m in quality control.

Oh, can your assets reach the minimum?

GM: Eleven million yuan? No problem.

Can you tell me something where you acquire such assets?

GM: Some from stocks, some from houses.

Oh, but you are a quality-control position in a state-owned enterprise, right?

GM: Yes.

For someone short of management experience, federal or Quebec investor immigration is not easy to do. Besides, there are some nominee investor immigration programs that I suggest you to consider. They are different tunnels but reach the same result – having a Canadian immigration card. Those programs require less assets, three to four million yuan, but also have the condition of management experience. But we can help you find a way: For example, you may have friends or relatives who own their own company. You can request help from them to issue you some…for example, an executive manager’s position.

GM: Oh, issue a paper to prove …

Yes, you can do it in this way. The management experience is not very strictly required by the provincial immigration bureaus. If you can find a company of your relative or friend, and they can provide you such things as the operating licence, the company’s tax registration certificate, the employment contract between you and the company as well as some papers about what position you are taking in the company, your annual income, etc. If you can make all of these, you can consider the Canadian Nominee Investor Immigration programs.

GM: Okay, I have a cousin who has a criminal record, but he also wants to immigrate.

Ah – it doesn’t work if someone has a criminal record.

GM: Oh, is there any way?

The way, how can I say it, is if he can handle the local police station … By handle, I mean the police station can issue him the non-criminal certificate if he asks. They (Canadian officials) can’t come to China to check in the police archives whether he had a criminal record or not.

GM: Oh, needs to find people?

Certainly. He had the criminal record. Generally, without solid guanxi, they won’t issue him this.

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Ying Hong (Guangzhou)

Feb.25, 2011

Hello, what is your name?

GM: I’m Mr. Li.

Oh, I’m Mr. Li, too. What is your job?

GM: I’m working in quality control.

Do you have experience of doing business?

GM: This, no.

Eh, yeah, we need to make some papers.

GM: Is it easy to do?

Basically, if the client can pass our primary check and we take your case as an investor immigrant, we are basically able to get you (to Canada). One hundred per cent. We have never had clients rejected.

GM: How much is your company going to charge?

Our fee is about 50,000 RMB per family.

GM: What does the 50,000 include?

Things like we help you with translating, handing in the forms, the application procedures and our consulting service.

GM: What about making some papers of being the manager of a company? How much does it cost?

Do you mean to make the fake…?

GM: Uh, yeah…

Oh, that depends on what your background is, because there is an interview. You need to make the relative history. For example, if you say you are working in the auto industry, they may really ask you about the auto industry. You must at least be able to respond. You need to have some years of experience in this occupation. If you can’t answer, you won’t pass. If you make a fake, you should fake it real.

GM: Can your company help me on this?

This we need to talk about in detail. Really, I don’t know your background. Maybe some things are not convenient to talk about on the phone. It’s better if you come up to our company so that we can talk face to face, and see the extent of what we can do for you, because we are best at making solutions for this kind of project. We have been doing the Canadian immigration business for many years. Several thousand successful cases. Maybe some companies have a lower price than ours, but it’s useless if they can’t promise success.

GM: What is your success rate?

One hundred per cent. As long as we receive your down payment, as long as we sign the agreement with you, it is basically no problem, because we won’t charge you if it is not successful. We don’t want to waste our time. If the applicant is very unqualified for immigration, and we take it but fail in the end, we also waste our efforts. So, if our primary check is okay, we will take your case. If you don’t pass our primary check, we will honestly tell you that your case is very hard for us to take. We will not take your money.

Do you really want to go to Canada? Have you considered another country?

GM: I prefer Canada. I have friend over there.

Oh, people like you who are not doing business, we have a good suggestion to you, which is the English EU passport. It requires nothing. You can directly receive the English passport and become the English citizen. With an English passport is very easy to go to Canada. You won’t need a visa.

GM: I want to do Canadian immigration.

You have a problem immigrating to Canada: the explanation of your assets. You are working in the quality control section… . I believe it is impossible to prove where your several million in assets came from. Your company probably pays you a bit over 10,000 each month, I think. How did you save to over three million?

GM: But I got them from other ways…

Other ways equals fake stuff. Fake stuff … will be checked. There are strict checks now.

We have so many procedures we need to do. We are not charging you 50,000 RMB for doing nothing. There are many things we need to package for you, to make for you. We also need to select the materials for your application.

Some things are okay to report, but some need to be hidden. We have helped clients who own several hundred million in assets. That’s a lot of money, but it can’t be reported, you know? If you report 500 million, okay, you need to tell them one by one where the 500 million come from. So if our client owns 500 million, we just say they have 20 million. Twenty million is a bit easier to explain. We need to find paperwork which can prove he earned the 20 million, that’s all. We can’t say he has 500 million, otherwise he has explain where it all came from. That would be super difficult.

GM: Does the 50,000 include all this?

Yes. But some of the third-party charge won’t be included, such as the fee of notarization, delivery, many papers you need to deliver to Canada, the fee to pay lawyer of Canada.

GM: But how can I find a company and ask the company to issue some papers for me?

This stuff takes efforts. The things which are too fake are hard to make, because a lie needs another lie to cover it. A little mistake among them will destroy the whole thing.

GM: But do you have ways?

We do have ways, but we need to talk in person for details.

GM: Have you done many cases like my situation?

Yes, we have. There are government officials we have done. Government officials’ cases are the most difficult to do.

GM: Oh, officials?

Many officials. Now many officials take the foreign passports. (He laughs.) But I can’t tell you who.

GM: Another thing – do [applicants] need to go over to Hong Kong for an interview (with Canadian immigration officials)?

Yes, you need to go for an interview. So we need to give you training. What you can say, and what you shouldn’t say. The materials you bring shouldn’t conflict with the ones you used for the immigration application.

GM: Is it easy to pass?

Basically, if the application has been approved, it will be okay so long as you do not say anything wrong.

GM: When all are done, after I get my [landed immigrant] card, will there be another check in Canada?

No. It’s permanent. English and Canadian (immigration) I recommend, because once they issue it to you, it’s permanent. America and Australia are both temporary. Canada is a good country with a clear policy. Once you reach their conditions, they will issue you a five-year card. You need to stay there for two years of these five years. And then they will extend it for another five years. If you want to apply to change to Canadian nationality, you need to stay there for three years out of the five. After you are a Canadian citizen, it’s okay for you to return to China and stay whatever, 100 years. There’s no problem for you to land in Canada any time you want.