The rapid recent increase in Hong Kong immigration to Canada (prior to its reversion to China) has been a boon for the private banking also. One popular banking product is an immigration fund, which requires a minimum investment, of say $500,000, for at least five years. Whilst the monetary returns to the funds are small, after five years fund-holders can get a Canadian passport. Hong Kongers may anchor a child or spouse in Canada, and then return to the colony to further their fortune, often setting up an offshore trust to take advantage of the five-year tax holiday offered to new immigrants to Canada.
As set out in the Maastricht Treaty (1992), any national of a European Member State is a citizen of the European Union. The aim of European citizenship is to strengthen and consolidate European identity by greater involvement of the citizens in the Community integration process. Thanks to the single market, citizens enjoy a series of general rights in various areas such as the free movement of goods and services, consumer protection and public health, equal opportunities and treatment, access to jobs and social protection. The Treaty on European Union, by establishing Union citizenship, confers on every Union citizen a fundamental and personal right to move and reside freely without reference to an economic activity. The right to vote and to stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament and in municipal elections in the Member State in which he resides and the right to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of any Member State in a non-member country are a concrete expression of the feeling of common citizenship. Directives adopted in 1993 and 1994 laid down the rules for giving effect to these rights.