Canada has just announced that it intends to cancel both the federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) and Federal Entrepreneur (EN) Program. The termination will also cancel the large backlog of applications, which is reported would otherwise take 6 years to process.
The Immigrant Investor Program currently offers foreign investors Guaranteed Permanent Residency, in exchange for a guaranteed loan of $800,000. The program in the past has been described as a flawed and ineffective way of getting wealthy foreign investors to benefit to Canadian economy. Similar investor residency programs in United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. require a far higher investment amount, and do not offer permanent residence up-front. The current scheme has been criticized by many as allowing investors to essentially buy citizenship and live in Canada, without creating jobs or delivering meaningful benefits to the Canadian Economy. The Canadian government has reported that many of these investors under this program pay “significantly lower taxes over a lifetime” than other immigrants.
The program, with applicants mainly from China and Hong Kong, has a backlog of applicants in the tens of thousands – and it is estimated that at current levels, this backlog would take 6 years to process. Some investors into this program have had to wait up to 8 years for a decision.
The program will be replaced by two new pilot programs: an immigrant investor venture capital fund, and a business skills program. Details of this new scheme will follow soon. It is expected that these new programs will require higher investment amounts, will not offer Permanent Residency up-front, and will require the applicant to stay in Canada for a certain amount of time each year.
Residency Invest will keep you updated on the new pilot programs over the coming months.