Canada Scraps Immigrant Investor Program

By Editorial 17 February, 2014

Canada is scrapping its Immigrant Investor and Entrepreneur Programs, and will instead introduce a pilot Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Fund project that the Government says will require "a real and significant investment in the Canadian economy."

The Government is also consulting on a new potential Business Skills pilot program.

New applications for the Entrepreneur Program were "paused" in 2011, and for the Immigrant Investor Program a year later. To clear the remaining backlog, the Government intends to cancel applications that have not yet been processed and return application fees. It is thought that tens of thousands of current applicants will be affected, the majority from China and Hong Kong.

The move was announced in Canada's budget document for 2014, which described the two existing programs as having "underperformed." It said that immigrant investors paid "significantly lower taxes" than other categories of economic immigrants, and that immigrant investors as a class were not maintaining ties with Canada or making a positive economic contribution.

The Immigrant Investor Program, which was introduced in 1986, provided a pathway to Canadian citizenship for foreigners with a net worth of more than CAN1.6m (US1.46m) in return for a five-year interest-free loan of CAN800,000 (USD728m) to the Government. The budget document said that the arrangement "significantly undervalued Canadian permanent residence."

Tags: Budget | Canada | Expats | Immigration | Investment | Invest | Immigration | Investment |


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