New Immigrant Investor Program Will Open in the Coming Months


Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander announced the creation of the new Immigration Investor Venture Capital pilot project in the coming months, which would provide a new opportunity for foreign nationals to gain permanent residency in Canada by starting a business in Canada. 

After the cancellation of the Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) in February of 2014, the newly announced program for potential investors can improve upon the flaws of the now defunct IIP. Mr. Alexander cited a number of reasons for the closure of the program, including the results of the programproviding only small investments with weak performance, a heavy backlog that resulted in wait times of 6-12 years, and a consistent failure of the program to meet its objectives.

The Immigration Investor Venture Capital pilot project will fill a gap in the Canadian immigration framework left by the cancellation of the IIP, as at the time the program was cancelled there were approximately 25,000 outstanding applications awaiting processing in the system.  With the inclusion of the dependent family members that likely would have accompanied each applicant to Canada, an estimated 65,000 prospective immigrants who lost the opportunity to come to Canada after the cancellation of the IIP will have the opportunity to re-apply under the new immigration investor program.

A number of corrections to the IIP that will be incorporated into the new program have already been announced, including the requirement that applicants to the program invest more than twice the amount required by the IIP, and an increase in the required length of the period of investment. Similarly, the new program will require a genuine investment in Canada as opposed to a loan, realized through larger investments in at-risk projects focused on the start up side of venture capitalism. Language requirements would not be particularly austere, allowing for immigrants with less experience with the English or French languages to improve their second language through after their arrival in Canada.  The new program will also require that the venture capitalist fund in which the applicant’s money is invested is managed by Canadians.  Applicants participating in the new program in its initial pilot stage will likely have little input into where their money is invested, but once the program has been developed, the recommendations of investors will be taken into consideration.

Applicants who are interested in starting a business in Canada or in immigration for the purpose of business should seek legal advice in order to increase the likelihood of success in the Canadian immigration system.  For more information about available options for prospective immigrants pending the development of the new investor program, contact FWCanada for a free assessment.

FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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