Future of immigrant investor program uncertain


Immigration Canada Minister Jason Kenney has taken steps this year to modernize and progress Canada’s immigrant investor program in order to maximize benefits to the Canadian economy. While certain critics argue that this program offers little benefit to Canada, the initiative is considered so attractive to potential Canadian immigration candidates that last year’s application window was closed within 30 minutes. The Canada immigration investor program allows wealthy immigration applicants and their families the opportunity to become Canada permanent residents in exchange for money.

Kenney believes that the $800,000 minimum investment required under the current system and the $1.6 million net worth requirement is too low and that Canada needs to consider making it a permanent contribution to the Canadian economy rather than just a temporary loan. Individuals will pay hefty fees to come to Canada and it is in Canada’s interest to raise the minimum required investment. Another idea of Kenney’s is that immigration applicants under this program be required to make an active investment, which would require that participants prove their contribution has created for example, jobs.

The current $800,000 investment in question is generally given to provinces so that these provinces can invest in economic-development projects. The federal government has complained that provinces such as Ontario haven’t put the cash to good use and have instead let much of it lie dormant in accounts.

The government has continued to process applications in the weeks since Canadian immigration investor program modifications were announced. Whether the government will eliminate the immigrant investor backlog by returning applications and telling these potential investors to re-apply under the new system as will soon be the case for the skilled worker Canada program is yet to be determined. Kenney has said he expects the revamped investor program to be in place by the end of the year.

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