The New Canadian Immigrant Investor Program (TBA 2014)

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Could it really be?

Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration was recently in China and spoke about his plans for a new immigrant investor program. One with stricter rules, a higher price tag and, most importantly, an investment that would be, of all things, an investment, in contrast to the previous immigration program with the same name.

Under the old program, little value was created for Canada in, effectively, selling permanent residence. Only a fraction of the funds paid made it to the public purse and even then, the use of the funds was very conservative because the investment was guaranteed to be returned. The presence of the immigrants themselves was a benefit to be sure, and in my experience that was not insignificant. But that was only if the individuals actually lived in Canada, which many did not. My clients who came in through that program were self-made Europeans an Americans with tremendous scientific and entrepreneurial talent.  For the record, they have all stayed in Nova Scotia and one is about to get his citizenship.

Like it is wont to do, Canada threw the baby out with the bathwater when it cancelled the old investor program and wiped out all the existing applications that were awaiting processing.

According to Minister Alexander, the new program will require an investment of more than $800,000 to be made for longer than 5 years.  The new program aims to put the investment into a venture capital fund that will be privately administered. That is a both a good move and a sad admission about the previous scheme.

I have always felt that in a province like Nova Scotia, the investor program gives a lot more bang for the buck than it does in other more populated parts of Canada. An immigrant investment venture capital fund tied to specific industries, such as “internet, biotechnology, entertainment, animation, film and television” could make a big impact in the Maritimes.

So, could it really be? Like everything else relating to Canadian immigration these days, buckle up and stay tuned.