Canadian Immigration Program to Accept Investor applications

By Author: Admin | November 14, 2010

As of December 1 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) shall commence the process of accepting applications to its Federal Immigrant Investor Program.  However, the criteria has changed since the previous related announcement on June 26 2010, when a moratorium on the Federal investor immigration program signaled the impending changes to the investor category.

The new criteria is characterized by a steep rise in the investor program’s personal net worth requirement to C$1.6 million, up from C$800,000, and increase the investment requirement to C$800,000, up from C$400,000.

Other investor programs such as the Quebec provincial program have not yet announced their criteria (Quebec was, until the October 14 2010 cessation of its own program, a popular choice for would-be investors).

Nonetheless, the province of Quebec is a signatory to the Canada-Quebec Accord.  As such, the province of Quebec must harmonize its Investor Immigration Program regulations with those of the federal government’s investor program.  It is thus inevitable that the Quebec Investor Program  for immigration will match the financial criteria imposed by the Canadian federal government.

The increases in minimum net worth and minimum investment were the first such increase since 1999.  As I blogged last June, the increase reflects the general increase in assets such as real estate across the world.

Given the doubling of net worth, one can reasonably assume that the amount of investor applications received by Canada’s Immigration Department shall be reduced.  This will theoretically lead to faster processing times for investor applications.  The faster processing times may also be assisted by the moratorium placed on federal immigration applications since June 26 2010, which allowed more focus on previously filed investor cases.

The only new advantage coming out of the December 1 2010 investor changes will be that both the Canadian and Quebec immigration departments are expected to process the newer cases faster than the previously filed cases; the main advantage of the investor program, notably, the lack of a need for English or French language skills, or of any need to have a specific job skill (aside from business management), remains as of December 1 2010.  In addition, there appears to be no need for the investor to use his or her monetary capital to directly create economic opportunities for other Canadians (in contrast to other categories like the entrepreneur category).  Rather, the money is given over to a syndicate administered by a Canadian Bank.  This makes it easy for the investor to return to her home country and continue her business once permanent residence is obtained.

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