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Will Canada Introduce a New Federal Immigrant Investor Program?

13 October 2016

Will Canada Introduce a New Federal Immigrant Investor Program?
The Federal government of Canada has been discussing introducing a new investment immigration program designed to attract high net worth individuals to the country.
Canada’s Immigration Minister, John McCallum, announced that a new program is in the works that would allow foreign nationals to obtain Canadian permanent residency in exchange for a significant investment into Canada’s economy.
The former Federal Immigrant Investor Program (FIIP) was abolished in 2014 with a backlog of more than 15,000 candidates who had been waiting patiently in the pipeline, many of them for several years.The program was then replaced with the largely unsuccessful Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program. The unrealistic requirements of the program, from the 10 million CAD net worth minimum to the 2 million CAD investment, doomed it for failure from the very beginning.
The terms suggested if a new Federal investor program were to be introduced are outlined below:
  • Increase the minimum investment threshold from the previous CAD$800,000 to somewhere between CAD$1.5 million and CAD$2 million. This investment would allow the program to remain competitive when compared to similar programs.
  • Removing the requirement for a minimum net worth. This would make the program more attractive to investors and is in line with similar programs. Most investor immigration programs do not require a minimum net worth.
  • As with most investor programs, the investor would be given a choice of assets to invest in, instead of only offering one investment option.
  • The investment would exclude residential real estate. The reason for this is that there are concerns for too much fluctuation in real estate in popular cities.
  • Professional third parties would be used to conduct strict due diligence for each applicant.
  • The processing fees would increase to at least CAD$20,000, with potential additional fees for each accompanying dependent. The increased fees will pay for the program costs.
Programs that Canada would model their new investor program from would include the very successful U.S. EB-5 program that has generated billions of dollars from foreign investments. Investments in Regional Centers in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) have allowed a focus of funds on the geographical areas that need it most; those experiencing a high unemployment rate or rural areas.

Ever since the former Federal Immigrant Investor Program was abolished, Canada missed out on several millions from foreign investors. A new investor program is long overdue, as Canada could use the cash flow generated by such program. Canada remains one of the most sought after countries in the world, and investors would be keen to invest as soon as a program is established.

For more information on Canadian permanent residency programs, please click here.

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