Effective December 1, 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will once again accept applications under the federal Immigrant Investor Program.
Under the new program criteria, investor applicants will need to have a personal net worth of $1.6 million, up from $800,000 under the old criteria, and make an investment of $800,000, up from the previous requirement of $400,000.
The requirements for this programme had not been changed in more than a decade leading the minister of immigration to believe Canada needed to keep pace with the changing economic climate.
Canada’s old immigrant investor criteria were the lowest when compared to other countries with similar programs. The new criteria now align it more closely with other immigrant-receiving countries.
The investor program was suspended in June, in part because the high volume of applications was leading to wait times that were too long. Raising the requirements will help reduce the flow of applications while ensuring we attract experienced businesspeople who can make a more substantial contribution to the economy. Higher personal net worth criteria mean the program is now better positioned to attract investors with valuable business links and the resources to make secondary investments in the Canadian economy.
It is hoped that higher investment amounts will mean provinces and territories will receive more investment capital to put toward job creation and economic development projects.
Canada’s Immigrant Investor Program offers several benefits to international investors, including permanent resident status up front and guaranteed repayment of the investment.
Under Canada’s old criteria, the volume of applications submitted under the Program had grown exponentially and processing times had increased. It is hoped that stopping applications between June 26, 2010, and December of this year will prevented further delays. Applications received on or after December 1, 2010 will be subject to the new criteria and will be processed alongside the old ones. In this way, Canada can begin to realize the benefits of the changes as soon as possible.