In an effort to boost the economy of Canada through immigration, the Canadian government announced details about the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program on December 16, 2014. Through this initiative, 60 millionaire immigrant investors and their families will be granted permanent residency in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) began accepting applications for this program on January 28, 2015.
Before any immigrant investor is successfully granted permanent residency, they must possess the skills and abilities to contribute to the Canadian economy as well as the ability to integrate into Canadian society. Outlined below are the requirements that the immigrant investor must satisfy to successfully come to Canada through immigration:
- Personal net worth of at least $10 million CAD
- Willing to make a non-guaranteed or at-risk investment of $2 million CAD over a span 15 years
- Meet the language requirements in English or French in speaking, reading, listening and writing
- A completed Canadian post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate of at least one year or a foreign equivalent
More details on eligibility for the IIVC Pilot Program can be found on the official website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Those that want more help during this process can seek the help skilled Canadian immigration lawyers.
Those that are successful in applying to the program will be entered into a pool of applicants. Initially, applications were open from January 28 to February 11, but because the quota of 500 applicants (maximum) was not met, CIC opened up applications again from February 13 to April 15. If a total of 500 applications have been received by April 15, a final group of 60 will be chosen at random and granted permanent residency in Canada. There is a possibility that more investor immigrants can be granted permanent residency if this new pilot program achieves its goals and is stimulating the economy in the way it was intended to.
The parliamentary secretary to the immigration minister, Costas Menegakis, says that the pilot program will create jobs since the funds will be invested towards Canadian start-ups that possess high growth potential.
A similar program was launched in 1986 that offered visas to business people with a net worth of at least $1.6 million and who were willing to lend $800,000 to the Canadian government for a term of five years. In 2012, the program was put on hold due to an enormous backlog of thousands of unprocessed applications. This caused a quite the stir since there were thousands of millionaire immigrants waiting for permanent residency status under this program. The Canadian government decided to wipe out the backlog and were subsequently sued by the would-be investor immigrants and their Canadian immigration lawyers. The program was cancelled because the government found it to be riddled with fraud.
With the new pilot program in effect, only time will tell whether it will repeat the failure of the aforementioned program or if it will indeed help Canada and its citizens give a much needed boost to the economy.