Immigrant investor program relaunched richer

After scrapping the controversial Immigrant Investor Program (IPP) one year ago, the federal government has...

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After scrapping the controversial Immigrant Investor Program (IPP) one year ago, the federal government has launched a new program aimed at fewer but richer immigrants.

Under a new investor pilot program that starts this month, the Canadian government will give permanent resident status to around 50 high-net-worth immigrant investors and their families. The government said that the program “aims to attract experienced millionaire investors who will contribute to economic growth and prosperity.”

Under the terms of the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program, each investor will be required to have a net worth of $10 million and make a non-guaranteed investment of $2 million over 15 years.

“These funds will be invested in innovative Canadian-based start-ups with high growth potential,” a government release stated.

Candidates must prove proficiency in either English or French, as well as post-secondary education credentials. Applicants will also be required to obtain a due diligence report demonstrating that they obtained net worth of at least $10 million from lawful, profit-making business activities.

"Through the launch of this pilot program, we are attracting investors who can make a significant investment and who have the education and proven business or investment experience necessary to achieve success in Canada," said Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander.

Industry Minister James Moore said the pilot program is part of Canada's efforts "to attract experienced business leaders to Canada while leveraging their business expertise and personal investments."

The former immigrant investor program required applicants worth a minimum of $1.6 million to loan Canada $800,000 interest-free for five years. A study of the program revealed, however, that the net gain to Canada averaged only $20,000 per applicant because the provinces involved in the program invested the immigrant loans in low-yield Canada bonds.

A total of 36,973 investor immigrants arrived in British Columbia from 2005 to 2012 under the former IPP, and about two-thirds of all recent federal IIP applicants were mainland Chinese who said they planned to live in British Columbia.