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Is it True that Canada’s Immigrant Investor Program is No More?


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If you are looking for a definite answer to this question, I am afraid there is none. Some will say yes, and others will say no. But there is no way to say for sure who is right or wrong without fully understanding the story behind the Quebec Investor Program.

What is it, what is its origin? How does it work, what has changed, and where are we now? And most importantly, what is the future?

These and many more are some of the things you need to know about the Canadian Immigrant Investor program. Doing so will give you a clear picture of the IIP and the controversial events surrounding the program.

Brief History of the Immigrant Investor Program?

The Canada Immigrant Investor Program was launched in 1986 by the Canadian government to attract business investors to Canada. The purpose of the program was to grow and strengthen the Canadian economy.

How Did the IIP Work?

The Canadian IIP was the easiest and, for that reason, became one of the most popular IIP programs globally. It allowed qualified investors and their families to get permanent residence in Canada. Later on, they would be eligible to become citizens.

  • To qualify, foreign investors had to meet the following requirements
  • Must have a net worth of CAD 800,000
  • Must be willing to give the Canadian government a 5-year interest-free loan of CAD 400,000.
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The total interest amount gained from the loan would later be re-allocated among provinces to fund various economic development projects.

The requirements remained unchanged for the longest time since the program began, making it one of the cheapest IIPs. And that is how the IIP became the most favourite destination for foreign investors across the universe. But most of them were from mainland China and Hong Kong.

The Termination of Canada’s Immigrant Investor Program

Before its termination, the Canadian government amended the IIP program for the first time in June 2010. They doubled the qualification requirements and suspended the program for about 5- months for the new changes to take effect.

As of Dec 2010, the requirements for the IIP were as follows:

  • The foreign investors Must have a net worth of CAD 1,600,000
  • The foreign investors Must be willing to give the Canadian government a 5-year interest-free loan of CAD 800,000

These changes came as a disappointment to the investors. The majority of them decided to abandon the program taking their investment elsewhere. Within a short time, the program had lost almost all investors and was no longer attracting new ones.

As of June 2014, the Canadian government decided to terminate the program.

Why was the IIP Terminated?

There are several reasons why the Canadian government decided to terminate the IIP. The main reason for it was that it did very little to generate tax revenue since most investors still had businesses outside Canada. The program was no longer meeting its objectives; terminating it was the only thing that made sense. Another factor was that Canadian citizenship and PR are not for sale.

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The Rise of the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)

Quebec is the only province in Canada allowed to provide the Immigrant Investor Program right now.

The program is currently under suspension until April 2023 and is yet to finalize some crucial changes. The goal is to improve the quality of the Quebec immigration Canada program to benefit Quebec and its investors.

Initially, the program was supposed to reopen in April 2021 since its closure in November 2019. For now, we can only hope that this time around, it will reopen as scheduled.

Latest Information about the QIIP

As we wait for April 2023, here is some latest information about the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program.

The Requirements for the QIIP

  • Applicants must have a personal net worth of $2M, which must also be legally acquired.
  • Must have 2 Years of experience in management or as a business owner within the last 5 Years
  • Must provide the Quebec government with an interest-free loan of $1.2M for 5 Years
  • Must have an intention to settle in Quebec. The Quebec government will keep the interest generated from the loan and refund the principal amount.

Important Points to Note

The Quebec Investor Program is passive in general. That means that applicants do not necessarily have to own or manage a business in Quebec.

The biggest challenge about this program is that most successful candidates prefer to settle in other provinces instead of Quebec. Successful applicants must demonstrate their intention to settle in Quebec. Speculations surround the fact that once candidates become permanent residents, they can move freely between provinces, and it leaves them with little benefits to stay in Quebec.

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The future of the Quebec Immigration Canada program is hard to predict. One thing that’s for sure is that it all depends on a few critical changes in the program. For now, we can only wait for 2023 to see what the Quebec government has in store for us.

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