Canada’s Immigration Minister says he is planning an eventual overhaul of the enormously popular Immigrant Investor Program in which wealthy individuals can apply to Canada based upon their ability to invest large sums of money into the economy.
Last year the program reached its quota of 700 applications within 30 minutes and so Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says it is time to re-tool the program, possibly raising the minimum investment requirements.
“I’ve always said that I believe Canada has been underselling itself through our Immigrant Investor Program,” said Minister Kenney in a recent interview.“They get permanent residency in the best country in the world for lending Canadian governments $800,000 for five years … so it seems to me, given there are millions of millionaires around the world who would love to come to Canada, we can do better than that and we’re looking at ways we can redesign the program to extract more bang for the buck.”
Kenney says that his government is looking at a number of possibilities, including lifting the requirement that the investors are paid back by the government.
The current backlog of investor applications sits at about 88,555. The application quota was introduced last year in an attempt to whittle down the backlog. Similar strategies are being employed in other immigration categories.
Critics say that changes to the program would be welcome. Not only for the potential to reduce the backlog but also in hopes that the program can target wealthier applicants whose skills fall more toward business-building rather than simply investing.
Source: National Post