The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) is struggling to attract investors to its program following the introduction of strict new regulations.
Reports indicate that the scheme failed to fulfil its 2014 quota by a significant margin, despite the application deadline being extended three times. The application window was initially set to be open for just 12 days last September but was eventually launched earlier this year and recently closed on March 20th.
This is in stark contrast to 2013, when the application window was open for just two weeks when it received 5,389 valid applications. The 2012 target of 2,700 applications was reached in under a month. But for 2014, the QIIP repeatedly failed to meet its quota of just 1,750 applicants.
Historically, the QIIP has been one of the world’s most successful immigrant investor programs. It has been especially popular with wealthy Chinese nationals who have dominated the scheme for several years. From 2002 to 2012, the QIIP brought a total of 54,640 investor immigrants to Canada, out of which 35,966 were wealthy Chinese nationals.
The sharp drop in applicants is being blamed on strict new rules and documentation requirements imposed by Quebec’s authorities last year, along with substantially higher application fees. Sources say Quebec’s authorities have raised the bar too high and will have to change their selection criteria to bring back investors from China. The mainland has a huge pool of rich would-be investor immigrants eager to migrate but who would not currently qualify under Quebec’s new rules.
Quebec announced last month that the 2015 QIIP application subscription period would operate for five months beginning August 31 through January 31, 2016. This in itself is a confirmation that Quebec has been forced to acknowledge the difficulty in applicants meeting program requirements.