September 12, 2018 – Prince Edward Island has announced it will no longer offer a direct route to Canada permanent residence through its business immigration category.
The provincial government says it will eliminate the 100% Ownership and Partial Ownership of the P.E.I. immigration Business Impact Category after one final Expression of Interest draw on September 20.
Which P.E.I. Business Streams Have Been Terminated?
Only the existing Work Permit stream will continue, bringing P.E.I. into line with the other Canadian provinces by offering a two-step route to permanent residence.
Candidates establish their business in the province while on a temporary work permit, with an invitation to apply for PR only issued once specific conditions have been met.
What Are The P.E.I. Work Permit Stream Requirements?
- Apply to the Canadian government for a work permit that would allow the applicant to work for the business in which they will invest into and manage.
- Possess a minimum personal net worth of $600,000. This net worth must have been acquired legally and legitimately.
- Possess at least a high school education
- Have previous experience and significant talent in business management.
- Score a minimum of 4.0 on the IELTS within the last 2 years
- Provide a detailed business plan. The business must be eligible under PEI program requirements. For a general overview of PEI business immigration, click here.
- Provide active and on-going management of the business from within Prince Edward Island.
- Make a total investment in a PEI business of at least $150,000.
P.E.I.’s entrepreneur stream was one of the last provincial business streams to offer a direct route to Canadian permanent residence.
It switched to an Expression of Interest system for 2018, with 133 invitations issued over seven draws throughout the year.
The stream was plagued with problems, and was subject to two major fraud investigation by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
In the first, two defendants stand accused of fraud over allegations hundreds of candidates claimed to have lived at just three addresses on the island, as required by the entrepreneur stream.
The second probe alleges a similar scheme and a similar number of candidates.
Meanwhile, the stream was also controversial for being used as a back door to Canadian permanent residence for business applicants.
Under the 100% Ownership stream, candidates were required to submit a deposit of $200,000, refundable after their residence and business was established in the province.
But some candidates had no intention of establishing a business, happy to take permanent residence, forego the deposit and live elsewhere in Canada.
It emerged in November 2017 that the province had withheld $18 million in deposits from 177 candidates who had never opened businesses.
Once permanent residence had been issued, the legal processes for revoking the status is long and complex.
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