The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), one of the world’s most popular in the residence-by-investment immigration industry, recorded a drop of 74 per cent in the number of applications received for 2014 compared to the previous year.
Only 1,400 applications were received before the application window closed compared to 5,389 applications received in 2013. This is the first time the QIIP has failed to reach its annual application limit with industry experts blaming strict new documentation rules for the decline.
For the 2014 intake, the authorities had delayed the application subscription period three times through the end of March 2015 in order to allow more time for applicants to submit their applications.
This year as well, the application window has been increased to five months as the program is set to launch on August 31st and run through January 31st, 2016. A new feature of the program which operates under a quota of 1750, requires investor applicants to identify a financial intermediary with continuing quota allocations.
The QIIP has historically been a popular immigration program for wealthy Chinese investors. It gained even more popularity after Canada terminated its federal IIP in 2012, forcing many applicants to consider the QIIP as an entry point into Canada.
The program requires candidates to demonstrate a personal worth of C$1.6 million and invest at least C$800,000 in a government guaranteed project on an interest-free basis for five years. Between 2002 and 2014, about 65,151 high net worth applicants and their family members gained entry into Canada under the QIIP. Approximately two-thirds were from mainland China. It is estimated that about 90 per cent left Quebec for other provinces after arriving in Canada.
However, it is widely expected that despite the drop in the number of 2014 applications under QIIP, Canada will continue to receive a steady flow of wealthy immigrants for many years due to the backlog of previous years’ applications. Statistics show that about 3,415 pending applications are being processed under the QIIP as of January 2015.
Canada’s immigrant investment industry been in turmoil during the past three years. The federal IIP was terminated by the Conservative government last year after a two year pause, affecting more than 15,000 unprocessed applications. It’s replacement launched earlier this year, the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program, has fared poorly receiving only six applications through early June 2015.
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On January 1, 2015, the Government of Canada implemented the Express Entry Immigration system under the Economic Class including the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
Under Express Entry, Federal Skilled Workers across 347 eligible occupations who meet minimum entry criteria, submit an expression of interest profile to the Express Entry Pool. The profiles of candidates in the pool are ranked under a Comprehensive Ranking System. The highest ranked candidates will be considered for an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Candidates receiving an invitation must submit a full application within a delay of 90-days.
Federal Skilled Workers are persons with suitable education, work experience, age and language abilities under one of Canada’s official languages and who are selected under the Express Entry Immigration system to apply for permanent residence.
To qualify for admission to the Express Entry Pool as a Federal Skilled Worker, applicants must meet the following conditions:
- Possess one-year of continuous full-time paid work experience or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment within the previous 10 years in one of 347 eligible occupations listed under the applicable National Occupational Classification system; AND
- The work experience must be classified within Skill Type 0 (Managerial Occupations), Skill Level A (Professional Occupations), or Skill Level B (Technical Occupations and Skilled Trades) within the meaning of the National Occupational Classification system; AND
- Score sufficient points under the skilled worker point grid comprising of six selection factors. The current pass mark is 67 points;
- Undergo language testing from a recognized third party and demonstrate intermediate level language skills in English or French corresponding to the Canadian Language Benchmark of 7)
- Possess suitable settlement funding;
- Undergo a successful security background and medical examination.
Qualified applicants are evaluated against six factors to determine their eligibility for immigration to Canada. Applicants must obtain a total of 67 points out of a possible 100 in order to qualify. The selection factors are:
- Employment experience;
- Arranged employment;
The new program seeks to select candidates with the highest probability of economic settlement success and contribution to Canada. It maintains previous criteria with modification to the relative importance and point structure for each selection factor.
To be selected under the FSW program, applicants who possess sufficient work experience and language proficiency must accumulate a minimum of 67 points on the skilled worker selection grid, which allocates points for education, language, employment experience, age, arranged Canadian employment and adaptability.
Education – Maximum of 25 points
The maximum number of points awarded for education is 25, with maximum points awarded to applicants with doctoral degrees. Foreign credentials will be evaluated by a designated third party to determine their Canadian equivalent and points will be awarded based on that equivalence. At this time, organizations designated for credential evaluation are:
- Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies;
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;
- World Education Services;
- Medical Council of Canada.
Language – Minimum threshold of 16 points, Maximum of 28 points
Only applicants capable of demonstrating an intermediate to high level proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages, English or French, will be considered. Applicants who meet the minimum threshold must score at least 16 points under this selection factor. Higher language proficiency can lead to an allocation of up to 24 points.
The benefits of bilingualism are considered marginal to an individual’s successful economic establishment in Canada and the new point system limits points for a second official language to a maximum of 4.
Employment Experience – Minimum of 9 points, Maximum of 15 points
The new program requires a minimum of 1-year to qualify and the maximum consideration is 6-years.
Age – Maximum of 12 points
Up to 12 points will be allotted to candidates between the ages of 18 and 35 years. Each year above the age of 35 will reduce the allocation by 1, with no points being awarded as of age 47.
Arranged Employment – 0 or 10 points
Points are allotted to individuals with a validated offer of employment in Canada. In an effort to streamline labour market related processes and reduce processing times for employers and their potential employees, the Arranged Employment Opinion process will be replaced with the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) employment validation process which is generally used in processing applications for Canadian work permits.
In order to validate an employment offer and obtain points for this selection factor, a candidate’s proposed employer must demonstrate to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada that the hiring of a foreign worker will have neutral or positive economic effects on the local labour market.
Candidates with a validated employment offer will gain 10 points under this factor, and an additional 5 points in the Adaptability selection factor for a total of 15 points.
Adaptability – Maximum of 10 points
Applicants who have at least 1 year of full time Canadian work experience in a managerial, professional, technical or skilled trade occupation will be awarded maximum points. As mentioned above, a validated offer of employment will provide 5 adaptability points. Other considerations awarding points under this selection factor include: A close adult relative living in Canada; Applicant or spouse has studied in Canada; Spouse has previous Canadian work experience; Spouse has knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages.
|(Canadian equivalence established by a designated third party)|
|Master’s or professional degree||23|
|Two or more post-secondary degrees, of which one is three years or longer||22|
|A three year or longer post-secondary degree||21|
|A two-year post-secondary diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship||19|
|A one-year post-secondary diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship||15|
|Secondary School Educational Credential||5|
|LANGUAGE (Abilities: Speak, Read, Write, Listen)||Max. 28|
|1st Lang||Very high proficiency (per ability) (CLB 9)||6|
|High proficiency (per ability) (CLB 8)||5|
|Intermediate proficiency (per ability) (CLB 7)*|
*Minimum threshold required to apply
|Basic or no proficiency||0|
|Possible maximum (all four abilities)||24|
|2ndLang||Basic proficiency or higher (per ability)||1|
|Possible maximum (all four abilities)||4|
|EXPERIENCE (NOC Skill Level O,A,B)||Max. 15|
*Minimum threshold required to apply
|Two to three years||11|
|Four to five years||13|
|Six years or more||15|
|18 to 35 years||12|
|Less one point per year until 47 years|
|ARRANGED EMPLOYMENT IN CANADA||Max. 10|
|HRSDC-confirmed permanent offer of employment||10|
|Applicants from within Canada holding a temporary work permit that is:|
|Applicant has a minimum of 1 year skilled Work experience in Canada||10|
|Applicant has previously studied in Canada||5|
|Spouse has previously studied in Canada||5|
|Spouse has previously worked in Canada||5|
|Family relation over the age of 18 in Canada||5|
|Spouse is proficient in an official language||5|
CIC policy confirms that the Federal Skilled Worker Program, while well-tailored to select highly educated individuals, does not favour applications from the skilled trades. In an effort to ensure the Canadian labour market attracts sufficient trades workers, qualified trades’ candidates may now apply for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
Persons interested in applying for permanent residence are invited to communicate with us at their convenience and/or to complete an assessment questionnaire. Upon receipt we will assess your options.
The rights of applicants applying for immigration status to Canada are often enhanced when represented by effective legal counsel.
If you intend to hire the services of a professional to represent your interests before the Canadian immigration authorities, only Attorneys who are members in good standing of a Canadian Law Society or Consultants who are licensed by the Immigration Consultants of the Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) are permitted to act as your representative under Canadian law.
If you intend to hire the services of a professional to represent your interests in Quebec immigration matters, only Attorneys who are members in good standing of the Quebec Law Society (the Barreau du Québec), or Consultants who are licensed by the Quebec Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities are permitted to act as you representative under Quebec law.
Colin R. Singer, Attorney
Colin R. Singer, Managing Partner of Immigration.ca is a licensed Canadian lawyer in good standing with a Canadian Law Society (the Quebec Law Society) during the past 25 years and is authorized by the Canadian and Quebec governments to represent your interests in all immigration matters.
You may obtain a confirmation of his current standing as a licensed lawyer in Canada by contacting the Barreau du Québec at the following web site:
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer featured on Wikipedia.
Colin R. Singer, Managing Partner of investmentimmigration.com and immigration.ca is a licensed immigration lawyer in good standing with a Canadian Law Society during the past 25+ years. As one of Canada’s foremost senior corporate immigration attorneys, Colin is recognized as an experienced authority on Canadian immigration matters as well as the international residence-by-investment industry through investmentimmigration.com.
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer featured on Wikipedia.
Colin Singer is founding director of the CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP & IMMIGRATION RESOURCE CENTER (CCIRC) INC. He served as an Associate Editor of “Immigration Law Reporter” the preeminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at National conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resources industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession.
Specialties Colin’s law practice focuses on economic class and business immigration. In 1994, he became Canada’s first attorney to establish an internet presence through www.immigration.ca, the industry’s only one-word domain. His persona on social media is one of the most recognized in the industry. A multiple award winning author on Mondaq, a leading aggregator of legal, financial and regulatory information from more than 85 countries, his opinions on government policy are often referenced by national news media and industry stakeholders. In 2007, in response to a shift in government policy promoting employer-driven admissions of foreign workers to Canada, the firm acquired Global Recruiters of Montreal a Global Recruiters Network franchise (www.grnmontreal.com) to help provide search consulting expertise that applicants and employers require. To read more about Colin please check his “LinkedIn Profile”.
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