CITIZENSHIP and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander on Tuesday welcomed measures in Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2014 to build a faster, more flexible immigration system that makes real contributions to Canada’s long-term prosperity.
EAP 2014 announced the government’s intent to terminate the federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) and federal Entrepreneur (EN) Program, eliminate a large and longstanding backlog of applications, and pave the way for new pilot programs that will actually meet Canada’s labour market and economic needs.
The current IIP provides limited economic benefit to Canada. Research shows that immigrant investors pay less in taxes than other economic immigrants, are less likely to stay in Canada over the medium to long-term and often lack the skills, including official language proficiency, to integrate as well as other immigrants from the same countries.
Eliminating the IIP and EN programs – and the associated backlog of applications – will allow the government to focus on attracting experienced business people and raising investment capital that is of maximum benefit to Canada’s economy.
The government will replace these programs with more focused and effective pilot programs that will ensure that immigrants who come to Canada deliver meaningful benefits to our economy. This will complement CIC’s Start-Up Visa, enabling Canada to remain competitive in the global economy. Details of the new pilots will be announced in the coming months.
Under the Immigrant Investor Program, Canada offers guaranteed permanent residence in exchange for a guaranteed $800,000 loan (before 2010, the amount was only $400,000). The United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand require as much as $5 to $10 million, and do not offer up-front permanent residency.
Over a 20-year career, an immigrant investor pays about $200,000 less in income taxes than a federal skilled worker and almost $100,000 less in taxes than one live-in caregiver.
The current IIP has an inventory of more than 65,000 persons, larger than any other economic immigration program. At current levels, it would take more than six years to process this inventory.
“Our government is focused on attracting experienced business people and raising investment capital that will contribute to our economic success over the long term. Our government will continue to focus on economic immigration programs that make sense for Canada by ensuring our economic and labour market needs are being met now and into the future,” said Alexander.