Canada Immigration and Citizenship News
BACKLOG COSTS CANADA THOUSANDS OF BUSINESS IMMIGRANTS
Copyright © 2001 Peter Merrik
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada's 2001 statistics, of the 250,643 people who immigrated to Canada, 4,087 qualified under the investor, entrepreneur, and self employed immigration categories.
The Immigrant Investor Program was created in 1986 by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Quebec administers its own program. Since the Canadian and Quebec Governments initiated their programs, over 21,000 immigrants have qualified under this category. They have invested over $6.5 billion into these programs with the bulk of this money going to Quebec (57.4 per cent).
Citizenship and Immigration Canada defines an investor immigrant as someone who has successfully operated or controlled or directed a business or commercial undertaking and has accumulated through his or her own efforts a net worth of at least $800,000 CDN. Immigrant investors must also make a minimum investment of $400,000 CDN in an approved investment fund. This class of immigrant has no conditions imposed upon admission to Canada. They can pursue whatever business opportunity in Canada they wish and live where they like, once their initial investment is made.
Immigrants who meet these requirements must use one of 11 approved Citizenship and Immigration Canada financial institutions to facilitate the financing of their Immigrant class investments. The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) members participating in the Immigrant Investor Program are CIBC, Desjardins, HSBC, MCAP Securities, Habib Canadian Bank, Laurentian Bank, Computershare Trust, National Bank, TD Canada Trust, Royal Bank, and Scotia Bank.
Each $400,000 investment is collected by these institutions and either forwarded to Citizenship and Immigration Canada or The Quebec Immigration Office. The interest earned from this money is to be used for government grants to Canadian and Quebec companies to help foster economic growth.
Marc Audet, the Vice President of the Desjardins Trust department participating in both the federal and Quebec programs believes that "Quebec has done a much better job promoting Canada to prospective wealthy immigrants and having these immigrants choose to invest in Quebec" for two simple reasons. First, Quebec has paid a commission to financial institutions from the start of their program; this has facilitated the promotion and recruitment of immigrant investors in the Quebec program. This money incentive has helped support an infrastructure of offices and agents around the world to promote Quebec and Canada. Second, a financial institution that has successfully processed an applicant in Quebec usually receives its commission in six to 12 months. This commission ranges from $30,000 to $50,000.