Some reactions to the scrapping of Canada's 'Immigrant Investor Programme'

February 17, 2014

Canada's 'Immigrant Investor Programme'

Canada has said officially that the termination of its investor immigrant programs does not target the Chinese. But, Chinese press agencies across the spectrum have said that the ‘policy change’ is unfair and wrong. The federal ‘Immigrant Investor Program’ and the ‘Federal Entrepreneur Program’ are the ones that the Canadian government has stopped and these are the programs that the Chinese are referring to. As per these programs, applicant investors have to have at a minimum, a total wealth of Canadian dollars 1.6 million ($1.5 million) at least and also have to invest and provide Canadian dollars 800,000, by way of a ‘multi-year loan’ which is also an ‘interest-free’ loan to the government.

But, the changes to the policy by the Canadian government seem to have been done after a bit of home work in the form of research as to what exactly wealthy and rich investor applicant immigrants are bringing to Canada. It appears that such a research done by CIC (Canada and Immigration Canada, which is the immigration department/wing of the government of Canada) shows that prospective immigrant investors pay less in taxes than other immigrants. According to the same authority, these prospective immigrants are also less likely to stay in Canada whether in the medium-term or in the long-term. According to the same research, it appears that they often lack the skills, including official language proficiency skills (language skills in English or French, say), to integrate well as compared to other immigrants from the same host countries.   

But, there are of course some other facets to the same story. Thus, some Chinese academics, consultants and professionals have different views and opinions to offer regarding the same issue. Thus, a professor at a Chinese university says that so/for long, Canada did not have a correct picture of the growth in wealth among some/many Chinese nationals. So, only now, and all of a sudden, Canada has realized that there is a whole number of Chinese with a lot of wealth who are keen to migrate, or, atleast wanting to have an alternative base in another country. But, a Chinese technical professional presently living in Canada had a viewpoint that wealth ought not to be considered as the sole or the most important criterion for allowing immigration of individuals. Thus, he was of the opinion that someone like him, a technical professional had a lot to offer to the host country and people like him ought to be considered too. But, on the whole, it is a considered view of many that the wealthy Chinese would always have alternative destinations such the US, northern Europe, etc. to consider and migrate to, to fulfill their desire for an alternate home and base.   
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