Canada launches bid to attract more expat investors

by Ray Clancy on August 8, 2012

Online consultation on how to benefit from immigrant investment

In a bid to attract more wealthy people to invest in Canada, the country’s government has launched an online consultation on how to benefit from immigrant investment.

As part of its Economic Action Plan 2012, the government of Canada wants the public to voice views on ways to improve the federal Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP).

‘We can no longer be a passive player in the global competition for talent and investment. That is why we need to review our immigration programs to create dynamic opportunities that enable immigrants’ investments to directly benefit the Canadian economy,’ said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

The Economic Action Plan announced that business immigration programmes will be reformed to target more active investment for Canadian growth companies. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is now inviting online submissions from stakeholders and the public.

It wants views on how the department can increase the economic benefit that immigrant investment capital brings to Canada; how it can attract experienced, international investors with the skills and resources needed to ensure they integrate into Canada’s economy; and how it can develop efficient and cost effective ways of delivering an investment programme.

‘I am open to creative ideas and suggestions from the business community on how to maximize the economic benefits of such programs to Canada,’ said Kenney.

He explained that the goal of these consultations is to determine how best to target high value global investors and to increase the economic benefit that immigrant investment capital brings to Canada.

The current IIP offers permanent residency to individuals who meet specific criteria and are able to make an $800,000, five year, interest free loan to provincial and territorial governments for economic development activities.

CIC is also consulting Canadians on whether the government should use its new powers under the amended Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to create short term programmes that could have a far greater impact on Canada’s economy, for example by possibly favouring active use of investment capital to promote economic growth.

CIC implemented a temporary pause on new IIP applications on 01 July 2012, in order to allow for a thorough review of the programme. Nonetheless, in 2012, Canada intends to admit 5,500 to 6,000 newcomers under the Federal Business category, which includes investors.

The online consultations are open for input until 04 September 4, 2012 on the CIC website. CIC is also consulting with provinces and territories on changes to federal immigrant investor programming.

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