According to CIC and the Economic Action Plan 2014, both the Federal Immigration Investor and Entrepreneur Programs (commonly known as investor visas), will soon be eliminated. The date for this termination has not been announced, but when it occurs, all applications which have not yet been processed will be discarded as there is currently a six-year backlog of 65,000 applications. This move by Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander is part of the larger goal to streamline and maximize the utility of economic and business immigration streams and to reform the immigration system at large.
About the Federal Immigration Investor and Entrepreneur Programs
The termination of the Immigrant Investor and Entrepreneur Programs has been a long time coming. The Investor Program has been on hold since July 1, 2012 and the Entrepreneur Program has been on hold since July 1, 2011. Some applications received before the programs went on hold would have been processed, but no applications received after these dates will be processed.
The Immigrant Investor Program was created in the 1980s, and since then the global economy has changed significantly. Other countries with similar economies to Canada including the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand require between $5 - $10 million dollar investment and do not grant permanent residence automatically. Whereas the Canadian IIP granted permanent residence to accepted applicants up front with only an $800,000 investment.
Contribution to Canada
Most immigrant investors who came to Canada under this program are not making a positive impact on the Canadian economy over the long term. According to CIC, they work and invest less on average than immigrants who come to Canada under other economic streams, and they also pay less money in taxes. On average, an immigrant investor pays around $200,000 less in taxes than a federal skilled worker, and nearly $100,000 less than a live-in caregiver (nanny) over a 20-year career.
Immigrant investors also have the absolute lowest language ability of any immigrants under any category, including refugees. They are also less likely to stay in Canada permanently, but rather return to their country of origin or take up residence in another country all together after having obtained Canadian citizenship.
The Future of Economic Immigration to Canada
In 2013, CIC introduced the Start-Up Visa to encourage venture capitalism in Canada by entrepreneurs.
And, the Express Entry program for workers will launch in January 2015. This program will offer a faster path to permanent residence to eligible applicants under the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class, and certain portions of the Provincial Nominee programs. There will also likely be new additions to the economic immigration streams which have yet to be announced.