Canada’s pilot Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) program for millionaires has received just six applications since its launch in January, far fewer than the number of applications received for the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program (CIIP) that it was meant to replace.
Canadian authorities were seeking 60 applications for the pilot IIVC program, which requires candidates to have a much higher net worth than what was required for the CIIP.
Under the IIVC, would-be immigrants must have a net worth of at least C$10 million, and invest a minimum of C$2 million in Canada for a 15-year period. Candidates must also be able to speak English or French.
Immigration experts say the poor design of the IIVC program has discouraged investors from paying the higher price required.
However, the low level of interest in the IIVC program will not cause the government to consider reinstating the CIIP. “We believe it is important to continue testing demand, because we know that the IIVC pilot program can deliver significant benefit to Canada,” said a spokesperson from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
The CIIP was launched in the mid-1980s and provided fast-track visas for wealthy foreigners with a net worth of at least $800,000 upon making a minimum investment of $400,000 in Canada. Those requirements were later revised to a minimum net worth of $1.6 million and investment of $800,000. The CIIP had no language requirement and was especially popular among Chinese investors.
However, the CIIP was scrapped following a surge in the number of applications over the past few years, amidst criticism that Canada was allowing Chinese investors to buy their way into Canada.
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