Immigrant Investor Program Redesign

CIC News
Published: January 1, 1999

OTTAWA, December 11, 1998 -- The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and M.P. for Westmount-Ville-Marie, Lucienne Robillard, today announced the pre-publication of new regulations for the redesigned Immigrant Investor Program, expected to take effect on April 1, 1999.

In accordance with these new regulations, the federal government will act as an agent on behalf of the provinces and territories, who will determine where to invest the money; an increase in the minimum investment to $500,000 for all investors, regardless of the province where the capital is invested; an
increase in the minimum net worth required of the investor to $1 million; and that immigrant investment is now secured by the provinces and territories against loss. The regulations governing the current program are repealed, but will continue to apply to previously approved businesses and funds.

"The new program is dynamic," said Minister Robillard. "It can support the current economic requirements for job creation, it can be adapted to meet the economic objectives of tomorrow, and it is a concrete example of flexible federalism."

The changes were developed in partnership with the provinces. They are designed to increase the benefits derived from the program, and to reduce the potential for abuse as well as the level of federal and provincial resources required to administer the program. Even better, the new program will allow
provinces to direct investor funds toward their own economic priorities.

The Canada-Quebec Accord, signed in 1991, authorizes Quebec to select investors and to administer its own program. Quebec has not indicated an interest in participating in the new IIP, but it may do so when it deems it appropriate. However, consistent with the spirit of the Accord, it has agreed to harmonize its regulations with the federal program. The new IIP does not impinge on Quebec's ability to select investors. Moreover, investors will now be required to invest in the federal program in order to be selected by the federal government.

"In addition to their investment, immigrant investors bring with them a wealth of international business expertise to Canada," the Minister said. "Canada welcomes immigrant investors, who can now be assured of the financial security of their investment under the new program."

The current program will be extended to March 31, 1999, to allow sufficient time for ample public comment following the pre-publication of the new regulations.

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