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Citizenship and Immigration Canada announces new federal immigrant investor program

On November 10, 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) published regulations in the Canada Gazette, which reinstate the Canadian Federal Immigrant Investor Program (“IIP”). These regulations come into force on December 1, 2010.

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On June 26, 2010, CIC published proposed regulations in the Canada Gazette, which would increase the personal net worth and investment amounts utilized by the IIP. Under the proposed regulations, the investment required under the IIP would increase from $400,000.00CAD to $800,000.00CAD. In addition, the personal net worth required to qualify under the IIP would increase from $800,000.00CAD to $1.6 Million CAD.

CIC also published Ministerial Instructions in the Canada Gazette, which established a moratorium on new IIP applications from June 26, 2010, until the date that the final regulations became effective. According to the Ministerial Instructions, no applications under the program were to be accepted unless they were post-marked or received by CIC before June 26, 2010. The stated purpose of the moratorium was to mitigate the growing surge in such applications under the lower investment and personal net worth levels.

According to CIC, a net worth of $800,000CAD in 1999 was considered substantial enough to attract applicants with the financial wherewithal and expertise to make a significant positive economic contribution to Canada. However, due to increasing global wealth, CIC believed that a net worth of $800,000 was now within easy reach of a modest property owner in a large city, who may not have other transferable resources as originally envisioned. In addition, CIC stated that most other countries with similar programs now required an investment closer to $1 Million CAD.

The new regulations, which were published on November 10, 2010, reinstate the IIP and implement the higher investment and net worth levels that were initially announced on June 26, 2010. As of December 1, 2010, applicants under the IIP are required to invest $800,000CAD and to establish a personal net worth of $1.6 Million CAD.

Henry J. Chang
Blaney McMurtry LLP

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Henry J. Chang

Corporate immigration lawyer at Blaney McMurtry LLP
Henry J. Chang is a partner in the business immigration group of Blaney McMurtry LLP. A recognized authority in the field of United States and Canadian immigration law, Mr. Chang lectures extensively on the subject in both the United States and Canada. His written works have appeared in numerous nationally and internationally recognized legal publications, including Immigration Law and Procedure, which has been cited in over 300 federal court decisions. Read more
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