On February 12, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that the country’s Immigrant Investor Program would be terminated. Given that there were approximately 75,000 pending applications, this came as a huge shock, especially to the Chinese investors who comprised approximately 60 percent of the pending applications. The CIC stated that they wanted to “pave the way for new pilot programs that will actually meet Canada’s labor market and economic needs.” There have been guesses that the CIC is looking to model their newly updated Immigrant Investor Program after the United States’ EB-5 visa program.
On June 19, 2014, the Canadian government passed a law whereby the pending application from the Immigrant Investor Program would be terminated – depending on when a selection decision was made. If an investor’s selection decision was made on the application before February 11, 2014, then the application is not affected and will continue to proceed. However, if an investor’s selection decision was not made before February 11, 2014, then the investor’s application will be terminated. The CIC will refund the fees and investment (without interest) back to the investor. The investor will need to complete a form which would then allow the CIC to refund the investment and fees back to the investor via check or electronic funds transfer. The CIC stated that it would not reimburse other application costs such as financial audits, representative fees, bank charges or language tests.
With the terminated program refunding the investments and fees, foreign investors will likely look to the United States as another avenue to investing their funds and obtaining permanent residency.