Calling all Investors

The government of Canada is well-known as one with liberal attitudes to economic migration and their programme which is designed to attract investor venture capitalists to the country is no exception. With a long-standing history of promoting immigration among skilled workers, the Canadian government is further seeking to promote economic growth and job creation by accepting migration from people across the globe with the ability and funds to invest in the country's workforce. The idea is not just to attract migrants with the ability to contribute to the Canadian economy but to really drive it forwards.

The programme was first announced by the Citizenship and Immigration Minister of Canada, Chris Alexander, who said that the programme would be specifically designed to attract business immigrants with sufficient levels of experience. Mr Alexander said that Canada was open to people who can actively invest in the North American economy, especially when the have a track record of stimulating innovation and of creating jobs. Anyone who is thinking of setting up a business or relocating an existing one to the country should apply under the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Programme. This programme is just one of a series of transformational changes that have been undertaken by the Canadian government in recent years. The scheme, like other routes to immigration in the country, demonstrates the authorities' commitment to augment an already flexible economic immigration system which is both fast and convenient.

James Moore, the Canadian Industry Minister, echoed Alexander's sentiments when the venture capitalist route to immigration was launched. He said that the government was working hard to bring more experienced business leaders to the country and to utilise their expertise in running businesses, not just their personal investments. “This particular programme assists with the building of a stronger venture capital environment in Canada,” he said. “It also makes sure that capital drawn from the immigrant investor community will have a greater impact on the economy in the long term.”

How To Access The Economic Venture Capital Investor Programme

Anyone who wants to take up the Canadian scheme will need to commit to making investments that add up to the equivalent of CAD $2 million in the country. However, this investment must be committed to for a period of at least 15 years. In addition, for any individual to be eligible for the programme, they must have a net worth of at least CAD $10 million. Under the scheme, immigrant investors will also need to meet certain other eligibility criteria which relate to things like education level and language skills. On top of this, a proven record in successful business dealings or a significant amount of investment experience must be documented.

The idea of these criteria - on who is able to access the route to settling in Canada - is that they will make sure that immigrant investors will have a beneficial input into the Canadian economy. Furthermore, they are designed to ensure that people who are admitted for permanent residence under the programme will be well equipped with the skills needed to help them integrate successfully into Canadian society as well as the business landscape more generally.

The government's stated aim is that the venture capital investment route will provide a pathway for about 50 or so immigrant investors. This will include sufficient measures for their families to also gain permanent residence, too. According to the government, the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Programme fulfils their own commitment to the country's Economic Action Plan, first launched in 2014. This plan makes use of immigration and other measures to create a more balanced economy which promotes growth by welcoming migrants who settle and deliver meaningful benefits to the economy.

Would-be migrants thinking about accessing the Canadian programme should note that both the former Immigrant Investor Programme and the previous Entrepreneur Programme have come to an end and no longer provide a route to citizenship. Instead, the government has opted for the current programme which is similar to one already in place in more than 30 countries across the globe. Any migrants who are selected for the programme will need to obtain a due diligence report which details their eligibility. This must be procured from a one of the government's designated service providers and prove that the net worth of the candidate is sufficient and that it has also been obtained from lawful business activities.

“As we move forward, the government will make sure that our economic immigration schemes provide Canada with a direct benefit and add to the country's long-term prosperity,” said Alexander.

December 22, 2014

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