Investor and Entrepreneur Programs Terminated
February 2014 the government announced its intent to terminate the federal Immigrant Investor Program and Federal Entrepreneur Program. This is to eliminate a large backlog of applications, and pave the way for new pilot programs that will actually meet Canada’s needs.
The Immigrant Investor Program, started in 1986, basically offered visas to business people with a net worth of at least $1.6 million who were willing to lend $800,000 to the Canadian government.
But by 2012, the program had to be temporarily frozen due to a huge backlog of applications from wealthy mainland Chinese hoping to come to B.C. Now, the government is stopping the program for good which will scrap almost 60,000 applications world wide.
Why the change? Research shows that the current Immigrant Investor Program provides limited economic benefit to Canada. Currently the immigrant investors pay less in taxes than other economic immigrants, and are less likely to stay in Canada over the medium- to long-term. Also, according to the research, they often lack the skills, and language proficiency to integrate as well as other immigrants from the same countries.
What’s next? The government says it will replace these programs with more focused and effective pilot programs that will ensure that immigrants who come to Canada deliver meaningful benefits to our economy.
Will this be the end of the real estate market? Well, different people have different takes on the impact on our housing market, especially the high-end luxury properties. Some fear the impact will be tremendous while others are less concerned.
I think only time will tell. And if we think back to the many times experts predict our market will skydive, did it really happen? It will be really interesting to see what happens.
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