Canada emigration to cost rich foreigners more

Canada emigration to cost rich foreigners more

Canada emigration to cost rich foreigners more

As reported by Reuters, the Harper government is changing up the national immigrant investor programme to ensure that the money brought in by wealthy foreigners as a pre-condition of entry is utilised in Canadian firms instead of sitting idly in bank accounts.

The Conservatives are expected to, at minimum, double the cash which foreign investors must inject into the country-- from $800,000 to $1.6 million. The cash is currently distributed to local governments during five years until it is returned, with no interest, to the foreigner.

The government’s plan is to squeeze more benefits for the nation from the large pool of foreign millionaires seeking safe havens in places like North America.

Last Friday, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney engaged in consultations on changing the federal immigrant investor programme. He cited the “millions of millionaires” in the world who willingly immigrate to Canada and invest in the country.

However, Canada has been massively under-pricing the programme relative to major competitors such as New Zealand, Australia, the US and the UK, he added. Kenney seeks to make it so that newcomers must invest more directly into Canadian firms – making what he dubs more “durable investments.”

Canada currently allows in around 3,000 immigrant investors each year via the federal programme – or around 11,000 immigrants including their families. Mainly from Taiwan, South Korea and China, these newcomers’ main destinations are British Columbia and Ontario.

The existing programme requires immigrant investors to make interest-free loans to provincial and territorial governments, supposedly as investment capital for development activities. However, Mr Kenney complains that the cash often ends up languishing on government balance sheets rather than helping the economy.

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