The past few years have been tough ones for business persons
seeking to access Canada's Business Immigration program.
On July 1, 2011 the Entrepreneur category was suspended and on July
1, 2012 so was the Investor program. On February 11, 2014 the
Government of Canada decided to formally terminate both
programs. Approximately 20,000 to 25,000 Investor files in
process were cancelled as of February 28, 2014 if they had not
reached the initial stage of selection and for those Investors who
didn't manage to finalize their PR applications as of June 20,
2014, they were formally terminated. People who had spent
many years "investing" in the Investor immigration
program were merely told, "Sorry - you're
The Self-Employed category has managed to survive but it is by
definition limited to those who generate their own employment in
cultural or artistic endeavours, athletics or farming. The
numbers tell the significance of this business immigration program
- Canada accepted merely 89 self-employed applicants in 2012 and 94
applicants in 2013.
In April 2013 then Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney
introduced the new Start-up visa category to recruit dynamic
immigration entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas to launch
companies in Canada that will create new jobs and spur economic
growth. In introducing this new program, Minister Kenney admitted
that the initial uptake of the program would likely be very low and
indeed it took over a year and a half for the first few immigrants
to be accepted under the program. In order to become a PR in
this category it is necessary for a prospective business applicant
to secure financing from a Canadian venture capital fund or angel
investor fund that has been designated by the Canadian government
for immigration purposes. Needless to say this essential step has
been a roadblock for many prospective immigrants. Current
Minister of Immigration Chris Alexander further expanded this
program to include the Business Incubator stream. The new
stream complements the existing venture capital or angel investor
options, and is intended to link foreign entrepreneurs with
business incubators who have expertise working with start-up
companies in Canada to provide them with mentorship and support in
finding investors to grow the start-up into a sustainable
So what's an aspiring business immigrant to Canada to
do? With the suspensions, limitations and terminations in
Canada's federal business immigration program, many have turned
to the provinces that have business categories in their Provincial
Nominee Programs. Not all provinces have business
programs, but for those that do - well let's just say that
business has been booming! So much so that in many provinces
considerable backlogs have developed. In British
Columbia alone a current backlog of approximately 1,900
applications has developed. Consider that the processing
capacity for the BC PNP business immigration team is approximately
250-300 applications a year. You can do the math. For
keen business people - and let's be serious - most business
people with meaningful business ventures are eager to move forward
with their plans on an immediate basis, the application processing
times of several months, if not years, is just not viable. It is
not the nature of business to wait for bureaucratic government
approval - at least not in North America.
So it has been welcome news to hear that the Canadian government
is moving forward with a new Investor Immigrant pilot
program. While there has been no formal announcement as yet,
Canada's Minister of Immigration Chris Alexander has been
letting the immigration community know that this is in the works
and recent government announcements have sought tenders for
independent financial reviewers to assess and confirm an
applicant's financial history and capability. Early
information indicates that the program will be increasing the
required period of investment of five years and increasing
investment levels to between $1 million and $2 million. The
new investment levels are expected to be competitive with other
countries with similar programs in place.
The re-opening of a federal Investor immigration program is good
news for everyone. Current information about the program
suggests that the investment funds will provide real and meaningful
economic benefit for Canadians. Prospective business
immigrants will have a viable means of obtaining Canadian permanent
residency in a timely manner. Provincial programs will likely
face lighter loads which will allow for speedier processing
times. And Canada will once again have a legitimate and
vibrant business immigration program. Stay tuned for further
details on the new Canadian Investor immigration program!
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September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
Canada received more than 320,000 immigrants in the last 12 months, approaching levels not seen since the early 20th century. The per capital immigration rate at .88%, is consistent with previous Liberal government policies.
October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
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