Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) terminated the federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) and Federal Entrepreneur (EN) Program in February 2014. CIC claims that this will pave the way for new pilot programs which will hopefully meet Canada’s labour market and economic needs.
The IIP has been temporarily on hold since July 2012, while the EN Program has been on hold since July 2011. The current programs have an inventory of more than 65,000 persons with an approximate processing time of over six years. CICwill be eliminating the large and longstanding backlog by returning applications and refunding previously-paid fees to all applicants.
In place of the IIP and EN programs, CIC plans on introducing new pilot programs. One such example is the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Fund pilot project, which will require immigrants to make a significant investment in the Canadian economy. CIC will also conduct consultations regarding a potential Business Skills pilot program. More details about these programs will be shared in the upcoming months.
In addition, CIC introduced in April 2013 the Start-Up Visa program, which grants permanent residency to immigrant entrepreneurs while assisting them to become established in Canada.
For further details and updates regarding this and eligibility requirements for applying for Canadian permanent residence, contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.