Changes To Immigrant Investor Programmes

posted on July 29, 2014

By Jamaica-Gleaner | Link to Article

Canada Economic Action Plan

By Jamaica-Gleaner | Link to Article

Canada Economic Action Plan

On June 19, 2014, the Economic Action Plan Act 2014 became law. The effect was that certain applications that have not yet been approved under the IIP and EN would be terminated or cancelled based on whether an applicant met the selection criteria before February 11, 2014. Selection will be based on the CIC processing system and is time based.

So fees paid to CIC in respect of the terminated IIP and EN applications will be returned to the person who paid them. Any investment that has been made in respect of a terminated IIP application will also be returned to the applicant.

This means that if a decision was made on your application before February 11, 2014, your application will not be affected and will continue to be processed. So even if you have not yet been asked to do a medical examination, your application is not affected by the legislation and you should be hearing from CIC soon.

If a selection decision was not made on your application before February 11, 2014, then your application is automatically terminated and CIC will contact you either directly, or through your representative, to return the processing fees and any investment that you may have made. You should note that the fees and investment will be returned without interest.

I know that many persons are concerned about the fees and costs associated with their application such as the financial audits, language test, bank charges, and representative fees; however, these fees will not be returned or reimbursed.

Is this the end of investment opportunities in Canada?

No. The government of Canada is still hoping to attract economic immigrants who are more likely to contribute positively to the Canadian economy and maintain ties to Canada through new pilot projects.

There is the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Fund pilot project. This project will require immigrants to make a “real and significant investment in the Canadian economy”.

The government will be engaging in consultations to ensure that more appropriate programmes are implemented to achieve their goals. I will tell you more about this programme, hopefully, in another article or blog.

Express Entry

The other programme is set to launch in January 2015 and is called ‘Express Entry’. It is viewed that this new Express Entry Programme will help Canadian employers to recruit the best candidates from around the world to foster productivity and growth in their businesses and ultimately, the Canadian economy. Individuals will be selected based on selection based on “the most likely to succeed in Canada” rather than based on the existing ‘first come first serve/the first person in line’ system.

Essentially, the express entry system is a recruitment model that may be viewed as a match-making service between ‘highly skilled immigrants’; the provincial, territorial and federal governments; and others employers.

Transfer from Investor to Federal Skilled Worker Programme

You cannot have your fees or application transferred from one programme to the other. The application process and requirements are different. You will need to submit a different application under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme if this is the route you now wish to take. However, since your application was submitted three years ago, there is a strong possibility that an officer has made a decision on your case by now. You should contact the CIC’s approved communications lines in your country to ascertain the status of your file and make a decision then.

You should note, however, that beginning in January 2015, CIC will be transitioning to the Express Entry system. Once this system is implemented, individuals will no longer be able to apply under the FSW programme. Instead, a prospective applicant will need to submit his or her intent to apply for immigration to an applicant pool. Then, the federal government and employers will all be able to select candidates from the larger pool and invite them to submit an immigration application.

CIC will be accepting applications under the existing FSW programme until January 1, 2015, or until the overall cap of 25,000 is reached. While all occupations appear to currently be open, some popular fields will fill up very quickly. If you qualify under the FSWP, you should apply immediately as there is no guarantee that you will be selected or matched with a prospective employer under the new system. The concern is that many employers will be scrutinising the list and selecting the ‘cream of the crop’ to join their organisation, therefore, the selection process could be more subjective.

n Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, personal injury, commercial, family, and administration of estates. She is on the roster of mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Submit your questions and comments to: Email: Subject line: Immigration. Facebook: jamaicanlawyer Tel: 613-695-8777.

Read more