Stay in touch

Get updates about the latest immigration news and be better informed about the Canadian Immigration Process.
First Name
Email address
Secure and Spam free...

The Rise & Fall of Canada’s Immigrant Investor Program: A Closer Look

By March 2, 2023 March 22nd, 2023 No Comments

Although Canada gained independence in 1867, the government got the power to practice its constitution in 1982. Since then, the nation has only seen the path of evolution toward betterment and stability. The government workers followed the same course of upgrading and went on to introduce a new program, the Immigrant Investor Program (IIP), in 1986. However, the program was terminated in 2014 due to various issues. 

The program helped wealthy people get Canadian citizenship and reside there, ticking all the eligibility boxes. But why was it cancelled? Has it affected Canada’s path of reaching improvement? Let us dig into the facts.

Immigrant Investor Program

Every country tries to provide its inhabitants with a better life, job opportunities, advanced health facilities, and many other benefits. However, it becomes a little difficult for governments to provide such essentials soon after gaining independence. As a result, the Canadian government introduced the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program. IIP was a typical immigration program initialized by the federal government in 1986. It allowed wealthy people from all over the globe to come and reside in Canada and helped the government increase its GDP and per capita income and boost the economy. However, you needed to fulfill certain criteria in order to be eligible.


As an investor in the economy, one had to meet the below-mentioned requirements to qualify for the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program.

  • Net Worth: The applicants who desired to earn Canadian citizenship needed not less than CAD 800,000, revised to CAD 1.6 million in 2010 as assets. The net worth could be derived from several sources, including purchases, real estate, and business ownership. 
  • Investment: As an applicant, you had to invest CAD 400,000, which was raised to CAD 800,000 later by amendment (government guaranteed) in the Canadian economy for a period of 5 years. The investment was to be made using a government-approved fund, and the same funds were used to create jobs and stimulate economic growth. 
  • Education: One who applied to the IIP program of Canada must have completed a post-secondary education degree, diploma, or certificate from a recognized institution. 
  • Business Experience: Those who desired to live in Canada as citizens entering through the Immigrant Investor Program Of Canada were required to have at least two years of business experience. The experience could have been managing a business in a professional, technical or skilled trade occupation. 

Benefits People Enjoyed Using the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program

Although cancelled, the IIP program offered several benefits to the applicants:

  • Permanent Residency: The IIP program provided successful applicants and their families with permanent residency in the country, allowing them to live, study, and work.
  • Business Opportunities: The program made way for wealthy individuals to invest in the Canadian economy and establish or expand their businesses there. 
  • Healthcare & Education: Successful applicants were eligible for healthcare and educational benefits provided to Canadian citizens. 
  • Citizenship: Once the people who desired to live in Canada met the residency requirements, they were awarded a permanent residency. 
  • Quality Life: Canada has always been known for its high standard of living. People who applied to the IIP program and fulfilled all the requirements were given quality living with excellent healthcare, education, and social services. Such people were eligible for a comfortable and secure lifestyle in Canada.

Cancellation Of the Immigrant Investor Program

The Canadian Immigrant Investor program was finally cancelled in the year 2014. The program was believed to not offer any advantage to the Canadian economy as forecasted. Instead, it led to a backlog of applications.

One of the prime criticisms of the program was that it allowed wealthy individuals essentially buy their way to Canada without necessarily contributing to the country’s economy or society. Some even argued that the program did not prioritize immigrants with unique skills or qualifications that Canada needed. Moreover, the program did not ensure that immigrants integrated into Canadian society seamlessly.

Another reason that led to the termination of the IIP was the emergence of Chinese immigrants in the country. People from China and Hong Kong started to inhabit Canada in more numbers every day. In addition, the wealthy Chinese were eager to move their assets out of China due to various political concerns, instability, and corruption. And the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program offered them a convenient way to do so.

With all these issues, the program also faced backlash because of its delays. The process often took time and led to a large backlog of applications. Moreover, it meant that various individuals who had applied to the program were waiting years to hear back on their status, which was considered unfair and efficient.

Lastly, the program was criticized for its relatively low minimum threshold of CAD 800,000. Some argued that this amount needed to be more significant to benefit the Canadian economy and should be increased to better reflect the costs of living and doing business in Canada. 

So, after a lot of the hustle and bustle, the cancellation of the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program was done and was seen as a necessary step to ensure that Canada’s immigration system was better aligned with the country’s economic and social needs. But, as per specialists, while there were benefits to the program, it was ultimately deemed too flawed to continue. 

Get Help To Immigrate To Canada

Despite all these obstacles, the Canadian government still provides many options to enter the country and helps them increase the flow of the economy. If you are facing problems immigrating to Canada, contact us for more information. We help individuals to get citizenship in Canada in the most convenient way.