A Canadian government program to attract wealthy immigrants was ended by the federal budget announced Tuesday (February 11) in Ottawa. The controversial program had been closed to new applicants since 2012, and offered visas to business people with a net worth of at least $1.6 million who were willing to lend $800,000 to the Canadian government.
Canada’s Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, and his predecessor Jason Kenney, had criticized the program as ineffective in attracting investment.
Real estate agents in Canada’s Pacific coast city of Vancouver say property prices could be affected by the scrapping of the program.
The government has also announced the end of the Entrepreneur Program, a smaller scheme for business people who plan to own and manage a business in Canada.
However, wealthy investors can still come to Canada through the Start-up Visa Program, which encourages immigrant entrepreneurs to partner with private sector organisations to invest in local start-ups.
CBC News – B.C. property market hazy after ‘millionaire visa’ scrapped – here
Vancouver Sun – Policy that allowed wealthy foreigners into country criticized for failing to generate economic benefits – here
Globe and Mail – Investor road to Canada hits a dead end with immigrant program’s closing – here