Ottawa—The Canadian government has announced it is doubling requirements for foreign investors seeking to establish themselves in Canada, citing a high increase in demand.
Starting on December 1, foreign investors seeking to be enter Canada as an immigrant must have personal net worth of at least 1.6 million Canadian dollars (1.6 million US) and make an investment of 800,000 dollars (798,400 US) or more, Citizenship and Immigration Canada said in a statement.
The old criteria had specified 800,000 dollars and 400,000 dollars, respectively. The ministry said the old criteria, which had remained unchanged since 1999, were among the lowest compared to other countries with similar programs.
“These changes were necessary,” said Jason Kenney, the minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism. “The requirements had not been increased in more than a decade and we need to keep pace with the changing economy.”
In June, the investor program was suspended, namely because a high volume of applications was making wait times too long.
“Raising the requirements will help reduce the flow of applications while ensuring we attract experienced businesspeople who can make a more substantial contribution to the economy,” the ministry said.
Kenney said the stricter criteria meant that “provinces and territories will receive more investment capital to put toward job creation and economic development projects.”
Among the approximately 252,000 foreigners admitted as immigrants or refugees in Canada last year, a little over 12,000 — five percent — were considered immigrant investors, according to government data.
The ministry noted that a foreign investor must have a minimum net worth of 3.3 million Canadian dollars in order to immigrate to Britain under a similar status.
Australia asks for 2.2 million dollars (2.2 million US) in assets and the United States for a little over one million.
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