The Canada Immigrant Investor program was a pioneer when it was launched in 1986, attracting 200,000 during its lifetime. There were 2 programs providing a gateway to Canada: the Federal Immigrant Investor Program and the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program. The federal program was shut down in 2014, leaving many applicants in limbo by dumping all the applications stocked in the backlog. A new federal program was launched called the Venture Capitalist Investor Pilot Program that was much more expensive than its predecessor. Due to low intake, the program was terminated in 2017.
Meanwhile, the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) is still open and it stands as the last remaining path for wealthy investors into Canada.
The QIIP require applicants to make a 5-year term investment of 1,200,000 CAD with the investment branch of the Quebec government. The investment is in a passive nature; it is guaranteed by the Quebec government and returned without interest after 5 years. Investment has to be made via an authorized financial intermediary; this intermediary will facilitate the transaction for the investor and hold the funds until the applicant is approved. The intermediary also offers the possibility to investors to finance the investment. The financing option is very popular and enables investors to make a one-time cash payment of $350,000.
Investors can apply for their spouse and children to accompany them to Canada. Children are required to be under 22 years of age to qualify. The family must intend to settle in the province of Quebec; even though permanent residents are allowed to relocate anywhere in Canada, those that leave the province before becoming naturalized are at risk to have their PR taken away. Another condition to follow is the physical presence requirement of 2 years in 5 years in Canada.
Applications fees are 15,000 CAD at the Quebec level and another 1,000 CAD at the federal level. The application processing time is rather long due to backlog. The Quebec government is able to provide approved applicants with a Certificate of Selection of Quebec (CSQ) in 1 year. Upon receipt of the CSQ, investors can apply to permanent residence at the federal level. That process is estimated at 44 months.