How much should it take to buy your way into the country?
Immigration is a touchy subject at the best of times, which is odd when you think that just about everyone, or at least their families, who lives here came from somewhere else. The difference to many though is how they crossed the border.
The federal government wants to make wealthy investors pay more for the privilege of immigrating to Canada. Canada lets in about 3,000 immigrant investors each year, the vast majority of whom come from Hong Kong.
Right now, applicants through this country's immigrant investor program contribute an $800,000 repayable loan to the government in exchange for immediate permanent residence. Canada also requires a net worth of $1.6 million, which has to have been obtained legally.
The plan is to at least double that amount. But is that enough? And should wealthy would-be immigrants be able to jump the line this way in the first place?
Of course, up-front money is not the only way to hop aboard. It looks like the queue process for skilled tradespeople is to be streamlined as well, making it easier for foreigners working in the trades to come to Canada and help fill perceives shortages, particulaly in resource-based industries.
The proposed changes will give this group a chance to be evaluated according to criteria that emphasizes work experience and practical training, instead of language and formal education.
That's likely to be less true for those applying for semi- and low-skilled jobs, however. This summer, they'll face more language tests, for instance, assesssing listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities.
“The changes seem to turn immigrants into economic commodities and don’t appear to take into consideration the family and societal values immigrants who may be excluded under the changes could bring to Canada,” says one Toronto lawyer.
“I understand not wanting to bring a group of people to Canada who are going to struggle and won’t succeed, but are we bringing in people just to have them pass through our system or are we bringing them in to build a social network of success that will further develop our country?
What do you think? Should economic concerns dictate whether people come to Canada? And, if so, to what degree?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: Troy Jollimore | Apr 18, 2021 9:22:06 AM
Typical Government. It sounds like a good idea, but when you look at it it's usually these very rich that buy the best properties out from under us. This forces prices up. As well, these people tend to be very well educated and quickly learn how to play our system to exploit loopholes. A good bit of this money is usually funneled back to their home country, or they avoid paying the taxes on it (that the government is eagerly anticipating) in other ways...
But you can't really complain. As long as they balance this with how many 'regular' immigrants they let in, it's making the best of an inherently broken system.
Posted by: Anne | Apr 18, 2021 11:32:30 AM
I must put my two cents into this subject. I know a lot of investor immigrant that came from China to buy up all those expensive houses and high end cars instead of investing which drives the property market into a bidding war. The government should not give them any immigration status right away at least for next 5 years until they proof their investment really generates economy and creates jobs. For e.g. if I bring in $1 million dollars as investor immigrant and I paid $850,000.00 for a house and the balance I buy a very expensive car, there goes their $1 million majority of them do not speak a word of English. I support the English testing skill for all immigrant regardless of investor or refugee immigrant and who hardly know a word of English waste of taxpayer's money.
Posted by: Sanity at Last | Apr 18, 2021 12:48:27 PM
When will the bleeding hearts finally realize that this is NOT the 19th or 20th century anymore. Immigrants are not coming to this country to "colonize" or expand the country. They're coming in to get the freebies... education, health, subsidized housing etc. And they gather in the highest populated cities and draw on the social infrastructure, thus creating mini ghettos, much like in the USA. If they don;t have the language or social skills, education etc. needed to become productive tax paying citizens, leave them where they are. As for the rich imports... give them 3-5 years to prove they are actually investing in our country, paying their allotment or portions of taxes and not funneling $$$ back home or offshore accounts. Make them create jobs in Canada and not filter back jobs to China or Ecuador or...
Posted by: SP | Apr 19, 2021 8:34:27 PM
"Canada also requires a net worth of $1.6 million, which has to have been obtained legally."
This is determined how exactly???
People are not going to pay for something unless they can be assured that they are going to get something for what they pay for. Especially the rich.
Let's try putting this another way, how much money would it take for you to let a stranger sleep in your childs room? This is a way of selling access to your childrens neighbourhoods to who knows who from who know's where.
Now... ask yourself this, if someone became wealthy in a warm country close to their family, what possible reason would there be for them to move to and invest in Canada?
When we put a price on being a Canadian we create a situation where the people you get have a different focus.
Perhaps we should be looking at the founder of Magna for an example of the type of new Canadians we want.
Posted by: ray larder | Apr 20, 2021 1:11:26 PM
The days of the poor uneducated immigrant are gone.
99% of immigration should be skilled or highly educated.
Or have enough money to look after oneself and family till retirement.
Posted by: Jack | Apr 20, 2021 5:10:42 PM
@ray larder... you comment is the only rational one I have read so far.