• Wed
  • Jul 30, 2014
  • Updated: 11:49pm
NewsWorld

Canada scraps millionaire visa scheme, ‘dumps 46,000 Chinese applications’

Tens of thousands of Chinese millionaires in the queue will have their applications scrapped and their application fees returned

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 February, 2014, 6:26am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 February, 2014, 12:23pm

Tens of thousands of Chinese millionaires face an uncertain future after Canada's government moved to scrap its controversial investor visa scheme, which has allowed waves of rich Hongkongers and mainland Chinese to immigrate since 1986.

The surprise announcement was made in Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's budget, delivered to parliament in Ottawa on Tuesday. An estimated 45,500 mainland Chinese in the queue for visas in Hong Kong will have their applications "eliminated" and their fees returned.

[The scheme] has undervalued Canadian permanent residence
FINANCE MINISTER JIM FLAHERTY

The announcement came less than a week after the South China Morning Post revealed how the scheme was overwhelmed by an influx of applications from mainland millionaires at Canada's Hong Kong consulate. Applications to the scheme were frozen in 2012 as a result, as immigration staff struggled to clear the backlog.

"For decades, [the investor scheme] has significantly undervalued Canadian permanent residence, providing a pathway to Canadian citizenship in exchange for a guaranteed loan that is significantly less than our peer countries require," Flaherty's budget said.

Under the scheme, would-be migrants worth a minimum of C$1.6 million (HK$11.2 million) loaned the government C$800,000 interest-free for a period of five years. The simplicity and low relative cost of the risk-free scheme made it the world's most popular wealth migration programme.

A parallel investor migration scheme run by Quebec remains open, although it has been capped at a modest 1,750 applicants per year, with a maximum 1,200 from any one country.

Flaherty also announced the scrapping of a smaller economic migration scheme for entrepreneurs. Citizenship and Immigration Canada said yesterday that the investor queue stood at 65,000, and 70 per cent of the backlog, as of January last year, was made up of mainlanders whose applications were being processed in Hong Kong. That suggests about 45,500 mainlanders queuing via the SAR will have their applications scrapped.

The Immigrant Investor Programme, which has brought about 185,000 migrants to Canada, was instrumental in facilitating an exodus of rich Hongkongers in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown and in the run-up to the handover. More than 30,000 Hongkongers immigrated using the scheme. About 67,000 mainlanders have migrated to Canada under the IIP.

Ma Xiaoxue, an agent with immigration consultancy firm Well Trend in Beijing, said the change would have little effect as most firms started adjusting the direction of their businesses two years ago when the scheme was frozen.

"We haven't handled investment immigration to Canada for a long time. We don't care about the new rule," said Ma.

Additional reporting by Keith Zhai

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happyvalley
Two thumbs up on Canadian government decision, hope US government do the same next. New Chinese immigrants from China created nothing but damages to our community. STAY AWAY.
imaginethat
Smart move on Canada's part.
Maybe other countries will consider the same to avoid the fabric of their society and life from being affected if not eroded. One wonders though of the real numbers wanting to escape China for a better life given all the pollution, questionable food quality and the overall environment as a whole. What price development?
aaronmax
I did see Chinese (from mainland) who has obtained a foreign citizenship, still waving a Chinese flag in a sport event in that foreign country.
They just take advantages from others without giving any respect to the host country.
Some of them set up company (to meet the requirement) but recruit mostly overseas Chinese.
They just buy and occupy spaces with their money, invasion.
chris.chow.562114
Well there's a whorehouse that will house anything with cash. It's called Singapore.
artdig18
Hk should scrap its business visa as welll
allan94
why is canada the victim here?? they were the ones that devised the scheme to generate revenue. they now feel that they have made a mistake with the immigration policy....why is it the immigrants fault? the chinese immigrants merely complied with the requirements....
and what kind of immigrants are considered suitable? they only like white people? non-whites pls dont apply?
rich.panis
Ma explicitly states they don't care about the new rule.Ma is content to remain under the communist's rule of law in a society still living under Mao's Principles abroad.
nicolas
money can't buy everything...they welcome decent immigrant only and not rubbish
lamlm38
new generation Chinese from the mainland are generally different from the hard working and highly educated Chinese from HK, SG, or Taiwan.. all they are gonna do is using all their ill-gotten gains to speculate in Fixed Assets in Canada and not much else.. smart move Canada!!!
allan94
canada is behaving like a prostitute. she wants your money but doesnt really want a relationship. now that she has enough money, she decides to bail........and gets her pimp to stop u from visiting.
china should learn from the white countries like usa, uk....just invade canada and colonise her.

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