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CANADA: Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program

In December 2014, CIC announced the anticipated launch in late January 2015 of a new federal investor program, the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program.

Pursuant to the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program, applicants will be required to make a non-guaranteed investment of $2 million for a period of 15 years to the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Fund. The Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Fund will be used to fund Canada-based start-up companies with high growth potential. The previous federal Investor Program, closed to applications in February 2014 by CIC, required a guaranteed investment of $800,000 and was criticized for failing to generate new investment and jobs in Canada.

To be eligible for the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program, applicants must possess a net worth of at least $10 million. This net worth must be evidenced by a due diligence report issued by a designated service provider to prove that the funds were obtained from a lawful, profit-making business or investment activities. In addition, applicants must meet the minimum official language threshold for knowledge of English or French, as demonstrated by taking a designated English or French test recognized by CIC. Applicants normally must have completed a minimum of one year of post-secondary studies, as evidenced by a Canadian post-secondary credential or an Educational Credential Assessment made of their foreign academic records by one of the designated Educational Credential Assessment agencies. However, it will be possible for applicants who have a net worth of at least $50 million to request an exemption from the Educational Credential Assessment requirement.

CIC will accept up to a maximum of 500 applications within a specified period that has yet to be determined. Subsequently, a random lottery will be performed to select applications for processing until approximately 50 approved investor applications are finalized.

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