45,000 Chinese millionaires left hanging as Canada ends wealth-based immigration scheme

Ottawa poised to close a visa programme that has flooded Vancouver with money. Is this good or bad for BC?

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty: Screenshot from Global National (YouTube)

Millionaires have been dropping from the sky

The way we talk about real estate in Vancouver is about to change. Ian Young, a correspondent for the South China Morning Post who runs the Hongcouver blog, hit every hot-button Vancouver has with this headline: "Vancouver facing an influx of 45,000 more rich Chinese".

This isn't a MAC Marketing Systems stunt: Young worked with actual government data. Just as your rage-kettle was reaching starting to whistle, the Tory Government moved to end the Immigrant Investor Programme as part of the 2014 budget.

Young, an ethnic-Chinese Australian, has been examining the effect of the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) on migration to Vancouver, combing through heaps of Immigration Department data to come up with what is not only a sinophobe's worst nightmare, but also a glimpse at how a sustained deluge of overseas money has affected the real estate market.

Shortly after Young's article hit the web, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the 2014 budget. There on page 81 is the death of the Immigrant Investor Programme:

Cash for visas

The Immigrant Investor Programme is basically a cash-for-visas deal. If you have more than $1.6 million, then you loan Ottawa $800,000. interest-free for five years. In return, you and your family get resident visas; and you can later apply for Canadian citizenship. An immigrant must live in Canada for three out of the four years prior to requesting that maple-leaf passport, though. Some immigrants think that’s too long a wait, while Conservative ministers don’t think it’s long enough.

The Federal Investor Programme was wildly popular, to the extent that the approval queue was frozen in 2012 due to a massive backlog. This was caused by a huge number of mainland-Chinese millionaires flooding the Hong Kong-based application system.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), which processes these applications, does not throttle Immigrant Investor Programme applications based on destination: If you want to move to Vancouver, your paperwork moves just as quickly/slowly as if you had wanted to move to Salmon Arm or Moose Factory.

The choice of Vancouver is pretty obvious: Who would want to move halfway around the world for an Edmonton winter? Besides, we're on the Pacific Rim, so visits home are a lot easier. Since we see that relatively few of these millionaire migrants (how is this not yet a reality show?) don't need to punch a clock, they may as well choose the prettiest city.

IIP scheduled for termination

The queue for those Immigrant Investor Programme visas is years-long, and those stuck in it are in for a crushing disappointment.

Those whose IIP applications have not already been processed by the time the Immigrant Investor Programme ends will have to re-apply under a different type of visa, such as the Startup Visa Programme or the Canadian Experience Class, which fast-tracks residency requests for people who have already lived and worked in Canada.

Neither option will help most of the IIP hopefuls, though: In fielding a volley of questions on Twitter regarding his SCMP articles, Young mentioned that only 16% of investor migrants pursue business ventures in Canada, while 40% conduct business overseas. 40% of these newcomers are either retired or unemployed.

The argument for scrapping the IIP is that the money held in exchange for those visas hasn’t proven worthwhile. Young found that many of the IIP immigrants don’t end up living in Canada permanently anyway.

However, a Analysis Group report from March 2010 had argued the opposite, urging Ottawa to let even more millionaires in (pdf).

Canada’s IIP is the most popular in the world, possibly because it’s so relatively easy to qualify for: $1.6 million won’t buy you much in Vancouver, after all. Young quotes immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, which whom he has worked on the SCMP series, as saying, "The scheme has not been handled properly. The programme is dramatically underpriced." The text of the budget echoed this sentiment: “For decades, [the IIP] 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."

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Fantastic news

This is the best thing to happen to Vancouver in the last 15 years.  It will be interesting to see what happens to Vision Vancouver, the well funded political machine created to maximize developer profits from the immigrant investor program, under a big smokescreen of being green and progressive. 

Note that this Federal move

Note that this Federal move doesn't impact the Quebec program where applicants are required to establish a Quebec residence but once accepted are free to move anywhere in the country and freely use the social services of that area. (Which according to one study surveying "immigrant investors" showed 65% in Vancouver, 15% in Toronto, 10% in Montreal and 10% unable to be found)

I've got all the time in the world for genuine immigrants who want to commit to Canada and live their lives here but less than no time for so called "astronaut immigrants" who want Canada only for a passport and have no intention to live or pay taxes here.

As such I fully support cancellation of this program.


This should have been done a long time ago.



Developers own City Hall

SouthVancouver wrote:

....  It will be interesting to see what happens to Vision Vancouver, the well funded political machine created to maximize developer profits from the immigrant investor program, ...

If the NPA returns to power you know there would be no difference



You know, I can't afford to buy in my hometown (Vancouver), and the bubble is stupid bullshit, but I'm pretty sick of people who assume that

a) All of Vancouver's real estate bubble is based on overseas Chinese money. It's not: many more CANADIANS have taken high priced, CMHC-insured mortgages out on overpriced real estate. Why? Financial illiteracy and the North American ownership ideal. Now they're angry and need a scapegoat. Furthermore, CANADIAN developers actively collude with Chinese developers to keep the market pumped by coordinating development, etc.

b) Overseas investment is a 100% a bad thing. Gee whiz, I wonder where all those construction jobs have come from that have buffed the Canadian economy for a decade plus? Oh my, and why have Canada's commodities been so consistently high-priced? Is there some place where people have been using these commodities, occasionally becoming millionaires in the process?

What would be smart would be to raise the minimum needed for investment to, like, $5 million. Earmark a piece of that, say $1m (or more), to rental housing or co-ops or whatever makes life more affordable for middle class Canadians. Gee whiz, can you believe it? We could turn overseas money into an all-good thing with a bit of brain power!

Instead, we get a bunch of bullshit racist scapegoating by bitchy people who can't admit that they share the blame for how things are in their own damn country.

Globalization changed

Globalization changed principles of countries interaction and ethnic composition of each country a lot during last year. To my mind there is no way to close borders and to stop interaction. Each country should be friendly, create good conditions, suggest beneficial payday loans Canada to all emigrants. 

Pass a law that states people cannot buy houses for investment!

The only reason housing price is going up is because people keep buying houses and then re-selling it at a much higher price for investment.

If a billionaire wants to buy a mansion here and LIVE IN IT, i'm fine with that. 

What i'm not fine is if you're going to buy houses and then not even going to live in them, but only so you can make more money out of it at the expense of people who DO need a place to live..then F*** YOU.


Did you really just compare Chinese immigrants to invasive species? 

People united by the same

People united by the same nationality who don’t have their own sovereign state may suffer much in difficult life situations. No credit check payday loans are created to help all people in need regardless of nationality and religious views. This may be a good chance to make their ends meet for minorities.

you people really sickens me,

you people really sickens me, stop saying this is YOUR DAMN country- you people stole the lands of us natives and now it's YOUR country??? the Chinese never done us any harm and because of them our economy is able to sustain itself without depending on the US,.frankly Asians are MUCH nicer people than you whires who are only good at being racist to every non-whites and spreading HATE. I hope the Chinese keep coming, end of the day, Natives came from Asia as well and they actually have MORE right to the land of Americas as we share more common and RECENT ancestors. 



Close the door before it becomes CHINADA!


 Close the doors please before it become CHINADA!

Vancouver 50% made in China-Dunbar and Point Grey the new Chinese Disney land for Asians.


Canada where is your back bone darling? It is nice for you to be seen as super nice worldwide but you are making a fool of yourself. You have opened your heart and soul to welcome many ethnic groups around the world, allow them to experience the richness of your lands and resources, the vastness of your body, your governmental advantageous programs, your educational system and the warmth of your people. In return many have no respect for you or for your Caucasians families of origin. Wake up Canada before we call you Chinada!


Mr. Robinson even though this article reaches your desk we know you do not have a big power of influence at the provincial and national levels on that matter. We know that it is challenging as money unfortunately rules the world still. Not for too much longer, however, as people are waking up to truth on this planet. We can see that even implanting rules and having them respect in this city of Vancouver has been a real task. The business signs that were intended to be written in English (English first) with the option of being translated in Chinese below have not been applied very well in the Chinese communities. Plenty of businesses are only advertised in the Chinese languages and if the English language is present, it is second and in smaller print.


Could we do that in China you think? Do you think we could just disrespect the culture like that? As true Canadians we would not do that anyway. It does not fit into our moral practices of respect and integrity.



Vancouver the new Chinese Disney land


Dear Canada, to say it bluntly, Vancouver you one of your most beautiful city in Canada has become for many years now, the new Disney Land for Chinese: for many a paradise to play, launder money, (invest?) buy lands, have a families and be reward by a super Canadian nationality and well sought passport while not caring nor showing any respect for the Canadians main cultural heritage English and French.


Recently, Canada, I witnessed the huge disrespect toward Caucasian and our culture in a remarkable way by a recent Chinese employer that you have welcome on your land, open your heart to, given her the right to study in another one of your magnificent province, given her to chance to create a business here to sustain a family she brought here while she totally disrespect your very own people. That day, I finally opened my eyes to see how they truly see Canada, us Caucasians Canadians and our culture. We are nothing to them.


This is only a free place to come and play, take all the benefits, have the most wonderful passport in the world while keeping their and our cultures separated. This is not multiculturalism. This is separatism initiated by the very people we welcome on our land.







Wake up Canada! Be nice a polite just like we know you but stand up now. There is no multiculturalism here.


Living in the Dunbar area 15 years ago as a student, my heart was wide open I love everyone; I thought Chinese were cute and had absolutely no reserve towards them. On flights to Hong Kong which I was working on while performing summer work duties, I could not help but notice the disrespectful ways towards flight attendants but I ignored it. I was respectful of them and the way they are. I just let it go


Recently, now moved back to the Dunbar area 15 years or so later I had an experience that truly opens my eyes. I am not afraid to say it triggered sadness and for the first time of my life I felt anger towards this culture. I am writing this article because I know that many feels this way but no one has the courage to voice it from fear of being called racist. This is not about racism that is about respect and saying NO that is not OK anymore to show so much disrespect toward the very people that have welcome you here and share their land and city with you. It is not because you can pay what the Canadian government asks you to pay as entry investment to come here that you own this place and are free to disrespect its people. That is not ok that you show racism toward the very people that welcome you and open their heart to you. Once being granted to via of entry and finally owning the privilege to live here you turn around in total disrespect.



Doing some work for a Chines lady I realized the truth I never wanted to see. The truth is behind the BMW, Louis Vuitton bags, French writing logo t-shirt to look cool, there is:




NO DESIRE TO INTEGRATE, BE PART OF and learn the Canadian Culture



This morning I was shopping at the local market. Once again the service was surprisingly rude:








This is not you Canada! This is not how Canadians are raised.


SO Canada is going Mayor Robinson. You will soon be replaced by a Chinese college at the head of this city. Vancouver is being replaced slowly by a very cold and rude Chinese culture that is now more and more rooted into the business, banking and governmental structures.


It is very sad! I was thinking of Gandhi this morning. One person can be powerful and enough to start a wave of respect.


It is a huge privilege to live in Canada and in this city, Vancouver. If you know it like us. We hope that you will do all that you can to keep the integrity and authenticity of what was once Vancouver and Canada.




Sadly, the heart of most Canadians was open to them and is slowly closing to their culture that has showed constant disrespect  and disrespect towards our city, our country what we have most precious our French and English cultures.











Why do most of the Chinese businesses still have old manual tills? Aren’t we in 2014? Why do you think that is? We all know the answer - extract of a great article

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I do think that the residential schools and other mistreatment of aboriginals was wrong. However, even though aboriginals were the first occupants of this land that's pretty much the full extent to be honest. There is a difference between occupying the land and making it a first world nation, something which the aboriginals did not do. This country was not industrialized by the Natives, it was not made into a first world and G8 country by the Natives and in fact it was not even made into a country by the Natives but rather by Whites.There is a difference between occupying a land and benefiting a land and Aboriginal culture would be wise to learn something from the Australian aboriginals which is their belief that " they belong to the land and not the other way around". Yes it's true there were people (most of whom are now dead) who were white that made things difficult for Aborigals but long before Europeans arrived Aboriginal culture had been immersed in a violent tribal way of life and the Cree are a great example of this. Scalping, raids boiling enemies and other forms of inter tribal violence were all part of the everday way of life for Aboriginals and the cree are a prime example of this.  a

John wrote:

you people really sickens me, stop saying this is YOUR DAMN country- you people stole the lands of us natives and now it's YOUR country??? the Chinese never done us any harm and because of them our economy is able to sustain itself without depending on the US,.frankly Asians are MUCH nicer people than you whires who are only good at being racist to every non-whites and spreading HATE. I hope the Chinese keep coming, end of the day, Natives came from Asia as well and they actually have MORE right to the land of Americas as we share more common and RECENT ancestors. 


Also, you need  to stop dwelling on the past and rather to the future. With regards to your claims about the connection between Asians and Natives, Natives and Asians are both Mongoloids and Natives originated from Asia many thousands of years ago but other than that they have nothing in common with you. That's like saying Arabs and Whites are culturally similar because they're both Caucasoids where in reality thats about the only thing they share in common. Also, what did the Aboriginals really do for this land besides occupy it? The Vikings were in Canada over a thousand years ago and regarding your claims to Asians I can guarantee you if you go to Asia you will not see anyone who is the same race as you so even though your ancestors originated from Asia there are no more of them in Asia and you have nothing in common with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese or Filipino culture so stop trying to pretend to be something you're not and STOP trying to take credit for something you have nothing to do with!!!To be honest the cultural identity of this land is primarily Native and White, not Asian, not African and not Arab. This land also belongs to  White because they were the ones who made it into a first world G8 country.

John wrote:

you people really sickens me, stop saying this is YOUR DAMN country- you people stole the lands of us natives and now it's YOUR country??? the Chinese never done us any harm and because of them our economy is able to sustain itself without depending on the US,.frankly Asians are MUCH nicer people than you whires who are only good at being racist to every non-whites and spreading HATE. I hope the Chinese keep coming, end of the day, Natives came from Asia as well and they actually have MORE right to the land of Americas as we share more common and RECENT ancestors.