This past summer, the Canadian government significantly curtailed two immigration options for business people wishing to obtain permanent resident status in Canada.

A moratorium on accepting new applications under the Federal Entrepreneur category was announced. This moratorium remains in effect.

As well, the Federal government announced in late June that it would only accept 700 new Federal Immigrant Investor Category applications for the 12 month period starting July 1, 2011. The entire quota was filled on the first day applications were accepted. This means that no new applications under this category will be accepted until July 1, 2012, assuming that the Canadian government sets a new annual cap for next year.

This reduces immigration options for business people and investors. It is likely that many people will prepare Federal Investor applications this fiscal year in anticipation of applying on July 1, 2012. It will be interesting to see if the Canadian government comes up with rules setting out how it will choose which applications to process, as we predict that the number of Investor applications that will be filed on the first day will be in excess of next year’s annual quota.

Given the curtailment of these two Federal immigration options, foreign business people seeking permanent resident status in Canada will need to look to Quebec’s programs for investors and entrepreneurs, or some of the business immigration options offered under various provincial nominee programs.

Annual Cap on Federal Investor Category Applications

Moratorium on Federal Entrepreneur Category