A new study by three prominent Canadian economists concludes that Canada should expand its Immigrant Investor program, and highlights the positive contributions immigrant investors have made to Canada’s economy and society in the years since the program has been in effect.

Economists Roger Ware of Queens University, Pierre Fortin of the University of Quebec at Montreal, and Pierre Emmanuel Paradis of Analysis Group, which released the study, found that immigrant investors directly contribute to alleviating Canada’s demographic and economic challenges and make an annual contribution of an estimated $2-billion to the economy.

Canada welcomes around 2,500 investors and their families every year under the Federal and Quebec Immigrant Investor programs, most of whom settle in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. These investors acquire an average of $721,500 personal and business assets such as real estate and shares in Canadian businesses after they arrive. More than 80 per cent of investors also donate time and financial support to philanthropic activities in Canada.

In addition, the study emphasized that the accompanying children of immigrant investors integrate into Canadian society quite easily, and a large proportion of them complete higher education programs, which will make them part of the solution to the skills shortage that Canada is expected to face within the next decade.

As a result of the benefits investors bring to Canada, the economists argue that the Immigrant Investor program should be expanded, and that processing times should be reduced.

“Because [Immigrant Investors] still represent only 3 per cent of new immigrants to Canada, their numbers may well be raised substantially,” they state.

Even as this positive report has been circulating, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney has let it be known that he feels the Immigrant Investor program is too inexpensive by international comparison. Mr Kenney favours increasing both the net worth requirement of the Immigrant Investor and the amount of investment to be made in order to qualify under the program.