Few mourned when Canada’s federal immigrant investor program met its demise (1986-2014), crushed to death under the weight of endemic tax cheating, a vast backlog of applicants and the dubious ethics and temptations involved in selling residency.
Few, that is, outside the immigration industry.
For years the federal IIP had been a spectacular money-spinner - although not necessarily for the Canadian economy.
“Lucrative” doesn’t cover it: commissions of C$100,000 or more were being paid to “facilitators” for every successful referral of an immigrant to the IIP. Up to C$40,000 of that came from provincial investment funds receiving the applicants’ C$800,000 IIP investments; the rest was generally topped up by banks that provided financing for applicants.