FEDERAL REG

SOR/2016-316: Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

REGISTRATION OF FEDERAL REGULATION - VIA OIC DATABASE, PRIOR TO PART II OF THE GAZETTE

Registered
December 16, 2016


REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT (This statement is not part of the Regulations.) Issues In 2011 and 2012, intake of new applications under the federal investor and entrepreneur programs was put on hold through ministerial instructions. In 2014, the Government took further action to terminate these programs by eliminating the remaining application backlogs through legislative amendments to th... (Click for more)


Published on December 16, 2016

Bill Summary

SOR/2016-316: Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT (This statement is not part of the Regulations.) Issues In 2011 and 2012, intake of new applications under the federal investor and entrepreneur programs was put on hold through ministerial instructions. In 2014, the Government took further action to terminate these programs by eliminating the remaining application backlogs through legislative amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 (formerly Bill C-31). As a result of these actions, the continued existence of the investor and entrepreneur program provisions in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) represents a regulatory redundancy. Those provisions are therefore being repealed in order to avoid potential misinterpretation and confusion regarding program authorities. Background The federal investor and entrepreneur programs were originally designed in the 1970s and 1980s, a time when Canada’s economic priorities were quite different than they are today. The investor program was created in 1986 with the objective of attracting business expertise and investment capital to support job creation by Canadian enterprises. While this is an important objective, the global economy has changed significantly since then and investment capital flows increasingly more freely across borders. The structure of the investor program was no longer meeting Canada’s economic needs. Similarly, the entrepreneur program was designed in the 1970s when the focus was on protecting jobs in Canada. While that is still important today, a more globalized economy requires a shift towards innovation, productivity and creating better jobs and stronger businesses that can compete on a global scale. Reviews of these programs concluded that they were providing minimal value to Canada in the current economic context. In response to the challenges presented by both programs, the Government committed to reforming business immigration programming to better support Canada’s current economic needs. As a first step, the Start-up Visa pilot program was launched in 2013 to test a new approach to recruiting immigrant entrepreneurs. This was followed by the launch of the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Class pilot in 2015, to test demand for an investor program requiring a significant at-risk investment in Canada. Investor and Entrepreneur applications that received a selection decision before February 11, 2014, are not affected by the legislative termination of existing inventories of applications (as outlined in section 87.5 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act). Under the investor program, investment capital received from investors is allocated from the Government of Canada to eight participating provinces for use in economic development projects. These provinces are required to repay the full investment to the investors after five years and this process will continue until all investors have been repaid. The province of Quebec, operating under the authority of the Canada-Quebec Accord, runs its own investor and entrepreneur programs for immigrants destined to that province. While Quebec’s programs have historically been linked to the federal programs in the Regulations, changes to the federal programs will not affect Quebec’s programs. Objectives The objective of these amendments to the Regulations is to eliminate regulatory redundancy by repealing the existing provisions in the Regulations that govern the federal investor and entrepreneur programs, to provide for a transitional period as those programs wind down and to leave a regulatory framework in place for the continued operation of Quebec’s programs. Description The Regulations repeal the provisions governing the federal investor and entrepreneur programs in the Regulations; provide for transitional provisions to continue processing federal Investor and Entrepreneur class applications that are not affected by the legislative termination of existing inventories of applications (i.e. those applications that received a selection decision before February 11, 2014, as outlined in section 87.5 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act); provide for transitional provisions for the Investor class so that funds continue to flow to and from approved funds until all investors have been repaid and provide for administrative flexibility for approved funds as their activities under the investor program wind down; provide for transitional provisions that formally conclude the application of post-landing conditions and associated government monitoring activities for the entrepreneur program; and delineate distinct classes for Quebec Investors, Quebec Entrepreneurs and Quebec Self-Employed persons in order to provide a regulatory framework for those classes to continue operating in the absence of their federal counterpart programs, consistent with authorities in section 9(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Canada-Quebec Accord. “One-for-One” Rule The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply, as there is no change in administrative costs to business. Small business lens The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there are no costs to small business. Consultation Following concerns with investor program outcomes raised through internal departmental review, public online consultations were held from July 31 to September 4, 2012. During the public consultations, stakeholders expressed the view that there was a need to maximize the economic benefit of the investor program by ensuring that the money was actively invested in the Canadian economy. These views were taken into consideration when the Government announced the elimination of the investor and entrepreneur programs and when it designed pilot programs to test new approaches to investor and entrepreneur immigration. Provinces participating in the federal investor program were consulted separately and asked for input on how they would be affected by changes to the program. Not all provinces provided input, but the three that did noted that continued access to investment capital through the program was valuable to them. It was also noted, however, that program requirements to guarantee repayment to investors after five years limited their use of this capital to low-risk initiatives. Rationale These amendments to the Regulations repeal regulatory program authorities made redundant by the termination of outdated programs and provide for a transitional period to formally conclude the investor and entrepreneur programs. These amendments to the Regulations support a Government objective of improving the immigration system, by eliminating ineffective regulatory programs and focusing resources on programming that better supports Canada’s needs. These amendments to the Regulations do not impact stakeholders directly, as the impact on stakeholders has already taken place as a result of the termination of these programs as well as their applications in 2014. Contact Laurie Hunter Director Economic Immigration Policy and Programs Immigration Branch Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Telephone: 613-437-1111 Footnote a S.C. 2014, c. 20, s. 301 Footnote b S.C. 2013, c. 16, s. 11 Footnote c S.C. 2001, c. 27 Footnote 1 SOR/2002-227

This Bill does not amend any statutes.

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