Hundreds of hopeful Chinese immigrants are awaiting large refunds from Canada after their investment immigration visas were rejected in recent years.
Between 2007 and 2008, Prince Edward Island’s investment immigration nominee program sent thousands of visa applications to Ottawa for approval, many from wealthy Chinese investors who wished to live and work in Canada. However, the 2,627 applications backlogged the immigration offices, and many of the applicants were rejected when their applications were finally processed in 2010 and 2011. Many immigrants say that they have given tens of thousands of dollars to the program already and are fighting for full or partial refunds.
One immigration applicant, 47-year-old Qiu Chuanbo, stated that he gave over $150,000 to the Prince Edward Island program in 2008 and is still owed $91,000. Now, the businessman is not only still in China, he is also strapped for cash as he tries to educate his children. Another Chinese businessman, who wanted to remain anonymous, only received a $45,000 deposit back after sending Canada $150,000. His brother explained that many who had applied for the program sold their businesses and had already prepared to move overseas when they were rejected from the program.
A director of immigration in Canada explained that they hoped a $9 million trust fund would hopefully repay at least $55,000 to each applicant in the wake of the botched program. The original funds were used for fees, immigration consultants, and government-appointed intermediaries in Canada.
Recently, Prince Edward Island has developed a new nominee program that more closely follows government regulations.