Canada's Iran sanctions hit migrant investors

MONTREAL - Quebec could lose millions of dollars of investments due to the latest Canadian sanctions against Iran, which halts the flow of migrant investors, experts said Tuesday.
In November, Canada imposed its third round of sanctions against Tehran since July amid renewed suspicion over its nuclear program. The measures target "virtually all transactions" with Iran.
Although there are exemptions to the rule, it has effectively barred Iranians seeking to immigrate to Canada from sending funds here as they cannot open a Canadian bank account, Montreal lawyer Vincent Valai told Agence France-Presse.
But Iranians are the second-biggest group of immigrant investors after the Chinese in Canada. According to data in the French-speaking province of Quebec alone, they made 1,659 applications in 2010, compared to 5,999 for Chinese nationals.
Attorney Eiman Sadegh of Industrielle Alliance said that each immigrant entrepreneur brings capital allowing him to invest a total of $800,000 over five years with a bank loan as part of a government program.
But on Dec. 2, Quebec's Immigration Ministry said it would no longer receive applications from potential investor immigrants as it awaits more details on the federal government's response.

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