QUEBEC IMMIGRATION INVESTOR PROGRAM (QIIP)
Following the closure of the Federal Immigration Investor Program in June 2014, the Quebec Immigration Investor Program remains the sole option for high net worth individuals wishing to secure permanent residence in Canada (in the province of Quebec) on the basis of a passive investment.
The Quebec government has fixed the total quota for this program at 1,900 applicants per year. Historically, the QCIIP has been extremely popular with Chinese applicants. However, candidates from China are to be reduced from 70% to 65% of the total. Lowering the maximum quota for China will give an opportunity for increased number of investors from other parts of the world to apply.
Even though the investment amount is high, the QIIP is expected to remain in high demand due to financial safety and security of the program and various other reasons such as free healthcare, free public school education (up to high school), high standard of living and great quality of life in Quebec.
Who can qualify?
- In order to qualify for this program as an investor, an applicant must –
- Have, alone or with an accompanying spouse, including de facto spouse, net assets of at least CD$2 million obtained legally.
- Money / assets received by inheritance or donation or gift can be included in making the total of CD$2 million in net assets. However, amounts received by donation less than six months before the date on which the application was filed are ineligible and will be excluded.
- Have management experience in-
- A legal farming, commercial or industrial business, or
- A legal professional business (doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc.) where the staff, excluding the investor, occupies at least the equivalent of two full-time jobs, or
- An international agency or the government or one of its departments or agencies.
- The applicant must have management experience for at least two years in the last five years from the day of filing the application.
- Management experience is defined as the exercise of duties related to the planning, management and control of financial resources and of human or material resources under applicant’s authority; the experience does not include experience acquired in the context of an apprenticeship, training or specialization process attested to by a diploma.
- The applicant must invest CD$1.2 million in a government bond for a period of five years at no interest. A loan of this investment amount can be arranged with help of a government approved bank or financial institution and the applicant will have to pay only a one-time financing fee that will include the interest amount on this loan.
- The assessment of the application will also take into account other factors such as the applicant’s age, the nature and duration of his/her professional training and language skills.
The applicant is not required to start a business in Quebec.
Some interesting features of the Quebec Immigration Investor Program (QIIP) are :
- Unlike the old Federal Immigration Investor Program (FIIP), the applicant does not have to manage a ‘qualifying business’. Hence there is no restriction on the size and turnover of the business.
- Investors are not required to start any business in Canada, there is no age limit to apply and knowledge of either of Canada’s two official languages is not mandatory, but definitely desirable. However, the applicant and each of his/her accompanying dependents must pass medical and security clearance. No conditions are imposed on the final visa.
- Investments are fully guaranteed by the Province of Quebec.
- The Province of Quebec controls the investment during the 5 year lock-in period.
- Under the new definition of an Investor, a Senior Manager of a company who has never owned a business, but whose net worth is CD$2 million can also qualify under this program.
- A previous requirement that the investor must create his net worth by his own endeavors has been removed and has been replaced by a requirement that the net worth be legally obtained. For example, a senior manager who meets the business experience requirements and has received a big fortune from his family’s estate is eligible to apply for immigration to Canada under this investor program.
- Spousal assets can also be included when calculating the net worth.
Benefits of Quebec Immigration Investor Program:
- Immigrate with spouse and children.
- Free medical care for all and free school education for children up to grade 12.
- No visitor visa required to visit the USA once you become a Canadian citizen.
- Sponsor your parents and other family members.
- Visit your home country as and when you wish.
- Apply for citizenship after three years of your arrival in Quebec.
- Once you are a Canadian citizen, you can expand your business in the USA under the NAFTA agreement.
- Under this investor program, there is no need to start a business in Quebec.
- Reasonable processing time.
- High quality of life in a vibrant and multi-cultural society and low crime rate.
- Access to the huge North American market.
QUEBEC ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAM (QEP)
- A new and revised Quebec Entrepreneur Program has recently been introduced (September 2018). This is a popular program amongst businesspersons for two main reasons –
- A relatively low amount of investment is required and
- Money is invested in a business of the applicant’s choice that he/she will manage and operate after immigrating to Quebec.
Quebec is one of the ten provinces of Canada and is responsible for selecting business immigrants who wish to settle in its territory.
Quebec exercises its exclusive power to select business immigrants according to criteria it has determined based on its immigration objectives. During the application assessment process, applicants may be invited to a selection interview in Montreal.
If selected, applicants will receive a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Quebec Selection Certificate), an official immigration document issued by the Government of Quebec.
After receiving a CSQ, Quebec selected applicants have to apply to the Government of Canada for admission into Canada. They have to undergo medical examination and security clearance to become eligible for permanent residence of Canada.
Canada admits only those business applicants to Quebec that have been selected under the Quebec immigration program.
The Entrepreneur Program encourages selected applicants to come to Quebec on a temporary basis to start their business project more quickly. To do so, selected applicants must submit an application for temporary selection at the same time as they apply for permanent residence.
Who can qualify?
To qualify under the Quebec Entrepreneur Program, applicants must:
- Have a minimum net worth of CD$900,000, alone or with spouse
- Have experience in managing and operating a profitable business during the five years prior to the date of application
- Demonstrate that this money has been legally acquired
- Present a business plan for the project that he/she wishes to undertake
- Undertake an exploratory trip to Quebec (not mandatory but highly recommended)
Applicants are assessed under the following criteria to determine if they are eligible to be approved under this program –
- Level of education
- Knowledge of French and English
- Financial self-sufficiency
- Visits to Québec
- Family in Québec
If the applicant chooses to create a business, he/she must own and control at least 25% of its equity capital.
If the applicant chooses to acquire a business, he/she must own and control at least 51% of its equity capital.
The following businesses are not eligible under this program:
- Payday loans, cheque cashing, or pawnbroking
- Real estate development or real estate or insurance brokerage
- Production, distribution, or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services related to the sex industry such as nude or erotic dancing, escort services or erotic massages
There are two streams of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program under which applicants can apply:
Applicants who have receiveda service offer from a business accelerator or incubator or a university entrepreneurship center to create and operate a viable business can apply under Stream 1. The project can be carried out by the applicant alone or with others. The program allows for up to three foreign nationals to be involved provided they have submitted selection applications as entrepreneurs for the same project. The applicant (s) need to submit a business plan for approval.
The applicant has to either start and operate a new business or acquire and operate an existing business to qualify under this stream. The applicant has to sign a deposit agreement with a financial institution based in Québec and put down a startup deposit and a security deposit.
The startup deposit of CD$200,000 has to be made if the applicant plans to set up the businessoutside the Montréal metropolitan area (CMM). However, a startup deposit of CD$300,000 is required if the business is located in the CMM. This startup deposit has to be used to set up the business.
A security deposit of CD$200,000 serves as insurance that the applicant will actually create a business. It will be refunded when the applicant demonstrates that the business plan has been carried out and a viable business has been successfully established.
The applicant cannot acquire a business that has been created or acquiredby another immigrant selected as an entrepreneur under the program in the five years prior to his/her selection application.