Quebec renews immigration program for investors

Quebec renews immigration program for investors

Anastasiia Zapevalova
9 June 2023

The Canadian province of Quebec has announced plans to reopen the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), which was suspended in 2019. The QIIP was known as Canada's leading business immigration program for the past two decades before its suspension. The government has proposed several changes to the program to make it more attractive to foreign investors, and has also introduced new requirements.

The updated program will require applicants to have at least $2 million CAD in net worth and at least two years of experience in a management position within the five years preceding application. These criteria should help narrow the pipeline of candidates to qualified and experienced investors who can contribute to Quebec's economic growth.

Once the application is approved, investors and their families will receive a three-year temporary permit to remain in Canada, allowing them to work and study in Quebec. After three years you can apply for permanent residence. However, to do this, applicants will have to meet new requirements:

Investments and financial contribution. The proposed changes include a 5-year risk-free investment of $1 million Canadian dollars ($750,000 USD) in IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc. company through a financial intermediary within 120 days from the date of the decision.

Proficiency in French. Investors will be required to demonstrate knowledge of the French language within the first two years of arrival in Quebec, achieving level 7 out of 12 in the "Echelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français". This requirement emphasizes the importance of language integration in the local community.

Residence. Approved applicants will be required to reside in Quebec for at least six months within a two-year period following the issuance of their work permit. An additional six months of residence is required for either the applicant or the spouse. This should ensure closer integration of expats.

Only after meeting these requirements will investors and their families receive Certificates of Selection Qualification (CSQ), which allow them to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

The QIIP is unique among Canadian business immigration programs in that it does not require active participation in the management of a Canadian business. However, new requirements such as French language proficiency and mandatory physical presence may pose a problem for some investors.

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