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Quebec Investor Program Update

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The Quebec Government recently announced that the number of Quebec Investor applications submitted since the fall of 1998 has increased dramatically, particularly from Asian applicants.

The volume of applications reached an all-time high in the month of March 1999, when over 2,000 Investor files were submitted – the vast majority of them from Asia. On April 1, 1999, the minimum investment amount and net worth requirement under the Quebec Program were increased from $350,000 to $400,000 and from $500,000 to $800,000, respectively. Most observers cite these changes in the Quebec Program as the main explanation for the spectacularly high volume of Investor files submitted in the period leading up to April 1, 1999.

The Quebec Government is currently looking into setting up appropriate procedures to effectively deal with this tremendous influx of new files within a reasonable time frame. The new procedures will be aimed at the Quebec immigration office located in Hong Kong, given the overwhelming proportion of Asia applicants.

The Minister has confirmed that Acknowledgments of Receipts will be sent out to all applicants or their representatives shortly. To the extent that any Acknowledgements of Receipt have already been issued indicating an estimated time frame during which the particular file is likely to be processed, the Government wishes all affected applicants to be aware that such estimates are just that, and that the actual time frames during which recently-submitted Investor files will be processed will only become apparent once the final decisions regarding the aforementioned processing procedures are put into place. These decisions should be made soon.

The Quebec Government is aware that many of the Investor files submitted towards the end of March 1999 were, to varying extents, incomplete. It is up to the applicants and their representatives to ensure that any missing documents are submitted. However, applicants and their representatives are advised not to submit any outstanding documentation until an Acknowledgment of Receipt has been issued, as the Acknowledgment of Receipt indicates each applicant’s particular file number. All correspondence with the Quebec authorities must refer to this file number.