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Changes to Quebec’s Investor Program

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The Quebec Government has recently announced several changes to its Immigrant Investor Program. These changes are currently scheduled to be implemented in early June 2000.

The principal elements of the changes are the following:

– The selection criteria for Investors remains unchanged (i.e. successful candidates must still have at least three years of managerial experience in a profitable commercial, industrial or agricultural business or, alternatively, at least three years of managerial experience in a government, governmental organization, or international organization; they must also have accumulated a net worth of at least CAD$800,000 through legitimate economic activities).

– Quebec-destined Investors will continue to pay their CAD$400,000 Investment Amount to Quebec Government-approved Investment Dealers, however these Dealers will no longer directly invest the funds into Government-approved funds. Instead, the Investment Dealers will simply hand over the funds to a subsidiary of the Quebec Government which in turn will invest the funds in small- and medium-sized Quebec enterprises which are recommended by the Investment Dealers and approved by Quebec.

– The CAD$400,000 investment amount (capital only) will be guaranteed by the Government of Quebec. The rate of return on the Investor’s capital investment is still expected to remain low.

– The 5 year investment period will commence as soon as the Investor puts up the required funds, as opposed to the current system whereby Quebec Investors must first wait for Federal approval of their applications. Applicants who are subsequently refused by the Federal authorities will have their capital refunded by the Quebec Government.

Under the current Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, applicants are able to finance up to over 75% of their CAD$400,000 investment amount through services offered by certain Quebec Investment Dealers. These same Dealers have expressed concern that the proposed changes to the Investor Program will result in the availability of substantially less attractive financing scheme.