Quebec And Saskatchewan Announce Changes To Business Categories For Canadian Immigration
In the case of Quebec, application intake dates for the investor, entrepreneur and self-employed categories were made public, as well as some minor changes to the entrepreneur category, which reopened this week. For Saskatchewan, significant changes were made to the Entrepreneur and Farm Category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP).
The government of Quebec has announced that the intake period for applications submitted under the Quebec Investor Program will be from August 31, 2015 to January 29, 2016. There will be a maximum of 1,750 applications accepted for processing, with no more than 1,200 applications accepted from any one country. Candidates with an "advanced intermediate" level in French are not subject to this cap. Moreover, their applications will be given priority processing.
The Quebec Entrepreneur category is designed to allow qualified business owners and managers the opportunity to obtain Canadian permanent residence, provided that they can effectively create or acquire an agricultural, commercial or industrial business in Quebec. Between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016, Quebec will receive a maximum of 150 applications under the Entrepreneur Program. Any applications received beyond this limit will be returned to the applicants. In a new change to the previous version of the Entrepreneur category, Entrepreneur applicants who demonstrate that they have an advanced intermediate knowledge of French are not subject to this maximum number of applications and may submit their application at any time. Moreover, these applications will receive priority processing.
The Quebec Self-Employed category is designed to allow qualified individuals the opportunity to obtain Canadian permanent residence, provided that that they can effectively establish themselves in Quebec by practicing a trade or profession. Candidates must have a minimum net work of CAD$100,000 and a minimum of two years’ experience in the profession or trade that they intend to practice after establishing themselves in Quebec.
Saskatchewan Entrepreneur and Farm Category
The redesigned SINP Entrepreneur and Farm cateogry offers successful candidates and their families the opportunity to establish, acquire or partner in a business in Saskatchewan and be actively involved in its management. Candidates interested in owning and actively operating a business or farming operation are now invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) using the new online EOI system.
There are three basic eligibility criteria in the SINP Entrepreneur and Farm category that candidates must meet in order to be selected and approved:
- A minimum net worth of $500,000 Canadian Dollars (CAD) that can be verified;
- Accumulation of net worth through legal means, which can be verified; and
- Minimum three years entrepreneurial or relevant business management experience.
If candidates are approved, they should intend to:
- Invest a minimum of $300,000 (CAD) in Regina and Saskatoon or a minimum of $200,000 (CAD) in all other Saskatchewan communities;
- Establish a business that aligns with the points assigned in the Entrepreneur Category Points Grid, if applicable (for investment amount and sector);
- Own at least one third (33 1/3%) of the equity of a business in Saskatchewan unless your total investment is $1 million CAD or higher;
- Provide active and on-going participation in the day to day management and direction of the business; and
- If establishing a new business in Regina or Saskatoon, create two employment opportunities for Canadians or permanent residents in Saskatchewan (non-relative workers).
Click here to get more information about and view the SINP Entrepreneur Category Points Grid.
“What these changes show, in the grander scheme of things, is that an increasing number of Canadian provinces are using their immigration programs in a more nuanced way to attract qualified business people with a proven record of success,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“We’re at a juncture in a number of ways. Little by little, the federal government is giving provinces an increased allocation of spaces for their immigration programs, in doing so offering those provinces more scope to seek out the kind of immigrants they most desire. At the same time, a slight downturn in national economic growth means that provincial governments are looking increasingly to the private sector and entrepreneurial immigrants as they attempt to maximise the potential of the local economy.
“In any event, Canada remains an attractive opportunity for international business people looking to develop their careers. It always has, and most likely always will. The recent changes made to immigration programs in Quebec and Saskatchewan reflect this.”
To find out if you are eligible for business immigration programs in Quebec and/or Saskatchewan, as well as other Canadian business immigration programs, please fill out a business eligibility assessment form today.
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