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The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, one of the most popular immigrant investor programs in the world, will reopen next month. This Canadian immigration option allows qualified immigrant investors and their dependent family members the opportunity to obtain Canadian permanent residence by investing CAD $800,000 risk-free through an approved financial intermediary.
The maximum number of applications that may be received for the much-anticipated upcoming application cycle is set at 1,900, of which up to 1,330 will be accepted from nationals of the People’s Republic of China, including the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao. The balance of available slots will be filled by applicants from across the world. Candidates with an “advanced intermediate” level in French are not subject to this cap. Moreover, their applications are given priority processing.
The application intake period will begin on May 30, 2016, and may run until February 28, 2017, though many expect that the quota will be filled before then.
Quebec Investor Program Requirements
Applicants must have a minimum net worth of CAD $1.6 million, alone or with a spouse or partner. Assets such as property, bank accounts, pension funds, stocks and shares may be included.
Applicants must have acquired a minimum of two years’ management experience in the past five years with a company that has at least two full-time employees. The company does not necessarily have to be profitable, and it may also be an international agency, department, or government agency.
Applicants must intend to settle in the province of Quebec and sign an investment agreement agreeing to invest CAD $800,000 with an approved financial intermediary — a Quebec brokerage or trust company — authorized to participate in the program. The investment may also be financed by a financial intermediary.
For a list of approved financial intermediaries, click here.
The Quebec Advantage
The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program has a number of clear advantages, as compared with other investor immigration programs around the world.
No probationary period
First, a successful application leads to a Canadian permanent resident visa. There is no probationary or conditional stage, as there is for the EB5 visa in the United States, for example. For the EB5 program, successful applicants obtain a two-year green card that is conditional on showing that they created at least 10 jobs over that period.
Return on investment
Second, investment through the Quebec program is risk-free. The investment of CAD $800,000 is guaranteed by the Quebec government and returned in full after five years. Moreover, the investment requirement is far less onerous than other investor immigration programs, including Canada’s Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program, which requires candidates to have a net worth of at least CAD $10 million.
A family affair
Third, all immediate members of the candidate’s family (spouse or common-law partner and dependent children) may be included in the application. This is not necessarily the case for other investor immigration programs. Successful applicants and their families may enjoy the benefits of permanent resident status, including universal health care, free public education, and access to world-class universities and institutions.
Entrepreneur and Self-Employed categories also reopen
In addition to the Investor Program, the government of Quebec also announced that its two other business immigration programs would open with immediate effect.
The Quebec Entrepreneur Program will accept up to 50 applications during the current application cycle, which began on April 1, 2016. Similar to the Investor Program, applicants who have at least an “advanced intermediate” level of French proficiency will not be subject to this cap, and their applications will be given priority processing. To qualify as an entrepreneur, an individual must have a net worth of at least CAD $300,000, have managerial experience in a business that they either owned or controlled, and be willing and able to establish or acquire a business in Quebec that will create at least one incremental job in Quebec.
The Quebec Self-Employed Program also reopened on April 1 for up to 50 applications. To qualify as a self-employed person, an individual must have a net worth of at least CAD $100,000 and must have work experience in the profession or trade that he or she intends to practice in Quebec. There is no cap-exempt provision for French speakers under this program.
A unique opportunity
“The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program has proven highly attractive over the years, with one of the main reasons being because it is passive in the sense that there are no conditional management requirements after arrival. This being the case, the Quebec option isn’t as hands-on as many other competitor programs internationally,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“What is more, successful applicants have the prospect of living in a diverse, multicultural province that also provides a wealth of education and job opportunities for families. I have had the good fortune to spend almost my entire life in Montreal, a business-friendly city teeming with innovation and opportunity.
“Given that the program will be opening very soon is likely to prove highly popular, I would encourage interested investors to prepare an application and gather supporting documents swiftly in order to maximize their chances of success.”
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