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Significant changes to Quebec’s Immigrant Investor, Entrepreneur and Self-Employed Worker programs are due to take effect August 2.
Among the modifications are new or higher capital investment requirements for all three programs.
Candidates for Quebec’s popular Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) will now have to meet higher net asset and investment requirements, which are rising to CAD $2 million and CAD $1.2 million, respectively.
The previous requirements were net assets of CAD $1.6 million and an investment of CAD $800,000.
The investment must be for a five-year term with a subsidiary of Investissement Quebec and the investment agreement must be made through a financial intermediary authorized to participate in the QIIP.
The QIIP received 1,900 applications during its most recent application intake period, which took place between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018.
Quebec has suspended new applications to this program until August 15 as it struggles to clear a backlog of applications to all three of its business immigration programs.
A new intake period is expected to commence September 10, 2018, for 1,900 applications.
Quebec Entrepreneur Program changes
Quebec is also introducing important changes to its Entrepreneur Program, which is also suspended until August 15. A new intake period should be announced in the coming weeks.
The change alters the two components through which entrepreneurs have been selected into one focused on startups supported by a business incubator / accelerator or university and another focused on owner-funded and operated businesses.
Under the first component, Quebec’s Immigration Ministry (MIDI) will select entrepreneurs who:
- Have a passing score under Quebec’s Economic Class selection grid.
- Settle in Quebec to operate an enterprise that the entrepreneur creates, alone or with other persons, and that has received an offer of service from an enterprise accelerator, an enterprise incubator or a university entrepreneurship centre.
The second component focuses on the operation of an enterprise that the immigrant entrepreneur creates or acquires.
Under this component, MIDI will select a foreign entrepreneur who:
- Holds and controls, alone or with the accompanying spouse or de facto spouse, at least 25 per cent of the equity of the enterprise he or she creates or at least 51 per cent of the equity of the enterprise he or she acquires. The value of that participation must be equal to or greater than the amount that must serve to start up the business project;
- Manages the enterprise himself or herself or participates actively as an associate in the management and daily operations of the enterprise;
- Provides a start-up deposit of $300,000 if the candidate wants to settle the business in Montreal and $200,000 if the candidate wants to settle the business outside the metropolitan region of Montreal;
- Obtains a passing score under the Entrepreneur program selection grid.
- Have at least financial resources of $900,000.
Another requirement is that the enterprise does not carry out a restricted economic activity.
A key change between this last component and the current Acquisition of a business in Quebec component is candidates will now have to pay a performance guarantee deposit of $300,000 or $200,000 (depending on the region where the business will be implemented) that is refundable if certain conditions are met.
In order to meet the requirements of Quebec’s Self-Employed Worker Program, candidates who will be based in Montreal will now have to register a start-up deposit of $50,000 or more at a local financial institution. Candidates based in regions outside of Montreal will have to deposit at least $25,000.
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