Quebec Immigrant Investor Program set to re-open in January 2024

Edana Robitaille
Published: June 2, 2023

Quebec Premier Francois Legault recently announced several proposed changes to Quebec’s immigration programs. Among them, there will some be significant updates to Quebec’s Business Immigration Programs, including the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP).

The most significant change in Quebec's economic immigration programs will be making it mandatory for all of the province's economic immigration candidates to have strong oral French skills before they apply.

The changes to business class immigrants will impact investors as well as entrepreneurs and self-employed workers. Principal applicants who fall into these categories will be required to have knowledge of oral French.

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Quebec’s government says the current proportion of workers who master French is very low. Further, it believes making French a requirement will better promote the integration of immigrants into the province’s business community and make it easier for them to contribute to Quebec’s economy.

The QIIP is currently closed to new applicants. It was suspended in 2019 and was supposed to open in April 2023. However, it was announced last March that the program would remain closed until January 2024.

What are the other changes?

A newsletter released by AURAY Capital summarizes the changes to the QIIP:

Unchanged criteria:

  • Have a net worth of at least C$2 million (including spouse's assets);
  • Have acquired at least 2 years of management experience in the 5 years preceding the application's submission.

Modified / New criteria:

  • Demonstrate minimum proficiency in spoken French, which corresponds to level 7 on the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes;
  • Have a diploma obtained before the date of submission of the application and corresponding at least, in Quebec, to a secondary school diploma;
  • Have been issued a work permit following the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration (MIFI’s) notice of intent to issue a selection certificate (PCSQ);
  • Within 2 years of the date of this work permit issuance, the principal applicant must have resided in Quebec for a period of at least 6 months and he or his spouse or de facto spouse included in the application has resided in Quebec for another period of at least 6 months;
  • Make a 5-year term risk-free investment, at 0% interest of C$1 million with IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc. and a non-refundable financial contribution of $200,000 to this company, through a financial intermediary, within 120 days of the acceptance decision

About business immigration in Quebec

Established in 1985, the QIIP is the only passive investor immigration program offered in Canada.

Business immigration in Quebec is a category that may benefit high-income individuals who the province believes can help create jobs and contribute to the economy. Investor immigrants in the QIIP apply for permanent residence in exchange for an interest-free loan of $1.2 million to the province. The loan is guaranteed to be repaid in full within five years and candidates are not expected to manage a business.

Candidates are required to have two years of full-time management experience in a specific industry such as agriculture, commercial, industrial or in a government or international agency. The company where the candidate gained their experience does not have to be profitable.

In contrast, Quebec entrepreneurs are expected to actively manage their businesses. There are two streams for entrepreneurs. Stream One focuses on new businesses or startups established in the province with the support of a business incubator/accelerator or university in the province.

Stream Two is focused on owner-funded and operated businesses.

All Quebec Entrepreneur Program applicants need to complete a business project as part of their application. The project will be assessed and the applicant? will then be expected to attend a selection interview.

All Quebec Entrepreneur applicants must demonstrate the intention to reside in Quebec.

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