QUÉBEC - BUSINESSPEOPLE PROGRAM

Québec seeks to attract individuals with business and/or managerial experience who will contribute to the development of the Canadian economy. If you are looking to make an investment or to start/acquire a business in Québec there are three different categories under Businesspeople stream:

  • Entrepreneur Program
  • Investor Program
  • Self-employed Worker Program

Immigrate to Québec, candidates and their families must meet both the selection and the admission requirements. To be selected by Québec, candidates must meet the requirements of one of the three immigration programs for businesspeople by submitting an Application for a Selection Certificate and passing a selection interview. Selected applicants will receive Québec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec - CSQ) and will be able to proceed further and apply for the permanent residency under CIC.

Effective October 10, 2013, all new candidates from businesspeople subclasses (Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Workers) who wish to obtain points in the selection grid for their knowledge of French and English must enclose with their immigration application attestations of results of evaluation tests recognized by the Ministère. Children accompanying their parents are exempt from this requirement.

A) QUÉBEC ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAM

The Québec Entrepreneur program was designed for qualified business owners and managers who wants to establish or acquire a business and has the intention and ability to successfully settle in Québec as permanent residents.

During the Application intake period from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 the maximum number of 150 applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec that can be received under the Entrepreneur Program has been attained.

Entrepreneur applicants who demonstrate, by means of a test recognized by the Ministère, that they have an advanced intermediate knowledge of French, are not subject to this maximum number of applications and can submit their application at any time. These applications will receive priority processing.


QUÉBEC ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible to apply under this program, each applicant must meet the specific requirements:

- Personal Requirements:

  1. Net assets of at least CAD$300,000
  2. Business or/and management experience (agricultural, industrial or commercial business):
    1. at least two years’ experience in running a business
    2. Control at least 25% of the capital equity
    3. Active and ongoing management of the day-to-day business operations
  3. Provide French or English language proficiency test results

- Business requirements:

  1. submit a business project with the purpose of creating or acquiring a business (agricultural, industrial or commercial) in Québec
  2. Acquire alone or with your accompanying spouse or common-law spouse, at least 25% of capital equity in a business (agricultural, commercial or industrial) with a value of at least C$100,000
  3. Participate in the daily management and operations of the business

Assessment of the application will take into account other factors such as:

  1. your age
  2. the nature and duration of your training
  3. your language skills
  4. your personal qualities and your knowledge of Québec.
  5. depending on the program component selected, the steps taken to acquire a business in Québec or your ability to carry out a business project will be the key element in your assessment.

UNDERSTANDING THE SELECTION PROCESS

Each applicant must prepare application carefully to ensure faster processing. Assessing the file will be facilitated if it is complete and admissible, and includes:

  • the Application for a Selection Certificate
  • the narrative document for you and your accompanying spouse or de facto spouse where applicable
  • the appendices duly filled out
  • the declarations
  • the payment of required fees
  • certified supporting documents
  • conforming and readable documents

Entrepreneur candidates who successfully pass the preliminary assessment of their application will be invited to an interview. The selection interview completes the assessment process. Notice of an interview will indicate the date, time and place and the documents to bring with you. You may use the services of an interpreter for the interview.

AN EXPLORATORY TRIP TO QUÉBEC

If you apply to immigrate as an entrepreneur, it is recommended that you make an exploratory trip to Québec. Although it is not compulsory, an exploratory trip will enable you, depending on the program component selected, to take charge of your business project and further develop the main components of your business plan. You will then be better equipped to defend your project during the selection interview. In fact, your project’s credibility and feasibility are factors that will influence your selection as an entrepreneur.

DEVELOPING YOUR BUSINESS PROJECT

When applying for immigration to Québec, entrepreneur applicants must submit a business project that will be the key factor in the assessment of their application.

In general, the business plan contains all the information about your target clientele, competitors and suppliers. It includes a market study, a marketing strategy and budget forecasts.

EVALUATION OF FRENCH AND ENGLISH KNOWLEDGE

Effective October 10, 2013, all new candidates from businesspeople subclasses (Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Workers) who wish to obtain points in the selection grid for their knowledge of French and English must enclose with their immigration application attestations of results of evaluation tests recognized by the Ministère. Children accompanying their parents are exempt from this requirement.

Candidates who do not wish to use the points awarded for knowledge of French or English or both must specify this in their application for a Certificat de sélection du Québec by marking the appropriate box on the form.

AWARDING OF POINTS

- For the evaluation of French knowledge

Level 7 of the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes or its equivalent is the minimum threshold from which points are awarded.

The principal applicant can obtain a maximum of 16 points for knowledge of oral and written French, including 7 points for oral comprehension, 7 points for oral production, 1 point for written comprehension and 1 point for written production.

The spouse of a candidate can obtain a maximum of 6 points for oral French knowledge, including 3 points for oral comprehension and 3 points for oral production.

- For the evaluation of English knowledge

Level 5 of the Canadian Language Benchmarks or its equivalent is the minimum threshold from which points are awarded.

The principal applicant can obtain a maximum of 6 points for knowledge of oral and written English, including 2 points for oral comprehension, 2 points for oral production, 1 point for written comprehension and 1 point for written production.

IMPORTANT: To prove knowledge of French and English, candidates who submit an immigration application under a businesspeople subclass must provide the results of a standardized test, even if their mother tongue is French or English.

B) QUÉBEC INVESTOR PROGRAM

The Québec Investor program was designed for qualified business owners and managers who want to participate in economic development by making risk-free investment through an approved financial intermediary, and has the intention and ability to successfully settle in Québec as permanent residents.

Every applicant who is submitting an immigration application as an investor must sign an investment agreement with one of the financial intermediaries—a broker or trust company—authorized to participate in the Investor Program.

Following the entry into effect of the Regulation respecting quotas of brokers and trust companies on July 15, 2015, financial intermediaries must have been allocated a number of agreements (quota) in order to sign an investment agreement with a foreign national who is submitting an application for a selection certificate.

The intake period for applications submitted under the Investor Program is from August 31, 2015 to January 29, 2016 (only the Ministère’s seal will constitute proof of the date of receipt of your application) or until the maximum number of applications has been attained. The Ministère will receive a maximum of 1750 applications for a selection certificate under the Investor Program, including a maximum of 1200 from applicants from China (including Hong Kong and Macao).

Investor applicants who demonstrate, by means of a test recognized by the Ministère, that they have an advanced intermediate knowledge of French, are not subject to this maximum number of applications and can submit their application at any time. These applications will receive priority processing.

The Investor Program Requirements:

To be eligible to apply under this program, each applicant must meet the specific requirements:

- Personal Requirements:

  1. Net assets of at least CND$1,600,000

- Business Requirements

  1. Experience in management for at least two years in the five years:
    1. in a legal farming, commercial or industrial business, or
    2. in a legal professional business where the staff, excluding the investor, occupies at least the equivalent of two full-time jobs, or
    3. for an international agency or a government or one of its departments or agencies

- Investment Requirements

  1. Make an investment of CND $800,000 (for five year guaranteed) with financial intermediary (authorized broker or trust company)

The Government of Québec during the assessment of application will also take into account other factors such as:

  • age
  • the nature and duration of professional training
  • language skills (criteria the same as for the Entrepreneur and Self-Employed programs)

UNDERSTANDING THE SELECTION PROCESS

Each applicant must prepare application carefully to ensure faster processing.

Files submitted by applicants in the Investor subclass must comply with the requirements described in the form Documents to submit in support of the Application for a Certificat de sélection du Québec – Investors. Incomplete applications will be returned to the investor applicant, along with the fees charged.

During review of the application, the immigration counselor will check the information provided in your application and pay particular attention to: the intention to settle in Québec, the management experience, the investment agreement, the assets and their lawful acquisition.

C) SELF-EMPLOYED WORKER PROGRAM

The Québec Self-Employed Worker program was designed for qualified individuals who can effectively establish themselves in the Province of Québec by practicing a trade or profession for their own account, and has the intention and ability to successfully settle in Québec as permanent residents.

From April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 the maximum number of 50 applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec received under the Self-Employed Worker Program has been attained. Applications that exceed this limit will be returned.

The rules regarding the maximum number of applications that are received by the Ministère do not in any way reflect a change in Québec’s immigration objectives. By limiting the number of applications received, the Ministère will be able to process a greater number of pending applications thereby reducing processing times.

SELF-EMPLOYED WORKER PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Create your own job by practicing a profession or trade on your own account
  • Have net assets of at least CND$100,000
  • Have at least two years of experience as a self-employed worker in the profession or trade you plan to practice in Québec

Assessment of your application will also take into account other factors, such as:

  • your age and the age of your spouse, where applicable
  • the nature and duration of your respective professional training
  • your language skills (criteria the same as for the Entrepreneur and Investor programs)
  • your personal qualities and your knowledge of Québec

Note 1: Before making an official immigration application (CSQ), which requires the payment of non-refundable processing fees, you can evaluate online your chances of being selected by Québec. You will receive an immediate response free of charge.

UNDERSTANDING THE SELECTION PROCESS

Each applicant must prepare application carefully to ensure faster processing.

Self-employed worker candidates who successfully pass the preliminary assessment of their application and investor candidates may also be invited to a selection interview following a review of their application.

During review of the application, the immigration counselor will check the information provided in your application and pay particular attention to: your career and experience as a self-employed worker, your assets and their lawful acquisition.

THE QUÉBEC BUSINESS PEOPLE PROGRAM PROCESS

All applicants who want to immigrate to Québec under businesspeople program categories have to follow the steps provided below:
Step #1 – Preparation
Step #2 – Apply as a business immigrant
Step #3 – Apply for Permanent Residency
Step #4 – Going into business or acquiring a business
Step #5 – Getting settled and facilitating your family’s integration

QUÉBEC BUSINESS PEOPLE PROGRAMS PROCESSING TIME

The time required to process applications varies due to a number of factors (overall selection objectives by geographic pool and immigration category, volume of applications for a Québec Selection Certificate submitted from various countries and territories, international context).

These processing times apply to applications for a Québec Selection Certificate only. They do not include those that apply to applications to the Government of Canada for permanent residence.

SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES CONCERNING IRAN

Effective November 21, 2011, Iranian nationals and persons residing in Iran may face restrictions in transferring funds to, or opening bank accounts with Canadian financial institutions.

Persons affected by the sanctions on financial transactions, whether they are applicants for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ), a visa or already in Québec, may apply for permits from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) that authorize specified activities or transactions that are otherwise prohibited under the sanctions.

Note 1: The issue of such authorizations falls outside of the jurisdiction of the Ministère officer. Therefore, the Ministère cannot guarantee that such an authorization will be issued to you. Nonetheless, if you must obtain such a permit to meet a requirement to obtain your CSQ, you should warn the Ministère so it may take these steps into consideration while following up on your application.


Sources:

  • https://www.immigration-Québec.gouv.qc.ca/en/immigrate-settle/businesspeople/index.html

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