The Quebec Entrepreneur Program is a government program designed to help foreign nationals who wish to move and live in Canada by operating a business in the Province of Quebec. The program is open to experienced entrepreneurs as well as their families to either develop a new business in Quebec or to purchase and operate an existing business in the Province. Once a successful applicant and their family obtain permanent residence via this program, they can apply for Canadian citizenship.
How many candidates are accepted annually under this program?
For the calendar year of 2018-2019, the government of Quebec will accept a maximum of 60 applicants into this program. Applications are accepted up until March 31st, 2019. After that date, no new application can be submitted until the announcement of the program reopening for the year 2019-2020. Please note that the programs usually reopens in August-September of each year. Furthermore, candidates 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 and can submit their application at any time.
What are the program requirements?
There are two available streams by way of which you can apply for the Quebec Entrepreneur Program:
Stream 1 – Previous acquisition of a business located in the Province of Quebec
- You must settle in the province of Quebec;
- You must operate the business yourself or with your spouse on a daily basis, meaning participate in the common managerial decisions and operations;
- The business has to be industrial, commercial or agricultural in nature;
- You must present a business plan to demonstrate your business’ viability in Quebec.
Stream 2 – Creation or purchase of a new business in the Province of Quebec
- You must settle in Quebec and operate the business in Quebec;
- The business must be industrial, commercial or agricultural in nature;
- You must prepare a business plan;
- You must make a security deposit at a financial institution in Quebec, with whom you will sign a deposit agreement;
- If the business will be located in the Greater Montreal Area, the deposit amount required is $300,000 CAD;
- If the business will be located outside of the Greater Montreal Area, the deposit amount required is $200,000 CAD;
- The deposit is a security measure used to ensure that you will carry out your business plan. This amount will be given back to you once you carry out your project;
- You must have a net worth of at least $900,000 CAD, either alone or together with your spouse. You will also be asked to demonstrate that this money has been legally acquired;
- If you acquire an existing business, you must control and own at least 51% of the equity of the business;
- If you start a new business, you must control and own at least 25% of the equity of the business.
Another important factors to consider are:
- You must have operated a business for five years prior to your application to demonstrate managerial skills and abilities;
- You may NOT purchase a business which was previously owned by another immigrant investor in the previous five years.
What other criteria will the government use to evaluate my candidacy?
Some additional factors that will be considered at the time of application are:
- Your age;
- Your level of education and field of studies;
- Your knowledge of French and English;
- Your financial capacity to provide for yourself and your family once in Quebec;
- Your knowledge of Quebec and its culture;
- Any ties you may have to Quebec, such as family already residing in Quebec;
- The quality of your business plan.
What happens if I am selected to apply for this Program?
A successful applicant who based on his individual merit is deemed to be eligible to apply for the Quebec Entrepreneur Program Visa will be contacted and asked to come for an interview.
During the interview, the selected candidate will be asked numerous questions about his business plan and will have to provide important details of how and why he believes that his business will succeed in Quebec. The candidate may also be asked questions about his managerial and entrepreneurial experience as well as being asked how they have acquired their assets.
At the end of the interview, the counselor may accept or deny the application on the spot. He may also issue a letter stating that additional information is required, and if failed to be provided, the application will result in a refusal.
Successful applicants will be issued a CSQ (Certifcat de Selection du Quebec). One the CSQ received you will need to apply for permanent residency with the Government of Canada. Once approved by the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada), the applicant may move to Quebec.
A lawyer specializing in investor immigration to Canada can help you prepare a business plan, coach you for the interview and ensure that you have the best chance to be selected for the program.
For further information, and for a confidential consultation with an immigration lawyer specialized in investor immigration to Canada, call us today at 1-888-603-3003.