The Canadian province of Quebec has announced its plans to reopen the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), suspended since 2019. QIIP was known as Canada's leading business immigration program for the past two decades before the suspension. The government has proposed several changes to the program, aiming to make it more attractive to foreign investors, as well as the new requirements.
The updated program will require applicants to have a net worth of at least CAD 2 million and at least two years of management experience within the five years preceding the application. These criteria aim to attract qualified and experienced investors to contribute to Quebec's economic growth.
Once approved, investors and their families will receive a three-year temporary stay permit in Canada, allowing them to work and study in Quebec. Afterward, they can apply for permanent residence. However, in order to do this approved applicants will need to meet new requirements:
Investment and Financial Contribution. The proposed changes include a 5-year-term, risk-free investment of $1 million CAD ($750,000 USD) with IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc. Investors would also need to make a non-refundable financial contribution of $200,000 CAD ($ 150,000 US) to the company through a financial intermediary within 120 days of the acceptance decision.
French Language Proficiency. Investors will be required to demonstrate French language proficiency within the first two years of arriving in Quebec by achieving a Level 7 out of 12 on the "Echelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français". This requirement emphasizes the importance of language integration into the local community.
Residency. Approved applicants will need to reside in Quebec for at least six months within the two-year period following their work permit issuance. An additional six months of residence is required for either the applicant or the spouse. This ensures a closer connection to the province and promotes community engagement.
Only following the fulfillment of these requirements, investors and their families will receive Selection Certificates (CSQ), which allow them to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
The QIIP is unique among Canadian business immigration programs as it doesn't require active involvement in managing a Canadian business. However, new requirements, such as French language efficiency and the physical presence obligation could be problematic for some investors.