Business immigration to Quebec: how to turn a dream into reality?

Why and how does business immigration to Quebec open doors to a comfortable and rich world? What exactly is the local business environment attracting tens of thousands of entrepreneurs from all over the world?

 

In this article, you will learn how to immigrate for a Canadain permanent residence if your choice fell on the province of Quebec.

Why it’s good to live and work in Quebec

 

Quebec is the largest of the provinces in Canada. And it is one of the most interesting!

First of all, there is a unique architecture: oh, it’s a mesmerizing world! They say that Quebec is a “new Europe”, “little France”. In fact, this is not entirely true, and we want to dispel the widespread myth. In reality, everything is much more exciting: Quebec is unique. Coming here from an Americanized, “other Canada,” you see a stark contrast. Here there are allusions with the colorful streets of Amsterdam, the French charm of twisted streets, and post-medieval masonry of cobbled walls of rather old buildings.

French is spoken in Quebec and French is the official language here. We often hear the conventional wisdom that on the streets of Quebec you will be easily understood in English. However, the reality is different. You will definitely need knowledge of French, not only to pass one of the business immigration programs to Canada but also in everyday life. Here, about 30% of the locals (or “Quebecois”) speak English poorly, and even buying bread without knowing French can turn into an adventure!

Renting real estate (a unit, a fully equipped apartment) is not expensive (for example, from $700, if we talk about the central districts of a large city). Infrastructure: no, we do not want to be upset for those who do not yet live here. Therefore, let’s just say modestly that the infrastructure in general in Canada significantly exceeds the indicators in the CIS countries. For example, even at -35℃, you are unlikely to be able to freeze in the room: high-quality heating is regulated hour-by-hour.

The population is highly educated, you can constantly meet successful and often very cheerful people. Canadians are renowned for their tact, which has a positive effect on local business processes. Accuracy, openness, and innovation: this is the face of modern business in Canada in general and in Quebec in particular. The capital is the city of Quebec, the largest city is the two-millionth alluring Montreal.

Immigration programs in Quebec

 

The province of Quebec has the largest quota among other provincial programs: in 2018, Quebec alone received a quota of 30,000 immigrant visas, while all other provinces had a combined total of 55,000.

Immigration flows:

  • Permanent Workers
  • Business People
  • Temporary Workers
  • Foreign Students
  • Family reunification
  • Humanitarian immigration

As you know, the Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, IRCC) regularly publishes governmental plans for immigration to Canada.

And in March 2020, tactical details for 2020-2023 were released. In 2020, Canada welcomes 341 thousand new immigrants, 351 thousand in 2021, and 361 thousand in 2022.

Note that the first-come-first-serve queuing system in Quebec has been discontinued. Now applications are accepted only during certain periods, and as soon as the required quota is reached, applications are suspended.

However, you have the option to work around this limitation. Some programs accept applications without a quota limit:

  • Quebec Experience Program
  • QSWP (the program is designed for those who are in Quebec and have an invitation to work)
  • Investor program (your French level must be at least Advanced Intermediate Level)

Quebec, or, as it is also called here “a beautiful province” (la belle province), in 2020 receives 44.50 thousand immigrants. Do you want to be among them? Then you should study the federal and provincial programs.

What programs of immigration to Canada is the government developing year after year in Quebec?

The province has three federal programs, 11 provincial programs, programs for entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals, and a regional Atlantic program.

Let’s go in order!

From July 1, 2020, the acceptance of applications for the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program has been resumed. It is the only open investor program in Canada. Many entrepreneurs who choose investment immigration prefer to follow it. It’s simple: you, as an investor, do not have to take an active part in running the business. But you get permanent residence in Canada.

At the same time, the program itself is designed for the following scenario. Despite the fact that the investor is not obliged to carry out the everyday operating activities of the company, whose business he has invested in, his business genius is likely to reveal itself in a new place. After all, entrepreneurs most often continue to conduct any business activity after moving to Canada. And this country is known for its desire to stimulate business activity in many ways.

The required amount of investments under the program is $ 1.2 million. The success of the investment transaction is ensured by the government after it examines your documents certifying the state of health and no criminal record.

The candidate must:

  • Intend to settle in the province of Quebec
  • Be a professional manager or entrepreneur for 2 years out of the last 5 years
  • Have a legally accumulated personal capital of $2 million
  • Passively invest $1.2 million in a business in Canada for a period of 5 years without pursuing a commercial interest

How can you demonstrate how much legally purchased funds you have available? To do this, you will have to meticulously collect evidence of the acquisition of all major assets: bank statements, brochures for investors, real estate appraisals, audited financial statements, and others.

Our experts help to collect a package of these and other documents without any extra effort. Walking through the program is a rather complicated and time-consuming process. We will help you register the income from past activities: businesses, employment, donations, and grants, and inheritance. You might be wondering how difficult it is to present evidence of early-career achievement. Rest assured: we will help you get out of the situation. The main thing is a professionally collected and well-submitted package of documents.

Of course, we will help to describe in as much detail as possible the business environment from which you intend to immigrate to Canada. The better the description of the real business conditions in which you went your way, the higher your chances of getting permanent residence in Canada.

Will your investment be returned in 5 years? Yes, in the amount equal to the investment. The five-year countdown does not start when you landed in Canada at one of the airports. The beginning of the period is counted from the moment you are selected as an investor by the state and the corresponding certificate of choice is created. By the way, the choice of which business in Canada is worthy of your money occurs both among profit-oriented companies and among social projects.

What about skilled workers? On May 28, 2020, the Quebec authorities announced new rules for the reformed Quebec Experience Program. This program is for those people who already have experience of living in Quebec (at least 36 months in the last 48 months – for workers from other countries and 12 months – for international students). The applicant is required to pass a separate exam for proficiency in French.

In 2020, Quebec launched two pilot programs for nurses and technicians. We provide assistance in immigration to people of these professions, and we want to note: there is indeed a shortage of them in the country. Nurses and technicians are highly sought after throughout the province. As well as throughout Canada, in Quebec, we note the high popularity of specialists from the computer technology industry: in particular, artificial intelligence and blockchain solutions.

What program has the most people moving to Canada? This is the Quebec Provincial Quebec Skilled Worker Program. It is designed for a wide range of foreign specialists who want to obtain permanent residence in Canada. Specialists are people who have at least 1 year of work experience and a higher or even just professional education. As with other programs, in French-speaking Quebec, you will have to take a French language test.

The program is not integrated with the Express Entry platform and, accordingly, registration on the program platform is not required.

Who is on the program? Requirements:

  • Submission of an additional application for obtaining the status of a resident of Canada (Permanent Residence)
  • Obtaining a certificate confirming that you have been selected for the program (Quebec Selection Certificate)
  • Getting enough points in the rating system

We have been observing the selection of candidates for various programs for a long time. And it should be noted that it is the provincial program that gives a relatively greater chance of obtaining permanent residence in Canada than the similar federal program, the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

What does Quebec offer entrepreneurs looking to open a business in Canada? The Quebec Entrepreneur Program will suit them. As part of the program, you can open a business in Canada (or purchase and manage an existing one). Entrepreneurs who have completed the program are guaranteed to receive a visa (a startup visa in case of startups) and a permanent residence in Canada. 

The program has two streams:

Stream 1

Your business must be supported by a business accelerator, business incubator, or university entrepreneurial center. These organizations must demonstrate intent and ability to support your business project. Up to three foreigners can apply on the basis of one project.

Organizations supporting such a small business in Canada should indicate what kind of support they intend to provide to you. Namely:

  • support plan: a list and description of the services offered to the candidate
  • work plan: budget of services and schedule of activities
  • expertise: skills and achievements related to the entrepreneur’s project

The candidate submits an application in the form of a business plan.

Stream 2

You must settle in Quebec for the purpose of starting a new business, acquiring an existing business, or conducting commercial operations.

To complete the program, you must create two deposits:

  • a security deposit of $200,000. This amount is a guarantee that the business will be created. The deposit is returned after the business plan has been successfully implemented
  • startup deposit, which is used to directly launch a business. Deposit amount: $300 thousand, subject to immigration in Montreal and $200 thousand for any other location in Quebec

Requirements for business immigration candidates:

  • the business you are purchasing must have been active for the last 5 years prior to the date of application
  • the application is provided in the form of a business plan
  • the presence of legally gained $900 thousand
  • subject to the launch of a startup: the candidate must control at least 25% of the authorized capital. In case of acquiring an existing business, the candidate must control at least 51% of the share capital

So let’s summarize: what does it take to get Canadian citizenship and make immigration to Canada successful? Find out what state federal and provincial immigration programs exist. Determine in advance which of them are most relevant to you. Then we are waiting for you for a consultation. We will help you not only to understand the small details of immigration issues, but also to understand how exactly to maximize your chances of obtaining visas for the whole family. Contact us for a free prior consultation!