Quebec Entrepreneur Program
The Province of Quebec has their immigration programs and to attract international entrepreneurs they have an entrepreneur immigration program known as Quebec Entrepreneur Program (QEP). This program provides the entrepreneurs the ability to run a new business or acquire and operate an existing business in the province.
Basics of Quebec Entrepreneur Program
Quebec Entrepreneur program is a specialized immigration pathway that targets international entrepreneurs to run a new business or acquire and operate an existing business in the province. If the application is successful, the immigrants can move to the province, irrespective of whether they will carry out their proposed business project. Like other immigration programs under Quebec immigration, this also needs the applicants to get their hands on a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec selection certificate). Once the applicant gets the CSQ certificate, they become eligible to submit their application for Canada PR Visa to the Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Experienced entrepreneurs who are interested in moving to Quebec can apply for one of the two program streams:
- The first stream focuses on new businesses or startups established in the province with the support of a business incubator/accelerator or university in the province.
- The second stream focuses on businesses financed and operated by their owners.
The Quebec Immigration Department, Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) describes that entrepreneurs interested in obtaining permanent residence in Quebec must be at least 18 years of age or older and must establish a business that is in line with the requirements of the Quebec entrepreneur program. Although applicants may earn additional points for French language proficiency, this is not required to apply for the program.
All applicants to the Quebec Entrepreneur Program must submit a business plan. This project is an important element in the evaluation of an application. Following the initial evaluation of an application, candidate Quebec entrepreneurs will have to pass a selection interview. The selection interview is the last step in completing the application process under the Quebec Entrepreneur Program.
All Quebec entrepreneur candidates must demonstrate their intention to reside in Quebec.
What are the minimum requirements for the Quebec Entrepreneur Program?
Foreign nationals interested in applying under Stream 1 of the Entrepreneur Program will need to obtain a pass mark of 41 points in all factors of the Quebec Economic Class selection grid for the immigration program to get selected for the selection.
Candidates in the first stream of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program can obtain points for factors such as level of education, areas of training, age, French and English language proficiency, as well as residence and family in Quebec. No additional points are awarded to applicants with a spouse or common-law partner.
Here are the minimum requirements to reach the program cutoff:
- Candidates need to have at least a secondary school diploma.
- Submit a contract to prove financial self-sufficiency.
- Provide a service offer from a business incubator/accelerator or a university entrepreneurship center and demonstrate a successful evaluation of the business project.
Foreign nationals interested in applying under the second stream of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program will need to obtain a passing score of 81 points in the 13 factors of the Quebec economic class selection grid to be eligible for the selection.
Candidates in the second stream of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program receive points for factors such as level of education, areas of training, age, French and English language proficiency, as well as residence and family. in Quebec.
To be eligible for this component, the candidate must settle in Quebec to create a new business or acquire an existing business and manage the operations of the business.
Successful applicants will be required to make two financial deposits as part of their application:
- CAD 200,000 security deposit serving as assurance that the business will be established; be reimbursed when the business plan is completed;
- A startup deposit must be used to create the business. The start-up deposit is CAD$300,000 for businesses created in Montreal and CAD$200,000 for businesses created outside of Montreal.
Here are the minimum requirements to reach the cutoff for stream 2:
- Candidates need to have at least a secondary school general diploma.
- Submit a contract to prove financial self-sufficiency.
- Holds and controls, alone or with the accompanying spouse or de facto spouse, at least 25% of the capital of the business he is creating or at least 51% of the capital of the business he is acquiring. The value of the applicant’s financial contribution must be equal to or greater than the amount to be used to start up the business project.
- Have a minimum of CAD 900,000 in financial resources.
Although the applicant may operate the business with a spouse or common-law partner, no additional points are awarded for an applicant with a spouse or common-law partner.
What is the process to apply under the Quebec Entrepreneur program?
The Province of Quebec follows a two-step application process to admit skilled immigrants for new permanent residency status in the province.
Selection: Selection is done at the provincial level. All applicants for Quebec immigration must apply to the province of Quebec for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).
Admission: Admission is at the federal level. Once the immigrants get a CSQ certificate, they are now able to apply for Canadian permanent resident status to the federal government. As with all applications for permanent residence, applicants must pass a medical examination and a police background check to ensure they are admissible to Canada.
Once an application has been approved at the provincial and federal levels, an applicant becomes a Canadian permanent resident.
To apply for the program, entrepreneurs must prepare a paper application. The application should include a detailed business plan, required supporting documents (related to personal net worth, education, language skills, etc.). All the details concerning the mandatory forms and supporting documents are available on the website of the Ministry of Immigration and Diversity (MIDI).
Duly completed applications must be sent by courier to the Registration and Comparative Evaluation Department of the City of Montreal. If an application is approved, the entrepreneur will receive their CSQ allowing them to apply for permanent residence.
What are the other Canadian immigration programs?
Canada offers several immigration options for entrepreneurs looking to launch business ideas in Canada. The Start-Up Visa Program is a great option for talented foreign entrepreneurs who have secured support from a designated Canadian business organization. Additionally, many Canadian provinces other than Quebec also offer entrepreneurial immigration programs through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams. The most popular entrepreneurial PNP streams include Ontario and British Columbia.
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