Canadian Permanent Residence through Quebec Entrepreneur Program

You can obtain Canadian Permanent Residence through Quebec Entrepreneur Program if you are an overseas business owner seeking to launch an entrepreneurial endeavor in Quebec. It is a distinct Canada Immigration opportunity for overseas entrepreneurs with the monetary resources and experience of business ownership. Successful applicants can obtain Canadian Permanent Residence through Quebec Entrepreneur Program.

The Quebec Entrepreneur Program is a Canada immigration program for overseas entrepreneurs who can launch a new business or acquire and manage a business existing in Quebec. You must note that it is not mandatory for applicants to have proficiency in the French language. But this factor can be taken into consideration for the selection of applicants.

Effective from 1st January 2020, all Canadian Permanent Residence applicants through immigration programs of Quebec must demonstrate an understanding of Quebec values. It can be demonstrated by completing a course in Quebec values or passing a test for Quebec values.

The QEP had accepted 60 fresh applications in 2019. Applicants who appear for an authorized language test and demonstrate French language skills at the advanced-intermediate level are exempt from the intake ceiling. They can file an application at any time. 

An overseas immigrant who intends to immigrate to Quebec through QEP has to launch and operate a fresh business in the province singly or with partners. Alternatively, an existing business in the province can also be acquired and operated. Successful applicants can move to Quebec. 

As in the case of other immigration pathways of Quebec, QEP applicants have to apply for a CSQ - Québec selection certificate. Those who obtain the CSQ qualify to submit an application for the Canadian Permanent Residence

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Requirements of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program

The Quebec Entrepreneur Program has two streams under it. Each stream has its specific eligibility criteria. 

Stream One

The applicants are required to settle in Quebec for creating and operating a business that is backed by a service offer from a business incubator, a business accelerator, or a university entrepreneurship center. The business project can be undertaken singly or along with a maximum of three business partners who are overseas nationals applying for the same Canada immigration program. No strict definition of the organization types that can support through a service offer exists. Nevertheless, the following general definitions can guide applicants: 

Business Accelerator

An organization has an establishment in Quebec that provides support services, specifically assistance for seeking financing for entrepreneurs whose projects are aimed at the growth of innovative businesses. 

Business Incubator

An association has an institution in Quebec that provides support services for overseas entrepreneurs whose project’s aim is to create pioneering businesses. 

University Entrepreneurship Centre 

An organization managed at the university level by a University Institution that offers coaching services to Entrepreneurs. 

The organization that is providing the service offered must prove its ability for supporting the candidate and the business plan. The offer for service must define the manner in which the support will be offered and address the following elements: 

  • Proposed plan for support – Description, and list of services that will be provided to the candidate Plan of Operation – Detailed schedule of the activities and the budget of the offer of service 
  • Expertise as a University Entrepreneurship Centre/ Business Incubator/ Business Accelerator - the achievements and skills corresponding to the project of the entrepreneur 
  • You have to submit the application to Quebec in the form of a business plan. All the required forms as specified on the MIDI website must also be completed. 

Stream Two 

The applicants are required to settle in Quebec for creating and operating a new business or acquire a business existing in Quebec and manage its operations. If you are successful in your application you will have to provide 2 financial deposits: 

  • A CAD 200,000 Security Deposit will serve as insurance for the creation of the business and it will be refunded upon successful execution of the business plan 
  • A Startup Deposit has to be utilized for setting up the business. It is CAD 300,000 for businesses launched in Montreal and for businesses launched outside Montreal it is CAD 200,000.

The applicants need to meet the following criteria eligibility

  • Have minimum net assets of CAD 900,000 that have been obtained legally with a common-law partner or spouse if accompanying and where applicable. 
  • The application has to be presented in the Business Plan format. 
  • If a new business is being created by the applicant, then they must have ownership of a minimum of 25% of the equity capital. If an existing business is being acquired, then it must have ownership of a minimum of 51% of the equity capital.
  • The business must not be involved in these activities: cheque cashing, payday loans, real estate development, pawn broking, real estate or insurance brokerage, sales/distribution/production of sexually explicit or pornographic services or products. 
  • The business that is acquired must be functional for a minimum of 5 years before filing the application.

Other factors will also be taken into consideration while assessing the applications. These include education, language proficiency, age, visits to Quebec, financial adequacy, training background, and family in Quebec.  

You have to submit the application to Quebec in the form of a business plan. All the required forms as specified on the MIDI website must also be completed. 

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What is the difference between Quebec Entrepreneur Program and the Investor Program?

The two major differences between Quebec Entrepreneur Program and the Investor Program are: 

  • Quebec Entrepreneur Program applicants have to set up and actively operate a qualified business in Quebec. Successful applicants are thus given entry to Canada on a conditional Visa and have to regularly report to the Immigration authorities. Those applicants who do not fulfill the condition of an eligible business in Canada can be subject to removal hearings. It can result in their deportation from Canada along with family members. 
  • Quebec Entrepreneur Program applicants are not required to make investments in a zero-interest 5-year term deposit with the Quebec Government. This investment is applicable for Investor Class applicants.

The application process for Quebec Entrepreneur Program

Quebec Entrepreneur Program applicants are required to successfully defend a business plan during the interview for selection. It outlines the relevancy and feasibility of the project for the province. This interview is usually before a preliminary visit to the market in Quebec province by the applicant. 

After approval, the application is sent to the Federal Medical and Security verifications and then Visa is offered with compulsory terms and conditions. This is including an overall processing delay which can have a duration of 12 to 44 months. 

The Government of Quebec accepts a specified number of applications under the Entrepreneur Program. Applicants who can prove French proficiency at the advanced-intermediate level can file the application at any time. They are not subject to any quota limit. 

Quebec Entrepreneur Program accepts applications only during the designated period of intake. Stream 1 is open to 25 applications between November 2020 and 30 September 2021. Stream 2 has been paused till at least November 1, 2021. 

How to submit an application for the Quebec Entrepreneur Program?

Quebec adopts a two-stage application process for accepting immigrants for Canadian Permanent Residence. 

Selection

The selection takes place at the level of the province. All applicants who wish to immigrate to Quebec have to apply for the CSQ. 

Admission

The admission takes place at the federal level. Once you obtain the CSQ, you have to apply for a Canadian Permanent Residence with the Federal Government. Similar to other Canada PR applications, you have to successfully clear the police background check and medical exam for ensuring your admissibility to Canada. 

You obtain the Canadian Permanent Residence after your application has been approved at both federal and provincial levels. 

The applicants of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program have to arrange a paper-based application. It must be inclusive of a comprehensive business plan and supporting documents as needed. These relate to your education, personal net worth, language proficiency, etc. The website of MIDI has complete details about the compulsory forms and supporting documents. 

Completed applications have to be shared through courier to Quebec Immigration Office, Ministry of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion in Montreal City. You will be offered the CSQ if your application is approved. You can then apply for the Canadian Permanent Residence. 

Do you wish to obtain the Canadian Permanent Residence through Quebec Entrepreneur Program?

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