Québec Business Visas

The Canadian province of Quebec’s Business Immigration Program is another alternative for candidates who have business capital and experience and wish to create businesses or make investments.

Quebec Immigration Program for Business People

Québec business visas

Quebec enjoys the autonomy to directly select business people interested in investing in that French-speaking province, following the provincial government’s criteria set according to its immigration objectives. 

However, the admission to Canadian territory of a candidate depends exclusively on the federal government.

An investor, entrepreneur or self-employed person who has received a Quebec Selection Certificate must apply for permanent residence with the federal government and pass certain health and safety checks required by Canada.

Candidates who are admitted to Canada under the selection criteria of the Quebec immigration program for business people must respect the conditions set by the Quebec government.

One of the most important conditions refers to staying in the province to develop business activities that will contribute to the economic development of Quebec.

The three categories of the Quebec immigration program for business people are described in detail below:

  • Investor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Autonomous worker

Investor Visa

Aimed at business people who wish to invest in Quebec to participate in the province’s economic development.

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The candidate must have, alone or jointly with their spouse or common law partner, a minimum net worth of 2 million Canadian dollars, which must have been legally acquired.

Sums received for donations less than six months from the date of submission of the application will not be accepted.

In addition, you must demonstrate sufficient experience in the management and management of an agricultural, commercial, industrial or professional company, whose personnel, except the applicant, occupy at least the equivalent of two full-time jobs.

In this context, “experience in the management and management of a company” is understood as the exercise of functions of planning, direction and control of financial, human and material resources during at least two of the five years prior to the application for the Certificate. of selection.

The candidate must be willing to settle in Quebec, sign an investment agreement with the intermediation of a broker or a trust company authorized by the Quebec government.

Likewise, the applicant must place the minimum amount of 1 million 200 thousand Canadian dollars in an investment fund.

This investment will have a 5-year term and will be guaranteed by the Quebec government, which will use the profits generated to finance two provincial programs: the Immigrant Investor Program to support businesses and the Program to help integrate immigrants into employment and visible minorities.

Upon expiration of the term, the broker-dealer or trust company will reimburse the applicant the amount of CAD$1,200,000, without interest, within 30 days. However, the amount reimbursed may vary if the candidate had chosen to finance their investment.

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In addition, the investor’s profile will be evaluated: age, profession, work experience and language skills. In this last point, the applicant must demonstrate advanced knowledge of the French language.

Entrepreneur Visa

There are two models within this program:

Section 1 – To create a company with accompaniment

For business people interested in starting and operating a business for which they have received a service offer from a business accelerator, incubator, or university entrepreneurship center.

The project can be presented individually or with other people, with a maximum of three foreigners who submit an application for permanent selection as an entrepreneur for the same project.

The interested party must establish himself in Quebec and present his project in the form of a business plan and a service offer.

For this model there is no list of authorized accompanying organizations, nor of regulatory criteria to evaluate these organizations, but to help the entrepreneur in his process, there is a list (created for information only) of business incubator projects, accelerators and centers of university entrepreneurship supported by the Ministry of Economy and Innovation.

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It is worth knowing that for one of these organizations to be able to support an entrepreneur and his project, it must meet the appropriate definition:

  • A business accelerator is an organization established in Quebec that offers support services to those who have business projects aimed at the growth of innovative companies (mainly for the search for financing).
  • A university entrepreneurship center is a body operated by a university establishment as established in Article 1 of the Law on University-level Educational Establishments (Chapter E-14.1) or a body affiliated with an establishment as described above, which offers a guide service for entrepreneurs.
  • A business incubator is an organization established in Quebec that offers a guidance service for people whose projects aim to create innovative companies (especially in the location of spaces).

The agency must demonstrate its ability to support the candidate and their business project. To this end, you must write an offer in which you present the services you offer to the entrepreneur for the realization of your project. The agency must present a follow-up plan, an operation plan and its experience in the area.

For this purpose, there is a Service Offer Writing Guide for the Entrepreneurs Program, section 1 (in French).

Section 2 – To buy or create a business directly

For business people interested in creating or buying a company and directly assume the operation and participate in the daily management of the company.

The interested party must establish himself in Quebec and create or acquire the company to be operated, in addition to making a launch deposit and a guarantee deposit (of CAD$200,000) in a financial institution established in Quebec and with which he will sign a contract. 

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The launch deposit will be used to carry out the business project and the amount required will be CAD$300,000 if the company is in the Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM) and CAD$200,000 if it is outside of it.

The interested party must have, alone or in combination with their spouse or common law partner, assets with a net value of at least 900 thousand Canadian dollars and present their project under the figure of a business plan.

If the company creation route is chosen, the candidate must own and control at least 25% of the capital. If the acquisition route is chosen, the applicant must control at least 51% of the company’s capital.

The company must not operate any of the following economic activities:

  • Loans on wages, cashing checks or loans on pawns.
  • Real estate development, real estate conditioning or real estate or insurance brokerage..

The company must have provided services during the five years preceding the date of submission of the application. 

Likewise, the company cannot have belonged during those five years to an immigrant selected as an entrepreneur through this program.

The Quebec government will assess the candidate’s other skills, such as the level and type of education, their language skills in the two official languages ​​of the country (English and French), their knowledge of Quebec, and their age.

Regarding language skills, the candidate must demonstrate, through an exam accepted by Quebec , that they have at least an advanced intermediate level in the French language, both in the oral and in the written evaluation. This weighting applies only to the main applicant.

Self Employed Visa

Category aimed at people interested in settling in Quebec to create their own employment through the free exercise of a profession or trade, alone or with other candidates to immigrate, with or without paid help.

The applicant must demonstrate that he or she has at least two years of free practice in the profession or trade that he or she aspires to practice in Quebec.

Likewise, the applicant must make a company launch deposit with a financial institution located in the region where he plans to practice his profession or trade, for an amount of CA$ 25,000, if it will be located outside the Montreal Metropolitan Community or 50,000 if plans to settle within this community.

In addition, the candidate must possess, alone or in combination with their spouse or common law partner, a minimum net worth of 100 thousand Canadian dollars, obtained lawfully.

The candidate’s personal and professional skills will also be assessed: age of the candidate and their spouse or common-law partner, type and level of training, language skills in French and English, capacity for financial autonomy, previous stays in Quebec, relatives in Quebec and knowledge about the province.

Regarding the language requirements, it should be noted that the candidate must demonstrate that they have an advanced intermediate level in the French language. 

This will be the minimum threshold from which points will be assigned for language knowledge in the oral assessment and in the written assessment.

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