Beginning May 29, 2017, eligible candidates will be able to submit their application for permanent residence through Quebec’s provincial Immigrant Investor Program.
The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), part of Quebec’s economic permanent immigration class is designed to facilitate permanent residence for those high-net worth individuals with an intention to settle in Quebec. The program will accept applications from May 29, 2017 until February 23, 2018 or until the quota of 1,900 applications is reached, whichever occurs first. Within the quota, a maximum of 1,330 applications will be accepted from foreign nationals from China, Macao and Hong Kong.
In order to be eligible for permanent residence under the QIIP, an applicant must:
1. Be at least 18 years of age;
2. Have, alone or with an accompanying spouse, a net worth of CAD $1.6 million which has been obtained legally, and excludes donations made in the six months prior to the date the application was filed;
3. Sign an agreement to make a passive investment of CAD $800,000 for a five year period with an authorized financial intermediary;
4. Have at least two years experience within the last five years managing or owning a qualifying business;
5. Declare an intention to settle in Quebec.
In addition to the above eligibility factors, applicants must obtain a certain number of points, awarded based on relevant factors including age, the nature and duration of any professional training, and language abilities; however, if an investment agreement complies with program requirements, an applicant will be awarded more than half these points.
Although there is no minimum language requirement, those applicants with an advanced intermediate knowledge of French as demonstrated by a recognized French language test are not subject to the cap and may submit their application at any time prior to March 31, 2018.
Investors should note that while their investment, guaranteed by the Government of Quebec, is risk free, they will not receive any interest at the end of the five-year period. Any interest accrued on the investments is directed toward provincial growth initiatives. Further, once the investment is made, it cannot be revoked.
For those applicants who otherwise meet the program requirements but cannot make the $800,000 investment, financing options are available.
As Canada’s Federal investor program shut down in 2014, the QIIP remains the only option available for high-net worth individuals who wish to gain Canadian permanent residence through investment. As the zero-risk investment program provides qualifying applicants with a predictable route to permanent residence, it is expected that the cap will be reached relatively quickly.
Applicants should be aware that as this is a paper-based, provincial immigration program, application processing times are currently exceeding 41 months.
For more information on the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.