This is another immigration pathway by which a foreign national who is an entrepreneur with the ability to build a new business alone or with partners or even acquire and operate an existing business in the Quebec province can migrate to Quebec.
Successful applicants are eligible to migrate to Quebec and establish their businesses. This program, just like every other Quebec immigration pathway, permits applicants to apply for a CSQ ( Certificat de sélection du Québec) and once they are issued a Quebec selection certificate, they become qualified to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
What are the requirements for Quebec Entrepreneur Program?
The Quebec Entrepreneur Program functions under two diverse streams, each of them with its requirements to qualify for CSQ:
The first stream is for applicants who desire to establish a business in Quebec and are getting support from a service offer may be from a business incubator, business accelerator, or a university entrepreneurship centre
. This is to say that applicants must reside in Quebec and the business project can be established and managed by either the candidate alone or with the assistance of partners.
These partners could be either foreigners or Canadians but whichever way, they cannot exceed three and they can be foreigners applying to the same immigration program. Furthermore, there are no stringent definitions as regards the type of organizations supporting the business via a service offer.
Nevertheless, we have general definitions to direct you as an applicant of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program;
- Business accelerator
Who is a business accelerator? A Quebec establishment offering support services especially pertaining financing to entrepreneurs whose projects are targeted at growing ground-breaking businesses
- Business incubator
Who is a business incubator? A Quebec-established organization offering support services to entrepreneurs building businesses in Quebec.
- University entrepreneurship centre
It is a university organization that provides coaching services to entrepreneurs at the university level.
Each of these organizations providing these service offers must prove their ability to support the candidate’s business project. The providers of the service offer must show how they will show their support by addressing these elements:
- The Proposed support plan: They have to mention and describe the services they are offering to the candidate.
- The Operating plan: They have to provide a comprehensive budget of the service offer and the activity schedule.
- Finally, they must show expertise through the skills and achievements of the application process is entrepreneur’s project either as a business accelerator, business incubator, or university entrepreneurship centre
Also, the candidate’s application to Quebec must be in a buisness plan format and must do justice to all the listed forms on the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion du Québec (MIDI) website.
For you to qualify for this second stream, the applicant must reside in Quebec to either build a new business or own an existing business and take care of the business operations.
As part of the application requirements, candidates who were successful make two financial deposits which are;
- CAD $200,000 which serves as a security deposit. This is insurance that the business will be established and once the business plan has been successfully carried out, the money paid for insurance will be refunded.
- The second deposit is known as the Startup deposit which is $300,000 for a business established in Montreal and as for a business established outside of Montreal, it is $200,000. This startup deposit must be utilized in starting a business.
Aside from the aforementioned, all applicants must these requirements for eligibility:
- Applicants must present proof of legitimately acquired $900,000 CAD net assets whether alone or with their spouse or common-law partner (that is if they are accompanying the applicant)
- Candidates must present the application in a business plan format.
- In this stream, if the applicant is building a new business, he or she must own and control a minimum of 25% of the shares of the new enterprise, or 51% of its equity capital which must have an equivalent value or even higher than the needed funds for the business project.
- In a case of an acquired business, it must have been in operation for five years before the application.
- The business should not be involved in any of the following industries; Real estate development or insurance brokerage, pawnbroking, production/distribution/sale of sexually explicit products or related services like escort services, erotic dance or massages, payday loans, or salary loans.
Other factors will be taken into account as well such as language proficiency, age, family in Quebec, visits to Quebec, education, financial sufficiency, and training background. Also, candidates as earlier said, must apply in the format of a business plan and submit all the needed documents as listed on the Ministere de l’immigration, de la Diversite et de l’Inclusion du Quebec (MIDI) website.
What is the Application Process?
During the selection interview, applicants of the Quebec Entrepreneur program must successfully defend their business plan to describe the possibility and importance of the project to the economy of Quebec.
This interview is led by a preceding market visit by the applicant to the Quebec province. If the application is approved, it then moves to Federal security and medical attestations accompanied by the issuance of a visa with compulsory terms and conditions.
If delayed, all this processing can happen within 12-44 months. Yearly, the number of applications under this category is restricted by the Quebec government.
Difference Between The Quebec Entrepreneur and Investor Program
You may have come across the Quebec investor program and may be wondering if there is any difference between the two. There are two essential differences from the Investor’s program.
Firstly, candidates for the Entrepreneur program must build and actively manage an eligible Canadian business in Quebec. Successful applicants are allowed into Canada but with a conditional visa and must frequently report to immigration authorities.
If you do not meet up with the conditions attached to Canadian businesses then you are constrained to a removal hearing which could eventually result in deporting you and the members of your family.
Secondly, unlike the Quebec investor’s program, applicants are not required to five-year term deposit with the Quebec government.
In conclusion, do not forget that the Quebec government is always lookout for ways to improve their economy and continuously put that into consideration when accepting immigrants into the province. Also note that you must reside in Quebec if you are looking at migrating through any of the Quebec means of immigration: investor program, Entrepreneur program or High-skilled worker.