Quebec offers three programs for business category immigrants:
- Immigrant Investor
- Self-Employed Worker
Each program has specific requirements. All candidates are also assessed on general criteria, such as age, education, English and French skills, as well as ties to the province (visiting Quebec or having relatives in the province).
To show proficiency in French, applicants must submit language test results (TEFAQ, TCF, TCF-Québec, TEF or TEF Canada) or diplomas (DELF or DALF). The minimum threshold from which the points are awarded is 7 of the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence. This corresponds to the Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
To demonstrate proficiency in English, the applicant must provide IELTS results. The minimum threshold is Level 5 of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).
Effective January 1, 2020, candidates must also successfully pass a test on democratic values based on the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
The Entrepreneur Program (Programme des entrepreneurs) includes two streams.
To immigrate to Quebec through this stream, the candidate needs to:
- Intend to live in Quebec, start a business there and operate it
- Receive and submit a service offer from a business accelerator, incubator or a university entrepreneurship centre
- Submit a business plan
A maximum of 4 people involved in the business can apply.
To be eligible under this stream, the candidate must:
- Intend to live in Quebec, create or acquire a business there, and operate it
- Make a deposit of C$300,000 to a Quebec financial institution to set up a business in Montreal or its suburbs or C$200,000 if the business is to be opened in other areas of Quebec
- Make another deposit in the amount of C$200,000 as a guarantee that the business will be created
- Have at least C$900,000 of net worth
- Provide a business plan
Candidates intending to create a business must own and control at least 25% of its equity capital. And those wishing to acquire a business must own and control at least 51% of the equity capital. The business should be in operation for 5 years prior to the date of application.
The following types of businesses are not eligible:
- Payday loans, cheque cashing, pawnbroking
- Real estate development
- Real estate or insurance brokerage
- Production, distribution or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services
To be eligible under the Quebec Investor Program (Programme des investisseurs), the applicant must:
- Intend to settle in Quebec
- Have at least C$2 million of net worth. Amounts received by donation less than 6 months prior to the application are excluded
- Have management experience of at least 2 years in the past 5 years (such as planning, management, and control of financial, human or material resources, excluding the experience gained in an apprenticeship, training or specialization leading to a diploma)
- Sign an investment agreement with a financial intermediary authorized to participate in the Investor Program
- Invest at least C$1.2 million for the period of 5 years with Investissement Quebec — Immigrants Investisseurs Inc. After 5 years, the investor will receive this amount without interest.
People wishing to immigrate to Quebec and to work there as self-employed individuals can get a permanent residence permit in the province under the provincial Self-Employed Worker Program (Programme des travailleurs autonomes).
To be eligible, the applicant must:
- Come to Quebec to create a job by practicing a profession or business activities, alone or with other immigration candidates, with or without paid help
- Make a deposit at a financial institution of C$50,000 to work in the Montreal Metropolitan Community area or C$25,000 in other locations
- Have at least C$100,000 of net worth
- Have at least 2 years of experience as a self-employed individual working in the profession or trade the applicant intends to practice in Quebec
- Obtain a licence if it is necessary to work in the profession or trade in Quebec
Learn about other Quebec immigration programs in the article “Quebec Immigration”.