Canada is a North American country stretching from the U.S. in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north. Major cities include massive Toronto, west coast film centre Vancouver, French-speaking Montreal and Quebec City, and capital city Ottawa. Canada’s vast swaths of wilderness include lake-filled Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains. It’s also home to Niagara Falls, a famous group of massive waterfalls.
Quebec Immigrant Investor Program
The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program is passive in nature, meaning that individuals selected under its auspices are not required to establish or actively manage a business in the province.
Rather, the program requires an investment of $1.2 million into a prescribed (government guaranteed) investment. Applicants must have the intention of settling in the French-speaking province of Quebec.
Successful applicants are issued a selection certificate from Quebec for Canada immigration, which allows them to obtain Canadian permanent residence following health and criminality examinations by federal immigration authorities.
The primary requirements are:
- The legally-acquired personal net worth of $2 million.
- Two years of suitable management or business experience within the five years preceding the application.
- Investment of $1.2 million into a passive government guaranteed investment for a period of five years bearing no interest;
- Settle in the province of Quebec.
The Quebec investor program offers high net worth applicants with CAD $2 Million permanent residence through a risk-free investment of CAD $1,2 Million.
The investment can be financed through a recognized intermediary under a ‘walk-away’ financing scheme. With approved “walk away” financing, the liquidated cost is approximately CAD $350,000 (USD $270,000), depending on interest rates.
QIIP is the only option in Canada for high net worth business immigrants to secure Canadian permanent residence on the basis of a passive investment.
QIIP will accept a maximum of 1900 new applications during the period from September 10, 2018 through August 31, 2019. This includes 1235 applications from China, Macau/Hong Kong and 665 applications from the rest of the world.
How to qualify?
- A legally acquired personal net worth of CAD $2 Million;
- Two years of suitable management or business experience within the five years preceding the application;
- Invest $1.2 Million in a passive government guaranteed investment for a period of five years, bearing no interest;
- An intention to settle in the province of Quebec.
What is the process?
- Gather documentation supporting your personal net worth and managerial experience. You must also prove the legal, historical accumulation of all your assets.
- The completed application is reviewed for compliance, by an approved licensed financial intermediary with quota allocations from Quebec immigration authorities.
- The application is then submitted to Quebec immigration authorities.
- A file number is issued by Quebec within 30-days after reception.
- A notice of interview or interview waiver takes place within 12 months after submission.
- A decision takes place within 30 days after interview.
- Approved applicants will be requested to make their investment within 110 days of a positive decision.
- After investment you will receive a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ). This document allows you to apply for permanent residence at the federal level.
- Submit a full application to federal immigration authorities, who will conduct security and medical checks.
- Depending on the visa office, applications are finalized to visa issuance within a range of approximately 12 months (North America, Western Europe and South America) to 44 months (China).
- After approval, passports are requested and a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) is issued to the applicant and dependants.
- Applicants and dependants must travel to Canada before the expiry date on the COPR document. The COPR will have a validity date near 12-months, corresponding to the 1-year anniversary of the medical exam.
Legally Acquired Net Worth
In order to meet the minimum net worth requirement of $2 million, applicants must demonstrate the net value of their current assets, as well as their history of the acquisition of funds over the course of their careers with supporting documentation.
Net worth is established through bank statements, investor booklets, real estate evaluations, audited financial statements and other pertinent and up to date documentation. Candidates are required to declare all of their personal assets and liabilities; however, they are not required to produce evidence of assets beyond $2 million.
Applicants must also demonstrate that their net worth was acquired legally. This takes into account the individual’s past employment income, businesses, local market conditions, inheritances and donations. While it is often difficult to produce detailed documentation of the early stages of an applicant’s career, clear supporting documents will facilitate the application process
Suitable Management Experience
The intention of the program is to attract business acumen and investment to Quebec. A qualified applicant has typically owned or managed an active trade or business, which may include professional practices, rather than merely managing investment activities. In this context, gray areas include professionals that don’t manage the business, passive real estate investors and investment managers. For example, developing real estate may qualify whereas merely owning real estate may not qualify.
Suitable management experience is defined in the applicable regulations as:
“[T]he assuming, for at least 2 years in the 5 years preceding the application for a selection certificate, of duties related to the planning, management and control of financial resources and of human or material resources under the investor’s authority; the experience does not include the experience acquired in the context of an apprenticeship, training or specialization process attested to by a diploma.”
Investment and Financing
Successful applicants are required to make their investment with Investissement Québec for a period of five years, at the end of which the capital is returned without interest. The five year period begins upon issuance of the selection certificate before the applicant has even landed in Canada. Proceeds from the investment are used to fund various business and social programs within the province of Quebec.
The Quebec Investor program permits applicants to finance the bulk of their investment through designated securities brokerage firms and investment banks. Typically, the financing schemes require a down payment before the bank loans the balance up to $1.2 million. The applicant then deposits the sum with Investissement Québec. The down payment is not refunded at the end of the five-year period. The bank takes fees and interest from the down payment, the immigration agent takes their commissions from the down payment. The net cost to the investor is the down payment.
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