Quebec Nominee Program

As per the Accord between Federation of Canada and Province of Quebec, the latter is authorized to select its own immigrants and the role of Federal government is limited to grant of Permanent Residency after verifying medical fitness and character antecedents.

Under the Canada-Quebec Accord on Immigration, Quebec establishes its own immigration requirements and selects immigrants who will adapt well to living in Quebec.

If you want to go to Quebec as a skilled worker, you must first follow a separate selection process before your application is finalised by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. To learn about that province’s requirements, visit Quebec’s immigration website.

Like the Federal program, the Quebec program has three categories of business class applicants, namely:

  1. Investors;
  2. Entrepreneurs;
  3. Self Employed.

s per the information in chapter–2 and the information regarding Quebec program provided in this chapter, it will be observed, that, the definitions of investor and entrepreneur categories under the Federal and Quebec programs are more or less similar but Quebec Self Employed category is entirely different from the Federal Self Employed category.

Investor Program:

As per the information regarding Quebec Immigrant Investors available at here, there are five reasons to choose Quebec:

  1. A young, vast and welcoming location;
  2. An exceptional quality of life for the immigrant and his / her family;
  3. One of the World’s best education system for the children;
  4. An open, dynamic economy offering numerous business opportunities; and
  5. An efficient and accessible immigration program

Besides, that, Quebec which is one of the ten provinces of Canada has industrial and commercial hub in its largest city Montreal which is located close to major urban centers such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Detroit and Chicago. Quebec is part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and as such, has access to a market of 450 million consumers. Further, Quebec has three English language Universities, namely: McGill University (ranks 19th among the World’s top Universities in accordance with QS World University Rankings 2010), Concordia University and Bishop’s University. However, there are four French language Universities. It is a French speaking province because 81% of the population speaks French at home, 10% English, 7% another language and 2% two or more languages.

For deciding to live and invest in Quebec, following data will be of interest to a prospective immigrant to Canada:

  1. Very advantageous cost of living: As per worldwide cost of living survey 2010, if the index of New York is taken at 100, then, the index of Toronto is 76.1 while that of Montreal is 71.9. For other cities in the province, it will lower than in Montreal.
  2. Affordable housing: As per Canadian mortgage and housing corporation cities in Quebec are more affordable, then, the cities in other provinces of Canada.
  3. Cost of tuition in Quebec among the lowest in North America: For example, if Business Administration program 2010 is considered, the cost of tuition fee for the residents as compared to foreign students is hardly one fifth.
  4. Quebec: a safe environment.

If following facts are considered, then, it is advantageous to invest in Quebec which has got a World class economy:

  1. Gross domestic product (GDP) at PPP (purchasing power parity, to eliminate the discrepancy between price levels in different countries) of US$ 255 billion (2009);
  2. GDP comparable to that of Singapore and the United Arab Emirates;
  3. Average annual growth of 1.2% between 2005 and 2009, i.e., higher than that of Germany (0.5%) and France (0.8%);
  4. GDP per capita of US$32,536 (PPP) in 2009, ranking 26th in the World;
  5. Services: 69.5% of GDP;
  6. Production of goods: 30.5% of GDP.

Immigration Law in Quebec and Regulation on selection of foreign nationals:

As per the Act respecting immigration to Quebec, a selection certificate is to be issued to a foreign national who meets the selection conditions and criteria determined by the Regulations. As per the Regulations, an investor is defined to mean a foreign national at least 18 years of age who:

  1. has experience in management in a legal agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprise or in a legal professional enterprise in which the personnel, excluding himself, hold the equivalent of at least two full-time job positions, either for an international agency or for a government or one of its departments or agencies;
  2. has, alone or with his accompanying spouse, net assets of at least CDN $1,600,000 obtained legally, excluding amounts received by donation less than six months before the date of filing of the application;
  3. comes to settle and invest in Quebec in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation.

To qualify as an investor, an applicant must also demonstrate:

  1. that, he/she has signed an investment agreement with a broker or trust company authorized to work with the immigrant Investor program that calls for an undertaking to make an investment of CDN$800,000 for a term of five (5) years. A list of financial intermediaries authorized to work in the Immigrant Investor Program is available here
  2. that, he/she assumed, for at least two (2) years in the five (5) years preceding the application for a Selection Certificate, duties related to the planning, management and control of financial resources as well as human or material resources under his/her authority, excluding experience acquired in the context of an apprenticeship, training or specialization process attested to by a diploma;
  3. that, he/she qualifies under the selection grid (eligibility criteria and passing score).

In addition to the eligibility criteria mentioned in earlier paragraph, the applicant under Quebec Investor program is assessed by taking into consideration other factors such as age, nature and duration of training, language capabilities and the personal qualities.

Entrepreneur Program:

To be eligible for this program, the applicant must:

  1. Have net assets of at least CDN$300,000 that have been legally obtained with, where applicable, by applicant’s spouse provided he or she is a accompanying the applicant.
  2. Have at least two years’ experience in running a business acquired during the five years preceding the date the application was submitted, in a lawful and profitable business (agricultural, industrial or commercial) that the applicant manages, alone or with accompanying spouse, controlling at least 25% of the capital equity.
  3. Experience in running a business is defined as the actual and full-time assumption of the responsibilities and duties related to the planning, management and control of material, financial and human resources, provided that such responsibilities and duties are not assumed in the context of an apprenticeship, training or specialization process attested to by a diploma.
  4. Full time means that the person devoted all of their working time to management during the period in question.

Note: Points are given based on the duration of the responsibilities assumed and full-time assuming of such responsibilities.

The application is presented in one of the two following program components:

  1. Ability of carry out a business project component: a business project with the purpose of creating or acquiring a business (agricultural, industrial or commercial) in Quebec is required to be submitted. An applicant will be required to manage himself/herself and will be further required to participate in management and operations on a daily basis. The applicant must control, alone or with accompanying spouse, at least 25% of the capital equity with a value of at least CDN$ 100,000.
  2. Acquisition of a business in Quebec component: If the applicant has acquired in Quebec, alone or with accompanying spouse, at least 25% of capital equity in a business (agricultural, commercial or industrial) with a value of at least CDN$100,000, then must manage the business himself / herself and participate in it as a management and as a operations partner on a daily basis.

Note that an applicant cannot claim to be the purchaser of a business acquired, during the five years preceding the date of submission of application for selection certificate, by another candidate who participated in the program.

Assessment of the application will be taking into account other factors such as: age and the age of the spouse, where applicable, nature and duration of training, language skills, personal qualities and knowledge of Quebec, depending on the program component selected, the steps taken to acquire the business in Quebec

OR applicant’s ability to carry out a business project will be the key element for assessing the application.

In addition, upon applicant’s arrival in Quebec, he/she must comply, for at least one year during the three years after Permanent Resident status, with the following conditions:

  1. Create or acquire, in whole or in part, an agricultural, commercial or industrial business established in Quebec where applicant holds at least 25% of the capital equity with a value of at least CDN$ 100,000 and which will employ, on a permanent basis and for a minimum 30 hours a week, a Quebec resident other than the applicant and the members of accompanying family. The agricultural entrepreneur is immune from the obligation to create or maintain full time employment;
  2. Participate in the daily management and operations of the business.

Self Employed:

To qualify as Self Employed Immigrant under the Quebec program, an applicant must have:

  1. not less than two years of applicable experience.
  2. a legally obtained personal net worth of at least CDN$100,000
  3. sufficient settlement funds
  4. intention to come to Quebec to create employment for the applicant by practicing a profession.

The Quebec program is much broader with respect to professions than the Federal program. The only requirement is, that, applicant’s profession must be in the National Occupational Classification. The applicant must demonstrate eligibility to practice the intended profession in Quebec, if the profession is governed by a professional order or otherwise has restricted access. Self Employed applicants are assessed in Quebec under a point system. To succeed, unmarried applicants must obtain 40 points out of a possible 84 points on pre-selection and 50 points out of possible 94 points on final selection. Married applicants must obtain 48 points out of a possible 101 points on pre- selection and 58 points out of a possible 111 points on final selection.

No immigration conditions are imposed on Quebec Self Employed Immigrants. Under the Quebec program, there is a fine distinction between skilled category and Self Employed category. If a professional is doing a job, then is covered by skilled category, but if he is having his own practice, then, he is covered by Self Employed category. For deciding the correct category, a simple acid test is, if a person shows his income under the head “salaries” in the income tax return, then he would be covered by skilled category, but if he shows the income under the head “business/profession” in the income tax return, then, he will be covered under Self Employed category.

It is further relevant to observe, that, 20% of the people working in Canada work in occupations that are regulated to protect health and safety of Canadians. Examples include nurses, engineers, electricians and teachers. Provincial and Territorial Regulatory bodies are responsible for establishing entry requirement for individual occupations; for recognizing prior credentials , training and experience; and for issuing licenses required to practice. The recognition process varies between Provinces and Territories and between occupations. Recognition of qualifications and issuance of licenses can generally only be completed once present in Canada. The process can take time. For this purpose, an applicant is required to provide documentation in support of his / her qualifications; undergo a language examination (which may differ from those required for immigration); complete a technical exam with an accompanying fee and do supervised work.

For non-regulated occupations, there are no set requirements and there are no legal requirements to obtain a licence. The employers set the standards and may very well request registration with professionals associations.

A credential assessment is an advice about how qualifications from another country compare to Canadian qualifications. An assessment does not guarantee that, a regulatory body will be issuing the person a licence to practice and that the credentials will be accepted by a Canadian employer. However, a credential assessment will help a person to understand Canadian educational system and would assist in job search, if necessary. The applicants can get credential assessed by one of Provincial Evaluation services.

Read more: Quebec Immigration

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