Earlier this year, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Francization, and Integration of Quebec (MIFI) declared that the country will reopen Quebec’s Immigrant Investor Programme (QIIP) on January 1, 2024. This popular Canadian residency programme was suspended back in 2019 as part of a government review. While the reopening of the QIIP programme may be construed as good news, potential investors should take note of significant changes that have been implemented compared to the previous version.

Key Changes in the QIIP:

  1. French Language Proficiency: One of the most notable alterations is the introduction of a high intermediate French language proficiency requirement. Prospective applicants must now demonstrate a minimum proficiency in spoken French, equivalent to level 7 on the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes.
  2. Residency Requirement: Another significant change involves a mandatory residency period in Quebec. Within two years of obtaining a work permit, the principal applicant must have resided in Quebec for at least 6 months. Additionally, either the principal applicant or their spouse/de facto spouse must have resided in Quebec for another period of at least 6 months.
  3. Financial Criteria: To qualify for the program, applicants must have a net worth of at least CAD $2 million (including spouse’s assets). Furthermore, within 120 days of the Minister’s request, investors are required to make a 5-year term risk-free investment of CAD $1 million with IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc. Additionally, a non-refundable financial contribution of $200,000 must be made to this company through a financial intermediary.
  4. Management Experience: Investors are required to have acquired at least 2 years of management experience in the 5 years preceding the submission of the application.
  5. Educational Qualification: Applicants must possess a diploma obtained before the date of submission of the application, equivalent to at least a secondary school diploma in Quebec.

The revised Quebec Immigrant Investor Programme introduces stricter criteria, emphasizing French language proficiency, residency requirements, and financial commitments. The impact of these changes on investor interest is yet to unfold, with some critics expressing doubt about Quebec’s competitiveness in the international market. Some fear that the revised programme might lead investors to explore alternative immigration programmes such as Canada’s Start-Up Visa programme, the US EB5 programme or EU options such as Malta’s Citizenship by Investment programme, which are all less expensive and without language requirements. For more information on the most suitable programme to meet your requirements, please do not hesitate to contact La Vida’s expert advisors.

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