Quebec Entrepreneur Program (QEP)
Under the Quebec Entrepreneur Program, the local authorities select business immigrants who wish to settle in its territory.
Only applicants who can significantly contribute to the local economy will be selected for permanent residency. So candidates have to meet the eligibility criteria for one of the three business immigration programs: Entrepreneur, Investor or Self-Employed Worker and submit an application for permanent residence. During the application evaluation process, applicants may be invited to a selection interview in Montréal. Eligible applicants will receive a Quebec Selection Certificate, an official immigration document issued by the Government of Quebec.
The Government of Canada accepts to Quebec only those business applicants that have been chosen by the province.
The Quebec Entrepreneur Program encourages approved applicants to come to Quebec on a temporary basis to launch their business project as soon as possible. Therefore, eligible applicants have to submit an application for temporary residence simultaneously as they apply for permanent residence.
In addition, the Quebec Entrepreneur Program applicants and their family members must pass the required medical examination and security screenings.
Applications for permanent residence will be turned down if the applicant’s health or of a family member represents a risk to public health or safety or is likely to be an excessive burden on health or social services in Canada, even if the applicant has received a Quebec Selection Certificate.
Foreigners receive permanent resident status when they arrive in Canada. Permanent residents have the same rights as Canadian citizens, besides the right to vote. After three years of living in Canada, permanent residents can apply for Canadian citizenship.
Quebec Entrepreneur Program (QEP) Requirements
To apply for the Quebec Entrepreneur Program eligible candidates must meet two main requirements. Under the first requirement, applicants must demonstrate proof of sufficient assets. Under the second requirement, they must have the managerial experience to operate a business.
Applicants for the Quebec Entrepreneur Program must have legally acquired assets
Of the net value of at least $300,000. The candidate might need to demonstrate the source of the assets to prove their legitimacy. If you have a spouse or a common-law partner coming with you to Canada, the assets belong to your spouse or to you both. Besides, you should have enough settlement funds for the first three months in Quebec.
Candidates for the Quebec Entrepreneur Program must be experienced persons to run a business in Quebec. Usually, you must have at least two years of experience in the last five years at the time of submitting the application.
Applicants must also meet the capital entity requirement – they should control at least 25% of the capital equity in the business. The more years of managerial experience you have, there’re more chances your application will be approved. The Quebec Entrepreneur Program assesses applicants also based on factors such as age, proficiency in French and English, relevant education and training, personal qualities, knowledge of Quebec and ties to Quebec.
Two Streams under the Quebec Entrepreneur Program
The Quebec Entrepreneur Program offers two streams to initiate business in the province.
Below find information about these opportunities and see which suits you the best.
You have to establish yourself in Quebec to open and run a business for which you have already got a service offer from a business incubator or a university entrepreneurship center. You can do your project on your own or with others. If you are doing it with others, then a maximum number of foreign entrepreneurs must be three, and they also have to apply as entrepreneurs for the same project.
You must prepare a business plan for your project.
Applicants under this stream should contact the Quebec Ministry of Economy and Innovation to learn about business incubators, business accelerators, and university entrepreneur centers. These organizations should be ready to contribute to the applicants’ projects. So they need to provide a service offer in written which outlines how they will be supporting the entrepreneur to achieve his or her project goals.
Therefore, the prospective entrepreneur and the organization which supports must provide supporting documents. This is necessary to ensure that the involved parties are able to implement the project.
- You have to establish yourself in Quebec to open or run a business.
- You must open a startup deposit and a security deposit at a Quebec financial institution with whom you have entered into a deposit agreement:
- You should use the startup deposit to launch your business. The required amount is lower (CAD $200,000) if you open your business outside the Montréal metropolitan area. A startup deposit of CAD $300,000 is a must if the business is set up in the Montreal area.
- The security deposit of CAD $200,000 is a guarantee that you will be able to launch your business. Once you demonstrate that your business plan is successful, the sum will be refunded to your account.
- You should also have a minimum net worth of CAD $900,000, alone or with your spouse or common-law partner, and you should prove that this money has been legally acquired.
- You must prepare a business plan for your project.
- If you choose to start a new business, you must own and control at least 25% of its capital asset. If you wish to purchase a business, you should own and control at least 51% of its equity capital.
- Your business cannot be operated in any of the following activities:
- Payday loans, cheque cashing, or pawnbroking
- Real estate development or real estate or insurance brokerage
- Production, distribution, or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services related to the sex industry such as nude or erotic dancing, escort services or erotic massages
Must have been running during the five years before the date of your application. If you are applying under this stream, you must find and contact a financial institution in Quebec to make the start-up and security deposits.