Quebec Business Immigration (QEIP)
Another excellent Canada business immigration program is the Quebec Entrepreneur Program. Experienced entrepreneurs who wish to create or acquire a business in Quebec can become permanent residents of Canada in an efficient manner through the program.
Quebec Entrepreneur Visa applicants must demonstrate that they personally possess assets with a net value of at least CAD $300,000. The assets must have been legally acquired. The applicant may be required to demonstrate the source of the assets to assure Quebec business immigration authorities of their legitimacy. If your spouse (or common-law partner) will be accompanying you, the assets can belong to you individually, to your spouse individually, or to both of you jointly. You must also demonstrate that you have adequate settlement funding to cover your living expenses during your first three months of residency in Canada. In other words, enough of your net worth must be liquid to allow you to draw upon it to pay three months of living expenses while in Quebec.
Applicants for the Quebec Entrepreneur Program must have at least two years of experience operating a legal and profitable small business. Those two years of experience must have occurred within five years prior to the date the business immigration Quebec application is submitted. Experience in any legitimate business, whether industrial, commercial, or agricultural, will qualify provided that the applicant controlled at least 25% of the capital equity in the business. Applicants can satisfy this requirement by demonstrating that they controlled the required percentage of capital equity by themselves or together with their spouse (including a common-law partner).
Experience in operating a small business means that his or her full-time job duties involved:
- Business planning
- Management and control of business finances
- Management and control of material used by the business
- Responsibility for human resources, such as making decisions to hire and fire, as well as to set or adjust employee salaries
Those duties must have been part of the applicant’s actual managerial position, not work that was assigned to him or her as an apprentice or as part of a training program. Applicant must have carried out these managerial duties during all of their working hours. The more years of experience he or she has, the more likely it is that their Quebec Entrepreneur Visa application will be considered favorably.
Quebec Business Immigration Assessment
In addition to proving the applicant’s ability to satisfy the criteria specified above, the assessment of their Quebec Entrepreneur Program application will consider the following factors:
- Proficiency in French and English languages (see below)
- Relevant education and training
- Personal qualities and character
- Knowledge of Quebec
- Ties to Quebec
- Quality of business plan
Quebec immigration authorities assign points to the various selection factors. They then compare the points to a selection matrix to determine whether the applicant is eligible to participate in the Quebec Entrepreneur Program. If a potential immigrant is deemed to be eligible for business immigration to Quebec, he or she will be scheduled for a selection interview.
Entrepreneur Program Quebec Language Proficiency
As part of the assessment process, applicants for Quebec entrepreneur immigration can submit the results of French and English language skill evaluations. Only evaluations that have been conducted by testing sources recognized by Immigration Quebec will be accepted.
The only standardized test for English that Immigration Quebec recognizes is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Quebec business immigration officials will only accept English test results from approved testing centers that administer the IELTS. Quebec business immigration authorities will accept French language testing that is administered by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris Île-de-France (CCIP-IDF) or by the Centre international d’études pédagogiques (CIEP). Immigration Quebec recognizes the following French tests.
Recognized CCIP-IDF French Tests:
- Test d’évaluation du français (TEF)
- Test d’évaluation du français adapté pour le Québec (TEFAQ)
- Test d’évaluation du français pour le Canada (TEF Canada)
Recognized CIEP French Tests:
- Test de connaissance du français (TCF)
- Test de connaissance du français pour le Québec (TCF-Québec)
Recognized CIEP French Diplomas:
- Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF)
- Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF)
Both of these Immigration Quebec approved organizations maintain Internet sites that list testing locations.
The assessment process makes French the more important of the two languages. Immigration Quebec will award a maximum of 16 points for proficiency in French and a maximum of 6 points for proficiency in English. No points will be awarded for French unless the test results show at least advanced intermediate proficiency. No points will be awarded for English unless the test results show at least intermediate proficiency.
Applicants are not required to submit language proficiency test results. However, they will receive no points for language proficiency during their assessment unless test results have been submitted. The failure to submit the results of language proficiency tests may, therefore, impair the applicant’s ability to obtain a Selection Certificate (CSQ). Less weight is given to the language proficiency skills of family members who will be joining the immigrant in Canada. Their proficiency is nevertheless taken into account during the assessment. It is therefore recommended that adult family members complete the language testing for at least one language (preferably French). Since English or French proficiency is not a compulsory requirement of the program, Quebec immigration for entrepreneurs is possible even if a prospective candidate does not speak either language.