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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.

  • Personal net worth of at least CAD $300,000
  • Minimum investment of CAD $100,000
  • At least two years of experience operating a business

You can participate in the Quebec Entrepreneur Program by starting or purchasing a company in Quebec. You can also be eligible for Quebec business immigration through the Entrepreneur Program if you have previously purchased a qualifying Quebec business.

Create or Acquire a Business in Quebec

An Entrepreneur Program Quebec applicant can propose to begin a new business or to acquire an existing business. His or her proposal must establish that:

  • The business is industrial (such as manufacturing), commercial (such as retail sales), or agricultural
  • The business is or will be located in Quebec
  • Applicant will control at least 25% of the capital equity in the business, either by themselves or together with their spouse (or common law spouse)
  • The capital equity has a value of at least $100,000 CAD
  • On a daily basis, applicant will manage the business themselves or participate as a management and operations partner

Prior Acquisition of a Business in Quebec

Prospective immigrants can also apply if they have already acquired a qualifying share of a Quebec business. His or her proposal must establish that:

  • The business is industrial, commercial, or agricultural
  • The business is or will be located in the Province of Quebec
  • The applicant controls a minimum of 25% of the capital equity in the business, either alone or combined with their common law partner or spouse
  • The capital equity of the business has a value of $100,000 CAD or more
  • On a daily basis, he or she manages the business themselves or participates as a management and operations partner
  • The business was not acquired during the previous five years by another participant in the province’s Entrepreneur Immigrant 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.

Managerial Experience

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:

  • Age
  • 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.

If the assessment of a prospective immigrant’s application determines that he or she is eligible for a Quebec Canada Entrepreneur Visa, the individual will be granted a selection interview. At that interview, the applicant will need to explain and defend their business plan to Immigration Quebec authorities. Applicants are entitled to bring an interpreter to the meeting to assist them. A Quebec immigration counselor conducts the in-person interview. Apart from verifying information included in the application, the counselor might focus questions in these areas:

Recognized CCIP-IDF French Tests:
  • The specifics of applicant’s experience as an entrepreneur
  • The source of applicant’s assets and proof that he or she actually owns them
  • Applicant’s ability to carry out their proposed business plan successfully
  • Efforts applicant has made to date to acquire or create a business in Quebec

The selection interview will typically take one to two hours. At the completion of the interview, the counselor may tell the potential immigrant that their application will be accepted or denied. If the counselor needs more information before making a decision, the counselor will issue a letter of intent to refuse the application unless additional supporting documentation is submitted. The individual will then be given 90 days to provide the requested documents to Quebec business immigration officials.

Improving Your Chances

Applicants who meet the minimum criteria outlined above can take several steps to improve their opportunity to obtain a Selection Certificate (CSQ) through the Entrepreneur Quebec Program. They include:

  • Working with a professional to prepare a thorough business plan
  • Proposing to develop or acquire a business that is similar or related to a business that the applicant has already operated successfully
  • Making a market visit to Quebec
  • Taking classes to improve French and English language proficiency
  • Obtaining specialized business education and training
  • Obtaining references from business people in Quebec
  • Obtaining references from business people or Government officials in applicant’s own country

Making a market visit and completing a solid business plan are particularly important keys to a successful Quebec business immigration application.

Market Visit

Before you apply to the Quebec Entrepreneur Immigration Program, it is very wise to do extensive market research. Try to find answers to these questions:

  • What is the demand for the product(s) you will be producing or selling?
  • Who are the customers for your product(s)?
  • What is the size of the market?
  • How will you market your product(s) to your target customers?
  • Would other businesses in Quebec be competing with yours?
  • What would make your business stand out from your competition?
  • What is the best physical location for your business?
  • If you plan to rent space, what rental opportunities are available?
  • What resources will you need to operate your business successfully?
  • Are suppliers of those resources available in Quebec?
  • What will be your cost of acquiring those resources?
  • What transportation infrastructure is available to support your business?
  • Will you need skilled employees and, if so, are they available in Quebec?
  • What is the prevailing wage rate that you will need to pay your employees?
  • What laws and regulations will apply to the operation of your business?

In most cases, it is recommended that you make an exploratory visit to Quebec to help you find answers to these questions.

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