Quebec’s Immigrant Investor Program Explained


Authored by Patrick McCarthy (Director, Immigrant Investor Program at Sherbrooke Street Capital (SSC) Inc., one of the leading financial intermediaries for the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program).

After a more than 4-year hiatus from the immigration landscape, on January 1, 2024, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francistation et d’Intégration (MIFI) of Quebec reopened its popular Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP). The updated regulations for the QIIP were published on November 8, 2023, as part of a large reform of Quebec’s immigration policies.

Background Information

Quebec has long been considered a pioneer when it comes to investor immigration, having introduced the QIIP in 1986 at the same time the Federal Government created the Investor Class. The QIIP provides a pathway for immigrants to obtain permanent residence status by virtue of a passive investment, without requiring them to start or manage their own business.

On October 31 2019, the Quebec Government expressed its plan to review and update the QIIP, and the Program was suspended.  At that time, to qualify, applicants were required to demonstrate that they:

  • had a minimum of 2 years of management experience
  • had a legally acquired net worth of over $2,000,000
  • had signed an Investment Agreement with an authorized Financial Intermediary and were willing to invest $1,200,000 with a subsidiary of Investissement Québec.
  • Scored a minimum of 40 points on the Selection Grid.

What are the new requirements?

The application process, and eligibility criteria are much changed from previous iterations of the program. The selection grid has been abolished, for the first time, the QIIP includes residency and French language requirements, and the approval process is now multi-stage – which will allow the applicant and family to arrive in Quebec faster with temporary status.

Conditions to Apply:

In order to be eligible to apply, applicants must:

  • Enter into an Investment Agreement with an authorized Financial Intermediary.
  • Have at least two years of management experience, acquired within the five years preceding the application.
  • Have a net worth of at least $2,000,000 – the legal origins and accumulation of which must be demonstrated.
  • Have a diploma corresponding minimally to a secondary school diploma in Quebec; and
  • Have knowledge of spoken French, corresponding minimally to Level 7 (B2) according to the to the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français.

After Applying:

As with all economic immigrants to Quebec, once the application has been submitted, the applicant, spouse and dependent children aged 18 and over will be required to obtain an attestation of learning about democratic values and Quebec values.

Once approved by the MIFI, their financial intermediary will open an investment account for them. At this point, the investor must complete two financial transactions.

  • First, he must make a five-year investment of $1,000,000*. The Term Note issued by the Government of Quebec does not bear any interest, but does guarantee the return of capital to the investor.
  • Second, he must make a financial contribution of $200,000 to the Province.

At this stage, he will receive a notice of intention to select, and will have six months to apply for a work permit.

* Because the capital is guaranteed by the Government, authorized financial intermediaries may arrange financing for the applicant’s investment, using the Term Note as collateral for the loan.  

Residency Period:

Within two years following the issuance of the work permit, a stay of 12 months in Quebec must be completed. These 12 months can be completed by the applicant alone, or can be shared – 6 months by the principal applicant, and the other period of 6 months by the accompanying spouse.

Once the residency period has been demonstrated, the applicants will receive Selection Certificates and be eligible to apply for permanent residence from within Canada.

How is the money used?

Both the one-time contribution of $200,000 and the revenues generated on the $1,000,000 investment over five years, finance two very important Government initiatives aimed at stimulating the economy:

  • The Programme des immigrants investisseurs pour l’aide aux entreprises (PIIAE), offers grants of up to $250,000 to small-to-medium sized businesses who are making investments in growth-related and job creating projects.
  • The Programme d’aide à l’intégration des immigrants et des minorités visibles en emploi (PRIIME), provides subsidies to Quebec businesses to cover the additional expenses related to hiring an immigrant, such as the salary of a support person, training costs or the cost of specific integration measures.

A 2019 report concluded that the QIIP contributed over $1.5 Billion to Quebec’s GDP over a ten year period, and helped to create or support more than 17,000 jobs in the Province.

Tips for Submission

Unlike in previous years, the MIFI has not established any fixed quota of applications they will receive, nor is there a fixed time period to apply.  Applications can be submitted at anytime during the year.

Unlike other economic immigration programs in Quebec, no mechanism for online submissions have been created yet – applications for the QIIP must be submitted in hard copy format.

Immigration practitioners may consult the Application Form and List of Required Documents that the MIFI has updated for 2024 (in French only).  Complete applications include the duly completed and signed application form, a Narrative Document, explaining how they have acquired their wealth, and an Investment Agreement signed with an authorized Financial Intermediary. Please contact us for translated versions of the above-mentioned documentation, or if you wish to discuss any potential clients for the program.

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