Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)

Canada’s only passive investment-based immigration program

The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) is Canada’s only passive investment-based immigration program, meaning individuals are not required to establish or actively manage a business in the province.

Rather, the program requires an investment of $1 million with IQ Immigrant Investisseurs Inc., a Quebec crown corporation.

They must additionally pay a non-refundable financial contribution of $200,000.

Applicants must have the intention of settling in the French-speaking province of Quebec.

Successful applicants are issued a selection certificate from Quebec for Canada immigration, which allows them to obtain.

Canadian permanent residence following health and criminality examinations by Federal immigration authorities.

Applicants must have these qualifications:

  1. Language proficiency
  2. Legally acquired personal net worth of $2 million;
  3. Two years of suitable management or business experience within the five years preceding the application;
  4. Mandatory Residency;
  5. Investment of $1.2 million into a passive government-guaranteed investment for a period of five years bearing no interest;
  6. Minimum high school diploma;
  7. Intention to settle in the province of Quebec;

Language Proficiency

Applicants need to demonstrate that they are able to speak in and understand French at the time of submitting their application. This can be achieved by submitting a Certificate of Test Results (TEF, TEF Canada, TEFAQ, TCF, TCFQ) or a recognized French diploma (DELF or DALF) confirming a B2 level in oral French in speaking and listening.

Legally Acquired Net Worth

To meet the minimum net worth requirement of $2 million, applicants must demonstrate the net value of their current assets, as well as their history of acquiring funds over the course of their careers with supporting documentation.

Net worth is established through bank statements, investor booklets, real estate evaluations, audited financial statements and other pertinent and up-to-date documentation. Candidates must declare all of their assets and liabilities; however, they are not required to produce evidence of assets beyond $2 million.

They can share this net worth with their spouse or common-law partner accompanying them to Quebec.

Applicants must also demonstrate that their net worth was acquired legally. This takes into account the individual’s past employment income, businesses, local market conditions, inheritances, and donations. While it is often difficult to produce detailed documentation of the early stages of an applicant’s career, clear supporting documents will facilitate the application process.

Grants received less than six months before submitting an application cannot be included in the net worth calculation.

Suitable Management Experience

The intention of the program is to attract business acumen and investment to Quebec. A qualified applicant has typically owned or managed by an active trade or business, which may include professional practices, rather than merely managing investment activities.

In this context, gray areas include professionals who don’t manage the business, passive real estate investors and investment managers. For example, developing real estate may qualify whereas merely owning real estate may not qualify.

Suitable management experience is defined in the applicable regulations as:

“[T]he assuming, for at least 2 years in the 5 years preceding the application for a selection certificate, of duties related to the planning, management and control of financial resources and of human or material resources under the investor’s authority; the experience does not include the experience acquired in the context of an apprenticeship, training or specialization process attested to by a diploma.”

Mandatory Residency

Applicants need to first apply for an Avis d’intention de sélection du Québec, after receipt of which they can apply for a three-year work permit from IRCC.

Further, the principal applicant and their spouse must live in Quebec for a period of at least six months within their first two years of receiving a work permit – a requirement that can be completed through simultaneous residency or separate periods of six months each.

Once that is completed, the applicant can apply for a Certificat de Selection du Quebec (CSQ) from Quebec. As part of this application, the investor needs to establish a clean source of funds and give an interview in French to convince the officer of their intent to stay in Quebec.

Once issued a CSQ, they can apply for a Canada PR through IRCC.

Investment and Financing

Successful applicants are required to make their investment with Investissement Québec for a period of five years, at the end of which the capital is returned without interest. The five-year period begins upon issuance of the selection certificate before the applicant has even landed in Canada. Proceeds from the investment are used to fund various business and social programs within the province of Quebec.

The Quebec Investor program permits applicants to finance the bulk of their investment through designated securities brokerage firms and investment banks. Typically, the financing schemes require a down payment before the bank loans the balance up to $1.2 million. The applicant then deposits the sum with Investissement Québec.

The down payment is not refunded at the end of the five-year period. The bank takes fees and interest from the down payment, the immigration agent takes their commissions from the down payment. The net cost to the investor is the down payment.