Immigration authorities in the Province of Quebec announced they will begin to accept new applications under its highly successful Quebec Immigrant Investor Program for a limited period starting August 31st 2015 until January 31st 2016.
This comes as welcome news for high net worth individuals looking for an attractive passive investment scheme offering Canadian permanent residence. With the recent closure of the Federal Immigrant Investor program, the Quebec program is the only program of its kind in Canada.
Under the new subscription period, Quebec will accept a maximum of 1750 applications during the subscription period including a maximum of 1200 from China, Hong Kong and Macao. Interested applicants are accordingly encouraged to act early to increase their chances of having their application selected for processing.
The application quotas and the limited period of reception do not apply to applicants to the investor category who can demonstrate an intermediate to advanced level of French language proficiency through an approved standardized language test. Applicants who can meet this requirement may submit an application anytime during the period beginning April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016.
To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate the following:
- A legitimately acquired personal net worth of at least 1.6 million Canadian Dollars;
- At least two years of senior managerial experience within the past five years in a private enterprise, eligible partnership, government body or NGO;
- Commit to making an interest free investment of CAD $800,000.00 in a prescribed (government guaranteed) investment for a period of five years;
- An intention to settle in the province of Quebec;
- A application processing fee of C$15,000.
The application process proceeds under one-step with a tempered list of documentation from previously. Applications must be fully documented at the time of submission. Quebec policy now provides for the refusal of applications that are incomplete or otherwise inconsistent with the requirements, without requests for outstanding documentation or incomplete information.
Interested readers are invited to complete our Free Online Evaluation to determine whether they qualify for immigration to Canada as an Immigrant Investor. Our immigration professionals will provide evaluation results within two business days.
The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), one of the world’s most popular in the residence-by-investment immigration industry, recorded a drop of 74 per cent in the number of applications received for 2014 compared to the previous year.
Only 1,400 applications were received before the application window closed compared to 5,389 applications received in 2013. This is the first time the QIIP has failed to reach its annual application limit with industry experts blaming strict new documentation rules for the decline.
For the 2014 intake, the authorities had delayed the application subscription period three times through the end of March 2015 in order to allow more time for applicants to submit their applications.
This year as well, the application window has been increased to five months as the program is set to launch on August 31st and run through January 31st, 2016. A new feature of the program which operates under a quota of 1750, requires investor applicants to identify a financial intermediary with continuing quota allocations.
The QIIP has historically been a popular immigration program for wealthy Chinese investors. It gained even more popularity after Canada terminated its federal IIP in 2012, forcing many applicants to consider the QIIP as an entry point into Canada.
The program requires candidates to demonstrate a personal worth of C$1.6 million and invest at least C$800,000 in a government guaranteed project on an interest-free basis for five years. Between 2002 and 2014, about 65,151 high net worth applicants and their family members gained entry into Canada under the QIIP. Approximately two-thirds were from mainland China. It is estimated that about 90 per cent left Quebec for other provinces after arriving in Canada.
However, it is widely expected that despite the drop in the number of 2014 applications under QIIP, Canada will continue to receive a steady flow of wealthy immigrants for many years due to the backlog of previous years’ applications. Statistics show that about 3,415 pending applications are being processed under the QIIP as of January 2015.
Canada’s immigrant investment industry been in turmoil during the past three years. The federal IIP was terminated by the Conservative government last year after a two year pause, affecting more than 15,000 unprocessed applications. It’s replacement launched earlier this year, the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program, has fared poorly receiving only six applications through early June 2015.
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