Quebec will overhaul its economic immigration program, the provincial government has announced.
As the sole authority responsible for admitting economic immigrants, Quebec has announced a series of reforms aimed at enhancing the program and ensuring its alignment with the province’s needs and objectives.
One of the most anticipated changes pertains to the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), which has garnered significant attention from prospective applicants worldwide.
Here are the key highlights of the proposed reforms and their potential implications.
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1. Demonstrating Proficiency in Spoken French
Under the new reforms, applicants will be required to showcase a minimal knowledge of spoken French. Specifically, they will need to achieve a score of 7 out of 12 on the échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français. This change aims to prioritize linguistic integration, emphasizing the importance of the French language within Quebec’s cultural fabric.
2. Residency Requirement
Another significant change involves the introduction of a mandatory residency period. Applicants will need to settle in Quebec as temporary residents for a minimum period of 12 months before they can obtain permanent selection, also known as the Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ). This requirement underscores the government’s emphasis on encouraging immigrants to establish deeper roots within the province.
3. Elimination of the Selection Grid
The selection grid, which operates on a points-based system, will be eliminated. This change means that applicants will no longer be evaluated based on a predetermined set of criteria. Instead, the government will likely adopt a more holistic approach to assess an individual’s suitability for economic immigration, considering various factors beyond a points-based system.
4. Revised Investment Requirements For Quebec Immigrant Investor Program
The reforms bring about changes to the investment requirements under the QIIP. Previously, investors were obligated to make a five-year investment of $1.2 million. The proposed revisions would require applicants to invest $1 million for five years and make a $200,000 non-reimbursable contribution to Investissement Québec. This new investment structure aims to foster economic growth and development within the province.
Redefined Role of Financial Intermediaries
The role of financial intermediaries involved in the QIIP will be redefined to align with the program’s financial elements. This includes the purchase and redemption of the applicant’s investment with the Government of Quebec. The government intends to streamline the process and ensure transparency in financial transactions related to the program.
The revised QIIP is expected to target a significantly reduced number of applicants compared to previous years. The anticipated annual quota may be limited to approximately 200 applicants, representing a fraction of the thresholds observed prior to the temporary suspension of the program.
The proposed regulations will be published on June 7, opening a 45-day period for public debate. This public consultation phase provides an opportunity for stakeholders, experts, and the general public to voice their opinions and contribute to the shaping of the new immigration program.
The Quebec government’s announced overhaul of its economic immigration program, particularly the QIIP, signifies a significant shift in the province’s approach to attracting and selecting economic immigrants. The reforms reflect Quebec’s commitment to linguistic integration, residency establishment, and strategic investment. As the proposed regulations undergo public debate, it remains to be seen how these changes will shape the future of economic immigration to Quebec.