Quebec Entrepreneur Program

Quebec Entrepreneur Program grants immigrant entrepreneurs the opportunity to obtain permanent residence and able to establish a new business or acquire and operate an existing business in Quebec.

The Quebec Entrepreneur Program is an immigration pathway targeting immigrant entrepreneurs with the ability to create and acquire the business. Successful applicants are able to immigrate to Quebec, where they are able to carry out their business projects. As with all of Quebec’s immigration pathways this program allows applicants to apply for a certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec selection certificate). Upon receiving a CSQ, an applicant becomes eligible to submit an official application for Canadian permanent residence.

The Quebec Entrepreneur Program contains two streams where the interested entrepreneurs can apply under one of the program’s two streams. Stream One is focused on new businesses or startups established in the province with the support of a business incubator/accelerator or university in the province whereas Stream Two is focused on owner-funded and operated businesses.

Stream 1

In order to be eligible, applicants must settle in Quebec to create and operate a business that is supported by a service offer from a business accelerator, a business incubator, or a university entrepreneurship centre. The business project may be undertaken alone, or with others, up to three of whom can be foreign nationals applying to the same immigration program. There is no strict definition for the types of organizations that are able to support through a service offer. However, generally, the following definitions should guide applicants:

  • Business accelerator: An organization with an establishment in Quebec that offers support services, particularly assistance seeking financing, to entrepreneurs whose projects aim to grow innovative businesses.
  • Business incubator: An organization with an establishment in Quebec that offers support services to entrepreneurs who seek to create innovative businesses.
  • University entrepreneurship centre: An organization administered by a university institution at the university level that provides coaching services to entrepreneurs.

The service offer providing organization must demonstrate their capacity to support the candidate and their business project. The service offer must present the ways in which this support will occur, addressing the following elements:

  • Proposed support plan: List and description of services offered to the candidate.
  • Operating plan: Detailed budget of the service offer and the schedule of activities.
  • Expertise as a business accelerator, business incubator, or university entrepreneurship centre: the skills and achievements related to the entrepreneur’s project.

The candidate must present their application in the form of a business plan to Quebec. The candidate must complete all required forms as listed on the website of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion du Québec (MIDI).

Stream 2

In order to be eligible for this stream, the candidate must settle in Quebec to create a new business, or acquire an existing business, and manage the business operations. Successful applicants will have to make two financial deposits as part of their application:

(1) a security deposit of CAD $200,000 serving as insurance that the business will be created; to be refunded when the business plan is carried out successfully;

(2) a startup deposit that must be used to set up the business. The startup deposit is CAD $300,000 for businesses created in Montreal and CAD $200,000 for businesses created outside of Montreal. All applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Have net assets of at least $900,000 CAD that have been legally obtained with, where applicable, a spouse or common-law partner if they are accompanying the applicant.
  • The application must be presented in the form of a business plan.
  • If the applicant is creating a new business, they must own and control at least 25% of its equity capital. If the applicant is acquiring an existing business, they must own and control at least 51% of its equity capital.
  • The business cannot be involved in the following activities: payday loans, cheque cashing, pawnbroking, real estate development, real estate or insurance brokerage, production/distribution/sales of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services.
  • An acquired business must have been in operation during the five years prior to an application.

Applications will take into account other factors as well, including age, language proficiency, education, financial self-sufficiency, visits to Quebec, family in Quebec, and training background. Applicants must apply in the form of a business plan, ensuring that they include all forms and documents listed on the website of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion du Québec (MIDI).