Quebec aims to have a new program ready before the end of QIIP’s suspension

By Patrick McCarthy

On March 31st, the Province of Quebec announced that its popular Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) could be on hold until April 1, 2023. The QIIP had been paused since November 1 2019, and that pause was set to expire on March 31.

The extension is an administrative measure to allow the province additional time needed in order to finalize updated regulations. In a meeting with industry stakeholders on March 30, senior government officials explained that they were finalizing updates to the program with their federal counterparts, and negotiating final elements for the updated program.  In that meeting, they indicated that updated regulations could be published within the next few months.

Indeed, in a March 31 email, officials from Quebec’s Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration pointed “Although the decree provides for a suspension until April 1, 2023, it is our intention that the new program will be ready before this date”. 

It is widely believed that program updates could include measures which would increase the retention of applicants in the province of Quebec, and also to increase the chances that applicants acquire at least a very basic understanding of French after arriving in Quebec.

Under the current regulations, QIIP applicants are required to have:

  • At least 2 years of management experience in the 5 years prior to their application;
  • A legally acquired net worth of at least CAD$2 Million;
  • The intention to settle in Quebec, and to commit to a government-guaranteed investment of CAD$1.2 Million

The QIIP has in recent years been Canada’s most popular business immigration program for a number of reasons.  First, because of the nature of the investment, authorized financial intermediaries are able to secure financing of the investment for the applicant, greatly reducing his upfront cost.  Secondly, the QIIP is the only “passive” investor immigration program in Canada. Unlike other popular programs, such as the Canadian Start-up Visa or PNP Entrepreneur Programs, the QIIP does not require applicants to be actively involved with the management of a business in Canada. 

At this point, there has been no official word as to whether there would be any changes to the financial components of the program.  Once new regulations are published, the public will have 45 days to submit their comments.  Details of the updated program should be available later this year.

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About the Author

Patrick McCarthy
Patrick McCarthy

Patrick McCarthy is a senior professional at an authorized financial intermediary in eastern Canada’s Quebec province. Currently, he is the Immigrant Investor Program Director at Sherbrooke Street Capital (SSC) in Montreal.

The Canadian investment dealer, SSC, was founded in 2004. Apart from providing traditional financial services – wealth management, capital markets – SSC is the leading financial intermediary for Quebec's Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP). SSC’s business model is entirely B2B – they do not solicit clients directly for the IIP. Rather, their energy is focused on serving immigration practitioners and other professionals who are working with high-net-worth individuals, to ensure they have the tools and information they need to serve their QIIP clients. Through this model, QIIP clients benefit from the expertise of both their independent immigration counsel and Sherbrooke Street Capital’s in-depth knowledge of the program.

McCarthy has been involved with Canada's Immigrant Investor Program for 25 years. Since 2015, he has been with SSC, where as the Immigrant Investor Program Director he has been working closely with and supporting immigration practitioners as they develop their Immigrant Investor Program business.

Prior to that, he worked under the umbrella of ScotiaMcLeod (part of the Scotiabank Group) for 15 years during which he was based in China, Singapore apart from Montreal. Before that he was with the Citizenship & Immigration Canada's Business Immigration Unit, working on the team responsible for managing Canada’s Immigrant Investor Program.

McCarthy is a Chartered Professional Accountant; he holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Regina as well as a post-graduate diploma in management accounting from the Concordia University.

He speaks English and French.

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