Quebec Startup Visa Program

Created with foreign business owners in mind, the Quebec Startup Visa Program or Entrepreneur Program is a specialized Canadian immigration pathway to support entrepreneurial ventures in Quebec. This program is an excellent opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs with the necessary financial means, business knowledge, and innovative ideas to pursue a new project in the province. This program offers a pathway to permanent Canadian residency for successful candidates.

Start a Business in Quebec

Why should one invest in Quebec?

Québec, situated in central Canada, is the largest province in Canada based on its area. It is globally renowned for its cutting-edge transportation systems, eco-friendly vehicle technologies, and renewable, clean energy promotion. Moreover, Québec is a hub for the life sciences sector, boasting one of the most prominent clusters in North America.

The dynamic and diverse workforce in Québec drives innovation in various industries such as aerospace, robotics, and high technology. Its abundant natural resources, advanced technologies, and reliable transportation networks make it an attractive choice for companies worldwide looking to establish their presence.

Stable Economy

The first foreign trade zone in Canada occurred in Quebec City. The international trade zone attracts many investors and businesses to access foreign markets.

Strategic Location

Quebec is strategically located which gives the city an advantage to access major markets in North America and certain parts of Europe. Moreover, the transportation infrastructure is well-developed, including ports, highways and airports.

Free Trade Champion

The two biggest free-trade zones are in Quebec—the North American market, thanks to CUSMA, and the European market, thanks to CETA.
Innovation Success Story: Quebec is known for its diverse, innovative solutions in various sectors, such as the pharmaceutical industry, aerospace, robotics, and many others.

Competitive Workforce

From art and design to high-tech, Quebec boasts a highly competitive workforce known for its diversity and remarkable creativity.

Clean and Renewable Energy

Quebec has one of the top hydroelectric power plants in North America. Moreover, the province emphasizes clean and renewable energy in most industrial sectors.

Favourable Tax Climate

Québec has one of the lowest tax rates in the world.

Major Opportunities for Investment in Quebec

Quebec’s expansive land is rich with abundant natural resources, a talented and innovative workforce, and a deeply ingrained culture of creativity—qualities essential in propelling the major industries of a thriving, globally connected economy!

Aerospace

Quebec has major technical centres and world-class equipment manufacturers in the aerospace industry. It is considered one of the world’s top three aerospace capitals.

Agri-Food Industry

Quebec is a significant agricultural leader that annually exports food products worth over $8 billion. The region provides plentiful resources, a skilled and diverse labour force, and is home to top-tier businesses.

Aluminium Industry

Quebec is prominent internationally in the aluminum industry. As the fourth largest primary aluminum producer globally, it caters to high-potential industries while prioritizing sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Information and Communication Technology

At the cutting edge of technology, Québec showcases a thriving ICT sector, contributing to advancements in artificial intelligence and deep learning. Experience a nexus of creativity and innovation in Quebec!

Life Sciences

The life sciences sector in Quebec is robust, with highly appealing tax credits available. Within this industry, there is a diverse community of businesses that encompasses both well-known international pharmaceutical leaders and pioneering local biotech enterprises that are gaining recognition on a global scale.

Multimedia

Many acclaimed games from the digital entertainment sector have been created in Québec and enjoyed by a global audience. Titles like Deus Ex, the Assassin’s Creed series, and Call of Duty showcase the abundant talent, creativity, and technological innovation found in the region.

Important Factoids

Here are some important facts about the business sector in Quebec:

  • Labour Force Participation: 65%
  • Median Household Income: $96.9K
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
  • Total Employment: 4.5 million
  • Total Establishments: 262,648
  • Top Employment Sectors: Health and Social Assistance, Retail Trade, Manufacturing, Professional Scientific and Technical Services, Educational Services

Common Eligibility Criteria – Startup Visa Program

  1. Express Entry Not Required
  2. No Job Offer Required
  3. Language Proficiency: Minimum CLB Level 5 in English or French (or above)
  4. Level of Education: Post-secondary degree obtained within the last ten years (Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) required)
  5. Work Experience: A minimum of 6 months of work experience as a business owner or manager
  6. Investment Support: Demonstrate support from a venture capital fund, angel investor, or business incubator
  7. Voting Rights: You must have at least 10% voting rights attached to all shares of the company
  8. Settlement Funds: Demonstrate sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependents
Immigrate to Québec to do business

About the Quebec Entrepreneur Program

The Quebec Entrepreneur Program is designed for immigrant managers who wish to establish a new company or acquire and manage an existing business in the province of Quebec. Successful candidates can migrate to Quebec and carry out their entrepreneurial projects.

The candidate must manage the business’s activities as part of one of the following projects:

  • An innovative company;
  • A business startup or
  • A business Takeover.

Stream 1

To qualify, candidates must reside in Quebec and establish a business that is endorsed by a service provided by a business accelerator, business incubator, or university entrepreneurship centre.

  • Business accelerator: A Quebec-based organization that provides entrepreneurs with support services, particularly in securing funding, for projects focused on developing innovative businesses.
  • Business incubator: An organization in Quebec that offers support services for entrepreneurs looking to establish innovative businesses.
  • University Entrepreneurship Centre: A centre operated by a university institution in Quebec that offers coaching services to entrepreneurs.

The candidate must present a comprehensive business plan and fulfil all required eligibility criteria listed on the website of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion du Québec (MIDI).

Stream 2

To qualify for this program, candidates must reside in Quebec to establish a new enterprise or obtain an existing one and oversee its operations. Approved candidates must submit two financial payments as part of their application process:

Security Deposit

Candidates must submit a refundable security deposit of CAD $200,000 to ensure the establishment of the business. This deposit will be returned upon successful implementation of the business plan.

Startup Fund

  • For enterprises established in Montreal: A startup fund of CAD $300,000 is required.
  • For enterprises outside Montreal: A startup fund of CAD $200,000 is necessary.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Adherence to specific eligibility criteria is mandatory for all applicants.
  • Applicants must possess a minimum of $900,000 CAD in legitimate net assets. This includes assets jointly held with a spouse or common-law partner if they are accompanying the applicant.
  • A comprehensive business plan must accompany the application.

Ownership and Control

  • To start a new business, candidates must maintain ownership and control over at least 25% of the equity capital.
  • Ownership and control over at least 51% of the equity capital are required to acquire an existing business.

Prohibited Activities

The business cannot engage in activities such as payday loans, cheque cashing, pawnbroking, real estate development, real estate or insurance brokerage, or production/distribution/sales of pornographic or sexually explicit materials or services.

Operational Business

In the case of acquiring a business, it must have been operational in the five years before the application.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Quebec Startup Visa:

Who is eligible for the program?

Eligible applicants include entrepreneurs with a viable business concept, a letter of support from a designated organization in Quebec, and meeting language proficiency requirements.

What are the benefits of the program?

Successful applicants and their families can obtain permanent residency in Canada, access to Quebec’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, support for business development, and collaboration opportunities.

Can I include family members in my application?

Yes. Applicants can include their direct family members, such as spouses and dependent children, in their application.

What support does the Quebec government offer for startups?

The provincial government offers many incentives for startups. In addition, there are tax credits, grants, and support programs for small businesses.

For more information on the Quebec Startup Visa Program, please contact our immigration experts.

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Start your Business Immigration Process in Quebec

If you’re interested in starting a business in Quebec, you can begin the visa process with the help of licensed and trustworthy experts.