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CANADA: Qu├ębec Investor Program to Reopen on August 1, 2013

The Québec Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities (MICC) announced on July 8, 2013, that the Québec Investor Program will reopen from August 1 to August 16, 2013. The Québec Investor Program has been closed to new applications since April 12, 2012, when the limit of 2,700 applications was reached 12 days after the program was reopened under a Demand Management System to restrict the applications to numerical limits (quotas).

The reopening of the Québec Investor Program forms part of the new rules for issuing Québec Selection Certificates, which are required for permanent immigration to Québec. The new rules were published in the Québec Gazette on July 17, 2013, and will govern the processing of applications from August 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014.

According to the new rules, up to 1,750 applications for Québec Selection Certificates will be accepted under the Québec Investor Program, with a maximum of 1,200 applications per country. However, Investor Program applicants with an advanced intermediate level of French language skill, as evidenced by a standardized French test recognized by the Québec MICC, will be exempt from these quotas and can apply at any time.

The eligibility criteria for the Québec Investor Program remain the same. The applicant must possess net assets of at least CAN $1.6 million legally acquired, which cannot include donations received less than six months before the application is filed. The applicant must intend to settle in Québec and sign an agreement to invest CAN $800,000 at a 0% interest rate for a period of five years with a government-approved financial intermediary, which may offer financing. The Québec government guarantees repayment of the CAN $800,000 at the end of the five years. In addition, the applicant must have at least two years of management experience in the past five years working at a legal business with at least two full-time staff members excluding the investor, or at an international agency or government agency.

Applications must be submitted by regular mail. A random drawing will be held to determine the processing priority, and each applicant can only submit one application. Applications that demonstrate an advanced intermediate level of French language skill will not be subject to this drawing. The fee to apply under the Investor Program increased to CAN $10,000 on August 1, 2013.

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