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Canada, at both the Federal and Provincial levels, offers a number of permanent residency options to encourage and retain skilled workers in Canada.
Québec Skilled Workers
Beginning April 1, 2014 until March 31, 2015, the Québec Skilled Worker program will accept up to 6,500 new cases for those eligible under this popular permanent residency program. Applicants under this program must first qualify for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) from the Québec Immigration Ministry, and successful applicants will then submit the CSQ to the Canadian federal government to obtain final approval for permanent residency.
The Québec Immigration Ministry will grant the CSQ in those situations in which a certain number of “points” are granted for a number of different categories, including prior work experience, education, age and French language proficiency.
The Québec Immigration Ministry expressly exempted the following situations from the cap:
- An application submitted under the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (Québec experience program);
- An applicant with a valid employment offer in-hand;
- An applicant informed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that it has agreed to process his or her application for permanent residence in Canada; and,
- An applicant currently a temporary resident and eligible to submit an application for a CSQ.
Since June 2013, it has been reported that 10,000 applications were submitted to the Québec Immigration Ministry under this stream. Therefore, it is important that those individuals who may be currently eligible for the program apply as soon as possible to avoid having their application returned.
The Immigrant Investor Program
The Québec Immigration Ministry has announced that this popular program will be re-opened to accept a maximum of 1,750 applications for processing until March 2015. General eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to, proving a net worth of at least 1.6 million CAD, willingness to invest $800,000 CAD with the government of Québec for a specified period of time, and having experience in management for at least two out of the immediately preceding five years.
For those individuals who do not have an intermediate or advanced knowledge of French, but meet eligibility requirements, the Québec Immigration Ministry will accept applications in the first round from September 8, 2014 until September 19, 2014. The Québec Immigration Ministry will accept subsequent applications in second and third rounds if the cap is not met. If an individual has advanced knowledge of French, he or she may submit an application until March 31, 2015.
These applications require significant documentation and financial analysis of an individual’s net worth, and it is important to prepare these applications well in advance of September 8, 2014. This path to permanent residency is extremely popular and now even more so given the Canadian government’s announcement to permanently close the Federal Investor Program. Therefore, we suggest you contact Seyfarth Shaw LLP as soon as possible to inquire about this process if you believe you or a colleague may be eligible for Permanent Residency through this program.
Self-Employed Workers and Entrepreneurs
The Québec Immigration Ministry has also announced a cap of 500 applications under the Entrepreneur and Self Employed worker programs. These categories focus on job creation, experience and net worth.