New Quebec Immigration Rules Announced

Quebec Immigration, which runs the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), two of Canada’s most popular immigration programs, announced this week that changes will be coming to its immigration rules and procedures (Jenny Poole)

Quebec Immigration, which runs two of the most popular Canadian immigration programs, announced on Wednesday that changes will be coming to its immigration rules and procedures.

The new rules will affect Quebec skilled worker, investor, business people, and self-employed immigrant applicants, and will be instated in stages from August 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

The maximum number of applications that will be accepted through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program will be 20,000 for the one year quota period.

Furthermore, the level of French language proficiency a Quebec skilled worker applicant needs to attain to obtain points in the language criteria will be increased, with the Advanced Intermediate proficiency becoming the minimum level that will grant points, which is three levels higher than Low Beginner, the previous minimum point-granting level.

The eligible areas of education and vocational training for the skilled worker program are also being changed, with the new list not as of yet announced.

Investors

The maximum number of Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) applications that will be accepted for the one year quota period will be 1,750, with a maximum of 1,200 applications per country.

The application must be received by Quebec Immigration between August 1 and 16, 2013, and can be sent only by regular mail.

The applications will be reviewed by an order determined by a random draw, which will remove any advantage in trying to be the first to have one’s application submitted.

Businesspeople and self-employed workers

500 applications under the businesspeople and self-employment category will be accepted for the one year quota period.

As with the skilled worker category, the advanced intermediate level in French language proficiency will become the new minimum threshold for obtaining language points. The new weighting will affect both principal applicants and their spouses in the Entrepreneur stream, while only affecting principal applicants in the Self-Employed stream.

Canada Top Country for Immigrant Businesses – Financial Post

Canada tops the list of countries to start a business according to a new article in the Financial Post (Martin Cajzer)

An article featured in last Friday’s Financial Post makes the case for Canada being one of the best countries in the world for immigrants to start a business.

Among the factors that make Canada such a welcoming place for immigrant entrepreneurs are its business friendly environment and immigration program, says author Chris Riddell:

The World Bank labelled Canada the best place in the G-7 to start a business, and thanks to an open immigration policy, a comparatively easy one to enter. Add a strong banking system, growing job market, and high standard of living, and it’s no wonder it tops immigrant entrepreneurs’ list.

For many, the government’s Start-Up Visa launched in April is making Canada an even more appealing place.

For business people considering Canada as a destination for immigration, there are three points to consider:

  • The per capita income of new immigrants is well below the Canadian average, with the gap growing since the early 1970s despite the average level of education of recent immigrants increasing in the intervening time. The longer an immigrant is in Canada, the closer their income tends to be to the Canadian average.

  • Immigrants and first-generation Canadians make up a sizeable percentage of Canada’s millionaires, at 48 percent.

  • The average income of immigrants who are admitted into Canada through the business class immigration programs is slightly below that of immigrants admitted through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), despite the former group having had to meet stringent capital and business experience requirements.

Taken together, it suggests that:

1) immigrants who arrive through economic class non-business immigration programs, like the FSWP, are likely not at a significant disadvantage compared to their business class counterparts in their chance of creating a successful business, that

2) immigrants are likely more entrepreneurial than the general population, and that

3) many immigrant business people fail for the few that succeed.

Matt Man, a successful immigrant businessman profiled for Riddell’s article, advises immigrants who are starting their business to try to get as much face-time as possible to improve their chance of success:

“Face to face can always make up for some of what I lost due to my accent or the way I’m communicating.”

48% of Canadian Millionaires From Immigrant Families

A new survey on Canadian millionaires finds that 48 percent are new Canadians and 68 percent are self-made (Government of Canada)

A new survey by BMO Harris Private Banking finds that nearly half of Canadian millionaires are either immigrants or have at least one parents born outside of the country.

The findings suggest a high degree of entrepreneurialism among the Canadian immigrant population, and contrasts with the theme of a recent special contribution to the Vancouver Sun that argues immigrants cost the Canadian $20 billion annually.

The survey further found that 68 percent of immigrant and first-generation millionaires report being self-made – about equal to the 67 percent rate among all Canadian millionaires surveyed.

The province of British Columbia has the highest proportion of millionaires belonging to immigrant families, at 68 percent, while the rate in every other province is below 50 percent.

The BMO Harris Private Banking survey was conducted online by Pollara between March 28th and April 11th, 2013, using a sample of 305 Canadian adults with a net worth of over 1 million dollars.

Immigration Department to Make it Difficult for Vancouver / Toronto Bound Immigrants to Use Quebec Investor Program

The Parliament of Quebec in Quebec City. Quebec Immigration announced new rules for Quebec Skilled Worker and Investor applicants requiring applicants to have either permission from Citizenship and Immigration Canada or a connection to the province of Quebec in order to apply for either program

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said last week that his department wanted to put an end to foreign nationals immigrating to Canada through the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, but settling in Vancouver or Toronto.

At a press conference on March 26st, Kenney said that immigrant investors who apply for permanent residence through the Quebec program but intend to settle in a city outside Quebec are committing fraud.

“If you are sitting somewhere today hoping to apply for the Quebec investor program but you expect to go and live in Vancouver or Toronto, that is fraud. It’s misrepresentation under the Immigration Act. It doesn’t matter what agents and recruitment people tell you and we intend to begin cracking down on the fraud being committed,” said Kenney.

According to Kenney, 90 percent of Quebec Immigrant Investor Program immigrants settle in Vancouver or Toronto. Last year, speaking on the same subject, he said that this large inflow of immigrant investors into Vancouver and Toronto pushes up housing prices in these metropolitan regions, making it more difficult for other residents to afford to buy property in those cities.

The Quebec Investor Program is expected to start accepting applications on July 31st, after a more than one year moratorium on acceptance of new applications, and Kenney says his department would take efforts to stop the practice of immigrants using it as a means to settle in the two immigrant magnet cities.

New rules for the Quebec Investor and Skilled Worker programs, announced last week after Kenney’s statements, require that applicants either receive permission from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to apply for the Quebec programs, or have some prior or existing connection to the province.

A connection would constitute any one of several situations, including an offer of employment by a Quebec employer and a diploma treated as a Quebec diploma.

2,300 People to Have Canadian Citizenship Revoked

Canadian citizenship ceremony (Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada)

In a meeting with the editorial board of the Montreal Gazette, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said that 2,300 people are to have their citizenship revoked for providing fake proof of residency, with 6,000 additional cases under investigation, after a two year RCMP investigation into the issue.

Mr. Kenney said that most of the offending individuals are clients of particular immigration citizenship consultants who offer to fabricate proof of residency.

The Immigration Minister also talked about the Quebec Investor program in the meeting, criticizing the fact that only one out of ten immigrants accepted through the provincial program end up settling in Quebec.

He said most end up going to Vancouver or Toronto, and this can create problems for those cities:

“Here’s what often happens. Quebec will get the $800,000 for five years. B.C. will get the social services costs for health care and everything else for the dependents who have been brought to Vancouver.

People in Vancouver are always asking me why are we facilitating this because it is leading to inflation of real estate prices. Which is great if you are well-established and you have paid down your mortgage. But if you are a young family starting out, good luck being able to afford a house in Vancouver. A lot of people who aren’t rooted in Vancouver are inflating the costs.”

Permanent residents taking their oath of citizenship (Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada)

Mr. Kenney added that the federal government is planning on increasing the price that immigration applicants would have to pay to qualify for the Federal Immigrant Investor Program, given the large number of wealthy individuals looking to immigrate to Canada.

He also said the Ministry would like to change the Investor Program requirement of loaning the government money without interest to making a more active investment, so that Investor class immigrants become financially more committed to Canada.