Reopening of the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program

After many different attempts to control the influx of Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (“QIIP”) applications, the Quebec immigration department has renewed the intake of QIIP applications under a quota system allocated to financial intermediaries (“Quota System”) for a second year.  Set at 1,750 applications (with a limit of 1,200 from a single country), this year’s quota will be available until January 29th 2016[1].

Any would-be applicant first has to be pre-selected by a financial intermediary authorized to act as such by the Quebec government. There are currently 18 designated financial intermediaries dividing among themselves the available quota. This division, established by the Quebec government, is based on a formula taking into account their respective past contribution to the program, success rate and other criterions, resulting in some financial intermediaries having more quota than other.

Observers of the program anticipate that applicants coming from China (including Hong Kong and Macau SARs) will easily reached the quota for a single country (1,200), while the remaining available units may remain partially unused.

The Quota System is one of the many changes brought by the Quebec government in recent years to increase the efficiency of the QIIP processing, among which:

  • A new document checklist was adopted, an attempt to objectivize the selection criterions.
  • An increase of decisions “on file”, i.e. without an interview.

The clear objective of these changes is to reduce the processing time. The goal is to process an application within 12 months, between the date of submission and the time decision is rendered in a given case.

While the selection criterion became stricter with the adoption of the new document checklist, it greatly clarifies the government’s expectations.

We therefore believe that the important reduction of the backlog in recent years, coupled with the strict control of the annual influx of new applications and clearer selection criterion have the potential of reducing the processing time and possibly increasing the success rate, resulting in making the QIIP an attractive option in this highly competitive environment.

Author: Francois Mandeville,Founder and Managing Partner, Mandeville & Associates Ltd.

www.mandeville.com.hk

[1] It is noteworthy to mention that applicants demonstrating an advanced intermediate level of French is not affected by the above quota system and can submit an application at any time.