If you’re an entrepreneur looking to obtain permanent resident status in Canada, you may have already come across the federal startup visa. But did you know that Quebec has a similar immigration program that’s completely unique to the province?

You can read a quick breakdown of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program (QEP) and its eligibility requirements here. In this blog, we’ll be going one level deeper to explore a few of the benefits that make “Stream 1” of the QEP particularly interesting for founders.

There is no minimum investment

While Stream 2 of the QEP requires applicants to invest at least $200,000 in their startup ($300,000 if the business is established within the Greater Montreal Area), Stream 1 has no financial requirements whatsoever. It is much more focused on the creativity and viability of a business idea – which brings us to our next point.

It’s great for innovators

// If you choose to collaborate with Exeo, our attorneys will be able to connect you with various partners that may be a good fit for your business project.

In order to move forward with Stream 1, applicants need to be backed by an incubator or accelerator, and need to create a compelling business plan to detail their startup’s goals and vision. The more innovative the idea, the easier it will be to catch a potential supporter’s eye.

Since Quebec has not issued a list of approved backers, applicants are free to solicit support from essentially any established incubator or accelerator in the province. If you choose to collaborate with Exeo, our attorneys will be able to connect you with various partners that may be a good fit for your business project.

Your startup is not required to succeed

Every entrepreneur aims to kickstart a successful business, but that’s not always the case for everyone. While some immigrant entrepreneur programs give applicants a deadline to meet the goals outlined in their business plan, obtaining permanent residency via the QEP is not contingent on your startup’s success.

You may be eligible for a work permit

Once you are selected by the Quebec government, you may begin the process of applying for a work permit, for which you will be eligible from after receiving your Certificat de sélection du Québec (Quebec Selection Certificate, or CSQ). This means your pathway to Canada begins even before your permanent residency is issued. This work permit also allows your spouse to join you in Canada, along with your dependent children under the age of 18, who will be able to settle with you as temporary residents while you wait for your PR.

You don’t need to be residing in Canada to apply

Contrary to other Provincial Nomination Programs, QEP candidates are selected before they arrive in Canada. Once they arrive, it will be time for them to establish their business.

Set the conditions for success

As an entrepreneur, there is no shortage of tasks and to-dos on your plate. Immigration is a notoriously challenging and time-consuming endeavour, you’ll need a team of experts on your side who know the QEP application process inside and out. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help, from ensuring your documentation is complete to connecting you with incubators and accelerators.

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