To obtain permanent residence in Canada, one must qualify in one of the following categories: economic immigrants, family reunification or asylum seeker, protection or humanitarian grounds.
Quebec has its own selection rules.
The economic immigrant category is made up of skilled workers and business people.
Under the category of business people, we find the subcategory of investors, entrepreneurs and the self-employed.
For 2017-2018, only investors can apply. They are limited in number to 1,900 applications, including 1,330 from Asia (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau). Candidates who can demonstrate an intermediate/advanced level of French are exempt from these numbers.
The Federal investor program (this program is abolished).
The Quebec investor program:
The number of applications is limited, except for those who can present proof of knowledge of the French language.
Is eligible the person who:
In Quebec, investors have a priority in processing their application. The selection is made between six (6) and (9) months after the submission of the file. An application must then be made to obtain a Canadian residency visa. Except for issues related to safety or health grounds, the decision of Quebec is final.
The entrepreneur in Quebec (Quebec does not receive applications for 2017-2018)
The Federal Entrepreneur (This program is closed)
Two programs coexist one for the self-employed settling in Quebec and one for the federal government.
A self-employed worker in Quebec (Quebec does not receive applications in this category for the 2017-2018 year)
Self-employed in Canada – except Quebec
A self-employed person is a person who has valuable experience in the cultural or sporting field or through the acquisition of a farm and who intends and is able to create his/her own employment in Canada and contribute significantly to specific economic activities in Canada.
Valuable experience means an experience of at least two (2) years of national or international work as a self-employed, related to cultural or sports activities, or experience in the management of a farm.
No minimum capital is required. However, the self-employed person must have sufficient funds to create one’s job and to support him/herself and his/her family members. With respect to the acquisition and management of a farm, the self-employed worker must have sufficient capital and the appropriate experience and skills.
Permanent Job Offer Validation Program (Quebec)
It is a program through which Quebec allows the selection of skilled and highly skilled workers in order to generate positive economic fallouts to maintain or create new jobs within companies, to ensure coaching or the training of the local workforce and also to foster the development of new markets.
This program covers permanent full-time positions with a level of skill above Level C as defined by the National Occupational Classification for a worker who commits to a job upon arrival in Québec if he or she has an offer of employment made of good faith by an employer who has been in business for more than twelve (12) months and who has made a written commitment to reserve that position to the foreign worker. The hiring of this foreign worker must not affect the application of article 109 of the Labor Code or the employment of a person affected by a labor dispute within the company.
In Quebec, the person who holds a permanent employment validation benefits from a processing priority when his request for establishment is processed.
The employer must demonstrate efforts made to hire qualified Quebec residents to be trained within one year. A similar process is followed for temporary workers. When the permanent job offer has been the validated, the candidate receives points on the selection grid, depending on whether the job is located in or outside the Montreal Metropolitan Area.
When assessing the application for establishment in Quebec, the training criterion plays an important role. For the training to be considered, the diploma must have been acquired in the ten (10) years preceding the application for a Quebec selection certificate or, failing that, the applicant must have practiced a profession related to the diploma obtained, for at least one year in the five (5) years preceding his request for selection.
Express Entry – all provinces (except Quebec)
Express Entry is an online platform created by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage permanent residence applications under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Federal Skilled Worker Program Canadian Experience Class.
Express Entry allows foreigners wishing to immigrate to Canada to create their profile online, to show their interest in immigrating to Canada or, more specifically, to a province of their choice (with the exception of Quebec).
To create an Express Entry profile, candidates must provide information on their age, work experience, language skills, level of education, stays, and family in Canada, whether or not a job offer is available in Canada, as well as information regarding the profile of the accompanying spouse, if applicable.
The information provided will allow IRCC to determine if the applicant is eligible for one of the immigration programs managed by Express Entry.
The candidate must first meet the basic entry selection criteria of Entry Express in order to enter the “Candidate Pool”. The candidate must obtain at least 67 points out of 100 for the six selection factors according to the applicable grid: skills in French or English, education, work experience, age, employment in Canada, if applicable, and adaptability.
When a candidate’s profile is deemed eligible, he/she enters the Express Entry with all other eligible candidates.
At this point, the points awarded for each criterion are different from the basic selection criteria.
The selection criteria are more numerous and the number of points awarded higher, up to a maximum of 1200 points. There are no passing points. All eligible candidates in the Express Entry Pool are assessed against each other.
IRCC invites applicants with the highest scores in the pool to apply for permanent residence. The candidate must have the most competitive profile in order to have the best chance of being selected by a province or the federal government.
The profile of the candidate is valid for a year. It is, therefore, possible to improve it throughout its validity.
It is at this stage that the provinces come into play: the provincial immigration authorities are conducting research in the pool to identify candidates who meet the eligibility criteria of their respective programs and who meet their needs.
When provincial immigration authorities locate a candidate in the Federal Express Entry Pool, they receive a « Declaration of Interest » from that province. This declaration of interest allows the applicant to submit an application for nomination to the province in a program specific to that province.
After submitting the application and it is accepted by the provincial authorities, the applicant receives a letter informing them of their nomination by the province (« Letter of nomination »). The Letter of nomination gives 600 additional points to the candidate and he will then receive an invitation to submit an application for permanent residence, for him and all his family members included in the application.
However, a candidate could also be invited by the federal government to apply for permanent residence without having been nominated by a province. The invitation would be made according to the competitiveness of his profile.
When a candidate is invited to apply for permanent residence, he or she has ninety (90) days to present it with all the necessary documentation. At this stage, IRCC will review the candidate’s eligibility for Canada, including his/her health, security and criminality checks under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada.
Following the submission of an application for permanent residence, IRCC undertakes to process applications within the next six (6) months***.
*** The deadlines are given as an indication and can change at any time.
In order to apply for permanent residence, two prerequisites must be met: (1) the basic selection criteria must first be met in order to enter the federal Express Entry pool of candidates; and (2), those criteria of the province must be met also to obtain a nomination.