Quebec suspends intake of investor program, retroactive to April 14, 2012

July 4, 2012

On June 29, 2012, the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC) of Quebec published a decision in Gazette officielle du Québec, and suspended the intake of applications for a selection certificate that can be submitted by candidates of the Quebec investor program and some other economic immigration programs.

For the applicants under the Quebec investor program, no new applications will be accepted from April 14, 2012 to March 31, 2013. For entrepreneurs and self-employed workers, no new applications will be accepted from June 30, 2012 to March 31, 2013. Skilled workers must check if they are eligible to apply according to individual circumstances.

The suspension adopted by the Quebec Government might be a measure in connection with the recent changes in the federal investor and skilled worker programs, according to immigration lawyer Jeff Li. On June 28, 2012, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney announced to put the two programs on hold until early 2013. The suspension of its federal counterpart has put the Quebec investor program under tremendous pressure, and Quebec simply does not have all the resources it needs to process the large volume of applications it received. Further, the two investor programs usually operate in a coordinated manner so that they have more or less the same requirements and processing time frame. If one program changes, the other program can be expected to change before long, if not at the same time.

An announcement of the proposed change was made by the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles on March 21, 2012. However, the National Assembly of Québec was not able to complete the analysis of the bill prior to the end of the parliamentary session. Thus, the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles, with the approval of the government, has resorted to a provision of the Act respecting immigration to Québec to suspend the intake of certain economic immigration candidates, as a necessary measure to reduce processing delays.

A measure of suspension can be retroactive if it indicates it applies to applications received three months prior to the measure coming into force.


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