Quebec suspends immigration program for non-French-speaking entrepreneurs

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press Dec. 21, 2022

Business people from abroad who are thinking of immigrating to Quebec with a business project but don't speak French will have to change their plans in 2023.

The Minister of Immigration, Francisation and Integration, Christine Fréchette, announced on Wednesday that she would suspend the receipt of applications for non-French-speaking candidates in Stream 1 of the Entrepreneur Program, as well as in the Self-Employed Program, as of Dec. 28.

Only entrepreneurs who are French-speaking or who have sufficient oral knowledge of French, according to a scale measuring the language skills of adult immigrants, will be able to apply. In addition, Quebec will not impose a cap on these applications.

Fréchette calls this a "first step in strengthening the permanent immigration of francophones to Quebec."

"With this decision, we are acting to ensure the survival and vitality of the French language while promoting the successful integration of immigrants into Quebec society," she said in a statement.

The Legault government wants to undertake a review of programs aimed at attracting French-speaking entrepreneurs and self-employed workers whose profile and business projects better meet the province's economic needs.

Quebec is also maintaining the suspension for applications to Stream 2 of its immigration program for entrepreneurs.