Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program has been created to attract immigrant entrepreneurs and business owners who have the skills to come to Canada to build a successful business. This program is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to become a Canadian permanent resident for a business investor.
The Government of Canada looks for innovative businesses that can stimulate economic activity, create Canadian jobs, and have the potential to compete on a global scale. The applicant’s value proposition scalability is an essential factor; however, performance agreements or success metrics are not a condition of obtaining permanent residence after the entrepreneur has obtained status in Canada.
How does the Start-Up Visa Canada Work?
Before applying to the Start-Up Visa Canada Program, you must first obtain a letter of support from a designated organization in Canada. A designated organization is either an angel investor fund, venture capital firm, or a business incubator that the IRCC has authorized to provide letters of support to applicants, along with commitment certificates to the government.
To obtain a letter of support and commitment certificate from a designated organization, you must fulfill one of the following requirements:
Angel Investor Fund – Secure a minimum of CAD $75,000 in investment funding through a written commitment;
Venture Capital Firm – Secure a minimum of CAD $200,000 in investment funding through a written commitment;
Business Incubator Program – Obtain a letter of invitation to join the business incubator (no financing is required).
Other factors to consider:
- Language requirements of CLB 5+ in English or French;
- Proof of settlement funds for the applicant and family;
- Up to five applicants for one business are allowed to apply if each holds a least 10% voting rights and jointly with the designated organization hold more than 50% voting rights.
While an applicant is waiting for his or her permanent residence card to be processed, temporary work permits will be issued to the applicant in order to come to Canada and set up the business. Open spousal and study permits will also be issued for all dependents of the applicant.
Advantages of the Start-Up Visa Canada Program
- Applicants and their family will gain immediate permanent residence in Canada;
- This is not a performance-based visa program;
- The program does not require an exploratory visit to Canada before gaining permanent residence
- There is no minimum net worth requirement;
- There is no minimum capital or investment requirement.