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Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa
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Canada’s Start-up Visa Program was launched to attract new immigrant entrepreneurs from all across the world, bringing in, the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada which are innovative, can create jobs for Canadians and which can compete on a global scale.
Do you have an innovative business idea? If you have a great business plan to start in Canada then you can apply under this program and get permanent residence to establish in Canada. It is optional to apply for temporary residence work permit while you wait for the decision on your file. On an average, it may take 12 to 16 months to process your application for permanent residence.
Upto 5 applicants can be included in one application declaring the essential person in the business. Applicant(s) are required to connect and get support for their idea from one of the designated organizations. There are 3 types of designated organizations listed by IRCC.
- Venture capital funds
- Angel investor groups
- Business incubators
To be eligible for the Start-up Visa Program, you must:
- Plan to settle in a province other than the Province of Quebec
- Prove your business is supported through a designated organization
- Show your business meets ownership requirements
- Meet minimum language requirements in English or French (CLB 5 in all abilities)
- Pass Canadian security and medical clearances
- Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada
A qualifying business means you created a business that meets the following conditions.
At the time you get a commitment from a designated organization:
- each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners) and
- applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time
At the time you receive your permanent residence:
- you provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada
- an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada
- this business is incorporated in Canada
Get a letter of support from a designated organization
Applicant(s) must get a letter of support from a designated organization. Applicants may receive support from multiple designated organizations, known as syndication. In this case also, single letter of support/ commitment will be provided to the applicant(s) and one directly to IRCC, identifying all the supporting entities involved.
This is the proof you need to show that the venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator is supporting your business idea and must be included in your application. Please note, IRCC may ask you for more business information in order to take a final decision on your application.
Qualifying applicant(s) don’t have to invest their money but must be able to secure a minimum investment for their Canadian start-up. If you get support from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, the investment must be at least $200,000. If you get support from an angel investor group, it should be at least $75,000. In case, business incubator is supporting the idea, applicant(s) do not need to secure any investment but applicant(s) must be accepted into a Canadian business incubator program. If this Canadian start-up is unsuccessful, individual(s) granted permanent residence through this program will retain their permanent resident status.
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