Canada Startup Visa

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Canada Start-Up Visa

If you are an entrepreneur with an innovative business idea, you may be eligible to immigrate to Canada through the start-up visa program.

Canada is looking for talented entrepreneurs that are interested in starting businesses that will stimulate the Canadian economy while creating employment opportunities for its residents.

Read on for everything you need to know about Canada’s start-up visa program, including a step-by-step guide to the application process.

Benefits of Investor Visas

The investors are benefited from the following things in Canada:

  • They will get access to a high standard of living.
  • They will get access to healthcare and education.
  • They can settle with their family in Canada.
  • They can get access to international opportunities.
  • They will get favourable investment policies.
  • They will also get travel benefits through which they can travel across the world.
  • Investor visa for Canada is more like a fast track to citizenship.

What is the Start-Up Visa Program?

Canada’s start-up visa program gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to immigrate to Canada in order to establish a new business. Immigrant entrepreneurs must demonstrate that their business is innovative, will create new jobs for Canadians, and can compete on a global scale.

What are the requirements for Canada's start-up visa?

There are four requirements you need to meet in order to be eligible for a Canadian start-up visa:

1. Have a qualifying business:

  • You must hold at least 10% of the voting rights attached to all shares of the company
  • Together with the designated organization, you must hold at least 50% of the voting rights attached to all shares of the company

2. Have a letter of support from a designated organization:

  • You need to demonstrate that you have the support of a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator
  • In order to do this, you must pitch your business idea and convince the organization that it is worth supporting
  • The process of pitching your business idea will be different for each organization
  • If your pitch is successful, you will receive a letter of support from the organization which must be included in your start-up visa application

3. Meet the language requirements:

  • You must take a language test from an approved agency and show that you meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in speaking, reading, listening, and writing.

4. Proof of funds:

  • You need to show that you have enough money to support yourself and any dependents once you arrive in Canada. The amount you need depends on the size of your family.
Number of family membersFunds required (in Canadian dollars)
For each additional family member$3,560

Designated organizations for start-up visa

As part of the eligibility requirements, you will need to provide proof (Commitment Certificate and Letter of Support) that your business is in fact supported by a designated organization. These documents will cover the relevant details of your arrangement with one or multiple designated organizations, and are paramount to your start-up visa application.

Unlike federal and provincial investor programs, where applicants must invest their own capital, no investment of their own funds will be required.

Instead, those who meet the eligibility requirements must secure a minimum of $75,000 from a Canadian angel investor, or a minimum of $200,000 from a Canadian venture capital fund recognized by the government of Canada. If the applicant is accepted into a recognized Canadian business incubator, no investment capital is required.

How to apply for a start-up visa

1. Fill out the application form:

  • Fill out the Generic Application Form for Canada
  • Click the “Validate” button on the form, and make sure that you have completed all required fields
  • Print the validated application form, making sure to include the barcode page
  • Sign and date the form

2. Complete the document checklist

  • Gather all documents listed in the order specified in the document checklist
  • Place all necessary documents in a sealed envelope
  • Print out the document checklist and sign it
  • Include the document checklist as the cover page of your application

3. Pay your application fees

  • Application fees include processing fees for you and anyone included on your application
  • Right of permanent residence fee
  • Third-party fees including fees for medical exams, police certificates, and language testing
  • Biometrics fees:
Type of ApplicantCost
Individual Applicants$85 CAD
Families applying togetherMaximum total fee of $170 CAD
Groups of 3 or more performing artists and their staffMaximum total fee of $255 CAD

4. Submit your application

  • Before submitting your application, ensure that it is complete
  • Make sure you have signed all forms
  • Pay your processing fees and include receipts in your application
  • Include all supporting documents

Put all documents in a 9” x 12” envelope, write ‘start-up visa’ on the outside of the envelope, and mail to the appropriate address.

What is the processing time for Canadas’s start-up visa?

The current processing time for the start-up visa is between 12 and 16 months.

You must include all of the following information:

  • Proposed industry/sector (NAICS Code);
  • Proposed investment amount, which must correspond to the reasonableness of the industry, the applicant’s net worth and cannot be less than $150,000CAD;
  • Number of jobs to be created for Province Residents;
  • Management contribution the nominee will make with respect to the proposed business (e.g., sales, distribution, production, research and development, etc.);
  • Forecasted start-up funds and expenses;
  • Business ownership information – partnership, proprietorship, corporation, franchise, acquisition;
  • Proposed location for the business (i.e., city/town);
  • Preparation and training for entrepreneurship in Province (including course titles and institution names, if applicable);
  • A list of planned past and/or future visits to Province, if applicable (please provide: Dates, purposes, agendas, inviting organizations, etc.);
  • Plans for establishing residence in Province; and
  • The name, organizations, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and emails of contracted professional business service providers whom the Applicant has contacted and/or the Applicant has established an active working relationship or paid contractual agreement with.

Please also include:

  • The name, organization name, mailing address, email, and phone number of people who compiled or assisted in the compilation of the business plan24, and
  • A summary of people contracted or consulted in preparation of Business Establishment Plan.

Process steps:

  • Submit assessment form and documents
  • Assessment Report
  • Retainer Agreement
  • Explore the options to get ready made innovative business idea / prepare a new business plan
  • Submit documents to venture capital and get approval
  • Submit EOI to selected province
  • Get ITA
    1. Submit application for Exploratory visit
    2. Submit application for Nomination
  • Establish the business as per proposal and start with leasing or buying property for business, business registration, getting the required business licence, opening a bank account, hiring company secretarial services
  • Start Investing as per your commitment or get the investment from Venture capital businesses.
  • Application for Permanent residency once you get Nomination under economic class.

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