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How Can You Qualify for Startup Visa in Canada?

startup visa in Canada

Entrepreneurs can move to Canada under the start-up visa program in order to launch a new business. Immigrant business owners must show that their venture is unique, will generate new jobs for Canadians, and is capable of competing on a global level.

The start-up visa program may make it possible for entrepreneurs to immigrate to Canada.

Canada is on the lookout for bright business people who are eager to launch ventures that will boost its economy and offer job opportunities to its citizens.

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

Eligibility Requirement for Startup Visa in Canada

Own a Qualifying Business

A qualifying business is one that you founded and that satisfies the requirements listed below:

  • When a designated organization gives you a commitment:
    • 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all outstanding shares of the corporation are held by each applicant at the time (up to 5 people can apply as owners); and,
    • At that time, applicants and the designated organization collectively held more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all outstanding shares of the corporation.
  • When you obtain permanent residence permit in Canada:
    • You manage this company actively and continuously from within Canada.
    • The business’s core operations are located in Canada.
    • This company was founded in Canada.

Obtain a Letter of Support from a Designated Organization

A letter of support from the specified organization is mandatory for a business group that has the approval to invest in or support possible start-ups. To obtain this, you may have to do the following:

  • To learn how to obtain support from the selected organization, get in touch with it.
  • Convince the organization that your business idea is one they should support.
  • Obtain an endorsement letter from the designated organization.

Each organization has a different method for presenting ideas. Additionally, every organization has unique needs. For instance, it may be a requirement to give a live presentation of your business idea or submit a thorough business plan.

A letter of support will be provided if you and the specified group can come to an agreement. This is the evidence you need to present to demonstrate the support your business idea has from the venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator.

Meet the Language Requirement

Your business will prosper in Canada if you can operate and communicate in English, French, or both languages. Therefore, proficiency in both or any one of these languages is mandatory. 

You must achieve at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 proficiency in both English and French in each of these four areas:

  • speaking
  • reading
  • listening
  • writing

If you are unable to meet this criterion, your application will face refusal.

Be in an Economically Stable and Financially Sound Condition

The Canadian government does not provide financial assistance to new immigrants on start-up visas.

You must demonstrate in your application that you will be able to support yourself and any dependents after you arrive in Canada. Note that, you cannot borrow this money from a third party.

Your family’s size will determine how much you require. Following is the updated chart:

Number of Family MembersFunds Required (in CAD)
For each additional family member3,586

**Please note that the amount changes every year, so it is advised that you stay connected with our Canadian Immigration Blog Space to stay updated.

How to Apply for Startup Visa in Canada?

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

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

Pay the Application Fees

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

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

Document Checklist for Startup Visa in Canada

  • Generic Application Form to Canada (IMM 0008) 
  • Additional dependents declaration, if needed 
  • Background/declaration (IMM 5669) with a detailed personal history from the last 10 years or since the age of 18 including work experience, education, unemployment periods, etc.  
  • Business Immigration programs – Start up business class (IMM 0008 – Schedule 13) form     
  • Additional family information (IMM 5406)
  • Passports or travel documents
  • Proof of language proficiency (IELTS, CELPIP, or TEF)
  • Letter of support from your designated organization
  • Identification documents for yourself and your family
  • Police certificates
  • Medical exams
  • Proof of readily transferable funds in a convertible currency in the required amounts based on the number of family members applying.

You must complete all questions and sign your application as well as all other paperwork to ensure that it is complete.

You must also pay all fees, including the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF), processing fees, and a biometrics fee to cover the cost of taking digital photos and fingerprints.

No applications will be processed until all are submitted if several people are submitting requests for permanent residence as partners in a qualified business. The applications for each business partner must be sent in separate envelopes. You need to fill out separate forms even if your spouse is also your company partner.

An assessment of your application will be done if you have satisfied the requirements for eligibility, submitted your biometrics, and passed the medical examinations and police background checks. You will be given a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) if your application is accepted, and if you are not a citizen of Canada, you will be required to acquire a visa stamped in your passport.

Other Important Information on Startup Visa in Canada

Immigration Interview

If you already reside in Canada, you must schedule an appointment to appear for a quick immigration interview at an IRCC office there or at a Canadian port of entry. You must here show evidence of your financial ability to support your COPR as well as your family and yourself. You will then receive your PR card in the mail. Your immigration interview will take place at the port of entry when you arrive if you currently reside outside of Canada.

Processing Fee for Strat-Up Visa Program in Canada

Your application must be submitted together with the processing fee. The processing cost ($1,625) and the right of permanent residency fee ($515) total $2,140 for your application. When traveling with family, the cost for your spouse or partner is $1,365 (which includes the $515 permanent residence charge); the cost for a dependent child is $230. (they are exempt from the right of permanent residence fee). Please note that the fees may be subject to changes annually at the discretion of the Immigration Department of Canada. Keep visiting our blog space regularly to get the perfect information on Canadian Immigration.

Time Required for Issuance of Startup Visa in Canada

Currently, the complete procedure will take about 32 months for SUV candidates. This can change depending on your application’s progress toward completion, how easily your information can be validated, and any backlog of other applications.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the required minimum investment for the Start-up Visa Program?

You must get a minimum investment of $200,000 if the investment comes from a recognized Canadian venture capital fund. Obtaining a minimum investment of $75,000 is necessary if the investment originates from a recognized Canadian angel investor club. You are not required to obtain funding from a business incubator. A Canadian business incubation program must admit you.

How can I get the support of a designated organization for a Startup Visa in Canada?

To learn how to obtain its support, you must get in touch with the specified organization. You must persuade the group that your business concept is one they should support. Each organization has a different method for presenting ideas. Every organization has unique needs. For instance, you might be required to give a live presentation of your business idea or submit a thorough business plan. 

A letter of support will be provided if you and the specified group can come to an agreement. This is the evidence you need to present to demonstrate the support your business idea has from the venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator.

What happens if my business fails if I immigrate under the Start-up Visa Program?

Your status as a permanent resident is unaffected if your firm collapses. The Canadian Government is well aware that not every business will thrive, and this program is set up such that the public and private sectors share the risk.

I wish to apply through the Start-up Visa Program. Do I have to invest my own money?

You’re not needed to put any of your own money into the investment. A contribution from a designated Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor group is the minimal amount needed.

What will happen if I get investment support from many designated organizations for Startup Visa in Canada?

Syndication is the process of receiving funding from several specified venture capital funds or angel investor organizations. All investment companies involved in the syndication must be identified if you have syndicated support. Even if a qualified angel group also participates in your company, the minimum total investment amount is $200,000 if a designated venture capital fund does as well.

The minimum total investment in your company must be $75,000 if at least one recognized angel group participates in it but there is no approved venture capital fund.

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