The Start-up Visa Program is ideal for entrepreneurs with an existing business that is ready for investors. In order to be eligible to apply to the Start-up Visa Program, applicants must have already created their business and secured commitment from a designated Canadian business investment organization or incubator.
There are no restrictions on what kind of business can qualify but in general they must be innovative and have the potential for substantial growth and job creation. Examples of industries that may attract the interest of investment organizations or incubators are advanced manufacturing, engineering, internet, big data, artificial intelligence, robotics. biotec, cryptocurrency and environmental technology.
If you want to immigrate to Canada through this program, you need the support of a Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor group that is willing to invest in your new business or alternatively get the support of one of many designated business incubators.
The Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor group or business incubator must be one that is designated by the Canadian government to participate in the Entrepreneur Startup Visa program.
Therefore, step one is to convince one of these designated groups or funds that your business idea is worth investing in. If the investor, business incubator or angel investor group decides to support your business idea, they will provide you with a letter of support and send a completed Commitment Certificate. The Commitment Certificate provides the relevant details of the commitment between you and the investment organization. Once you have your letter of support, you will be ready to apply for a Startup Visa, assuming you meet the other qualifications. You can’t apply for a Startup Visa without a letter of support.
Your business must meet the ownership requirements of the startup visa program. While up to five people can be the owners of a single business when you apply for a Canadian entrepreneur visa,
Each applicant must hold at least 10 percent of the voting rights in the business, and
The designated organization and the applicants must jointly hold more than 50 percent of the voting rights in the business.
You must be able to communicate and work in English, French or both. Note that you must provide IRCC proof of your language proficiency. This means that you must take a language test from a language testing agency approved by IRCC and meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in speaking, reading, listening and writing in either English or French. Most applicants take the IELTS test and the required minimum scores are: Listening 5.0, Reading 4.0, Writing 5.0 and Speaking 5.0
In addition to making sure the application is complete there are three main areas where an RCIC can help.
Immigration Strategy and Option: An RCIC can advise you on the different options that are available to you to obtain permanent residence in Canada and explain the pros and cons of each option. It is important you choose the best immigration program from the start as this will likely save you time and money in the long run.
Professional Representation: If you do not have a representative assisting you then you will probably only submit the required documentation listed on the IRCC document checklist. Submitting only these documents may be enough to result in a favorable decision. However,submitting only those documents sometimes is not enough to make your case and to satisfy the visa officer you meet the requirements of the visa. Generally, it is wise to submit as much evidence as you can above and beyond the minimum required by IRCC. Your representative can assist you in preparing and submitting a strong application to IRCC by identifying the weaknesses in your application and advising you how to strengthen your application.
Submission letter: An RCIC will prepare and submit a submission letter on behalf of the applicant along with the application. The submission letter is an important part of the application which summarizes and more importantly demonstrates why you meet the requirements of the visa.
Review your information and develop a strategy to apply
Help you obtain the support of a Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor or alternatively get the support of one of many designated business incubators.
Prepare and submit your visa application to IRCC
Act as your authorized representative to IRCC
If you want to apply for permanent residence through the Startup Visa Program we are here to help! Please complete our free online assessment form or contact us and one of our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants will revert to you within 48 hours.