Do you have the next innovative business idea? Do you think your business idea can compete at a global level? Do you wish to immigrate to Canada, gain Canadian permanent residence and/or even Canadian citizenship? Do you have this ambition of moving to Canada and live in Canada and work in Canada? Then we would love to mention to you about the Startup Visa programs to enter Canada. It was introduced by the government of Canada to help immigrants who are entrepreneurs and with the required skills to build their business in Canada. 

The Canadian government is seeking out immigrant entrepreneurs looking for a Canadian visa and settling in Canada, who are innovative and can create jobs for Canadian citizens. Their business must be able to compete at a global level. If you think your big idea can gain the support of a designated organization recognized by the government of Canada, this program can help you immigrate and become a Canadian citizen with a permanent resident status. 

Eligibility criteria of Start-up Visa program

To be able to apply for the Start-up Visa Program for working in Canada, you must meet the following qualifications.

  • You must have a business that qualifies for certain conditions.
  • A letter of support issued by a designated organization is a must-have.
  • You must have the required language skills.
  • Enough funds/finances to settle in Canada is a must-have.

What is a qualifying business for this program?

If your business meets the following criteria, it is a qualifying business.

  • Maximum 5 members can apply to this program as the owners of the business. When you get a letter of support from a designated organization, each person who is applying to the program must own 10% or more voting rights to the shares of the business.
  • The supporting organization and those applying for the program must together hold more than 50% of the voting power that is attached to the shares of the business.
  • When you gain permanent residency in Canada, you must actively manage your corporation while you stay in Canada.
  • A major part of the work of your business must be done from Canada and the corporation must be incorporated into the Canadian economy. 
  • You must have a photocopy of the letter of support from an organization designated by the government of Canada.

Letter of Support from a designated organization

A business group or organization that is approved to make investments in start-ups must have pledged their support for your business and you and a letter of support from this organization is a requirement for this program. To gain this, below mentioned are some of the steps you can follow.

  • First, contact an organization and research into how you can gain their support.
  • Convince the members of the group that your business idea or innovation is worthy of their pledge of support.
  • If they agree to support your idea, get a letter of support.

Different organizations have different ways of pitching their ideas. The organization offering support may ask you to either submit your idea online or pitch it in person. You must be prepared for both scenarios.

A letter of support is to be shared with the application itself. This serves as proof that the angel investor or venture capital fund or business incubator is in support of your corporation. A commitment certificate will also be sent to the Startup Visa authorities by this supporting organization. Both these supporting documents are essential in order to process your application.

Language proficiency requirements

Your language ability in the Canadian language of English or French is essential to you gaining Canadian PR and the success of your business in Canada. 

To meet the language requirements, you must have taken and passed a language test from an approved testing institution such as IELTS. The result of the language test is to be submitted thoroughly in the application. 

You must score a minimum of 5 according to the Canadian Language Benchmark in French or English in the areas of speaking, reading, understanding and writing. The authorities of the program can refuse your application for Canada PR if the language requirements are not met. 

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Proof of funds required in Startup Visa

The Canadian government will not give financial aid to any new immigrants of the Startup Visa Program. Hence, with your application, you are required to submit proof that you have funds enough to settle in Canada, support yourself, your business and your dependents once you start living in Canada as permanent residents and citizens. 

This money should not have been borrowed from another person. The amount you need depends highly on the number of family members. It is constantly updated. Be familiar with the latest changes made to the policy. 

Application process of Startup Visa

Once you have determined that you are eligible for applying to the Startup Visa Program, here are some steps you can follow for submitting your application. 

  • Get the application package. This package is designed by the authorities of the program and it contains all you need for the application process. It has a document checklist so you do not miss out on important documents and a guide with instructions on the correct methods to fill-out the forms. 

Make photocopies of the required forms and travel document, sign and date where necessary, gather up all the supporting documents according to the document checklist. These may include forms, language test results and proof of payment of the fee. In case the application remains incomplete and it is found, later on, then it will be returned to you without processing. 

  • Pay your application fees. The overall fee includes the processing fee, Right of Permanent Residence Fee, fee for biometrics and their party fee if any is required in your case. The fee has to be paid online. 
  • Submit your application. If multiple people are applying for permanent residency as partners of the corporation, the processing of the application will begin once all the partners’ application-form has been received. All applications are required to be submitted individually and not in one envelope. If a business partner wants to disqualify their application for Canadian residency, the authorities must be informed as soon as possible. 

Your application is considered complete only if it has answered all the questions, all the forms are signed in the required places, the application processing fee has been paid and a copy of it attached, and all the supporting documents have been included. If any of the fields in the application have remained vacant or incomplete, it will then be sent to you to correct the errors and resubmit. This will increase the processing time to avoid mistakes and omissions.

You must ensure that all the answers in your application for permanent residence are complete and true. If you are found to have submitted wrong information, or false claims, your application can be refused, you can be labelled inadmissible or even barred from permanently moving to Canada for up to five years. To avoid such situations, take help from an Immigration consultant to understand the immigration process and the PR process and for your citizenship and immigration application. 

After you apply for citizenship and a job in Canada, and in the meanwhile, your application for permanent residence through the Startup Visa Program is being processed, you have the provision to apply for a temporary work permit, migrate to Canada as a temporary resident in the country and then start building your business. 

The Federal Government of Canada has also introduced other programs such as the Express Entry Program and the Provincial Nominee Programs to help those immigrating to Canada gain permanent residency in Canada, permanent resident status and become a Canadian citizen.  Special programs are also available for Canadian immigrants who are international students, foreign workers, temporary residents and skilled workers under the Provincial Nominee Program. 

So what are you waiting for? Find out if you are eligible for the Startup Visa Program according to the Canadian Immigration Law, and grab the chance to become a Permanent Resident of Canada and a Canadian citizenship today!!