• Life in Canada

  • Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa Program

  • Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa Program


    The Start-Up Visa program grants permanent residence to immigrant entrepreneurs while assisting them with establishing themselves in Canada. The program encourages foreign entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in Canada, by providing funding, guidance and expertise in opening and operating their enterprise in Canada.

    Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa Program

    The goal of the program is to recruit innovative individuals who will contribute to economic growth.
    To qualify for a Start-Up Visa, applicants must meet the following requirements:

    • Minimum CLB 5 level in all four language abilities in either English or French;
    • Minimum one year completed of post-secondary education, during which the applicant performed well;
    • Sufficient funds to support themselves in Canada;
    • Plan to settle in a province other than the Province of Quebec;
    • Pass Canadian security and medical clearances

    Please note: No more than five foreign nationals may apply for a permanent residence in Canada as part of the same business venture, under the Start-Up Visa Program.

    Investment Details

    Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has designated a number of venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubator organizations to participate in the Start-Up Visa program.

    To qualify under the Start-Up Visa Program, successful applicants must secure a minimum investment for their Canadian start-up. If coming from a designated Canadian venture fund, the investment amount must be at least $200,000. If coming from an angel investor group, it should be at least $ 75,000. Applicants are not required to invest any of their own money. In the event that their Canadian start-up is unsuccessful, individuals granted permanent residence through this program will retain their permanent resident status.

    Form of Commitment

    To confirm that the applicant has obtained support from either a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator, the investor organization must submit a completed Commitment Certificate directly to IRCC. In addition, the applicant will receive a letter from the investment organization, which the applicant will need to submit along with an application for a permanent residence. If there are two or more applicants as part of the same business venture, the commitment by the investment organization can be conditional upon one or more “essential persons” receiving their permanent residence status. An essential person is someone who has been specifically identified as essential to the business by the investment organization. If, for any reason the application of an essential person is refused, the applications of all others included in the Commitment Certificate will also be refused.

    Please note: Since this is a pilot program, the Canadian authorities will only process a maximum of 2,750 applications per year under the Entrepreneur Start Up. Moreover, the duration of the program is limited to five years.

    If this pilot program proves successful, the Canadian Government may choose to establish the Start-Up Visa Program permanently before the end of the five-year period.

     

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