Immigrant entrepreneurs who wish to establish and operate their own business in Canada can obtain permanent residence through the Canada Startup Visa – provided the company is innovative, generates employment for Canadian workers, and competent at the global level. To qualify, foreign entrepreneurs must gain the support of a designated organization. While the permanent residence application is being processed, entrepreneurs can establish the business by entering Canada on a work permit.
What is a designated organization?
It is a business group – an angel investor group, a venture capital fund, or a business incubator approved to support or invest in a possible startup venture. If the organization chooses to review a business idea, it will examine its potential for success. Each organization assesses a business idea or proposal based on different criteria and intake procedures. If the organization decides to support an idea, the immigrant entrepreneur(s) will receive a Letter of Support. Usually, Canadian business immigration lawyers and consultants within the startup ecosystem ensure that the business proposal meets industry standards.
Who Can Apply for the Startup Visa?
Aspirants can apply for this Canada Business visa independently or as a team consisting of up to five business owners. All candidates must meet the following criteria:
- When receiving a Letter of Support, each applicant must hold at least 10% voting rights for all outstanding shares of the corporation. Also, the designated organization and applicants should jointly have above 50% of voting rights for all outstanding shares of the corporation
- At the time of receiving permanent residence, the applicant(s) must be actively managing the business from inside Canada on an ongoing basis. Also, at this stage, the company should be incorporated in Canada, and an essential part of its operations must take place within Canada.
- Obtain a Letter of Support by convincing one or more venture capital funds to invest at least $200,000 in the business idea, getting one or more angel investor groups to invest at least $75,000 in the business idea, or getting accepted into an approved business incubator program.
- Score at least Canadian Language Benchmark 5 or higher in each test component an approved English or French language proficiency test.
- Have sufficient funds to support oneself and accompanying dependents (if any) after arriving in Canada.
Who Can Receive a Work Permit?
To enter Canada and set up the business before receiving permanent residence, entrepreneurs whose designated organization has sent a commitment certificate to the federal immigration authority – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada – can apply for a short-term work permit.
How to Apply for the Canada Entrepreneur Visa?
The candidate must fill out the application forms, collect supporting documents, pay the application fee (CAN$2,075), provide biometrics, medical examination results, and police clearance certificates, and mail this entire package to the relevant visa processing center.
How Long Does the Entire Process Take?
Obtaining a designated organization’s support may take 4-6 months, while the visa processing time typically ranges from 12 to 16 months.
How Can We Help?
Business Immigration Visas use a lawful and detail-oriented approach – in collaboration with our experienced RCIC agent – to ensure that you successfully choose, plan and pitch an eligible business idea to the designated organization. With decades of experience in providing business and investment visa solutions, we coordinate with Canadian investors to help you access the support you need for setting up a successful business in Canada – and take care of the entire Canada Startup visa procedure on your behalf.