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Canada Startup Visa

Canada is easily in the top five countries of the world to start a new business venture. This is primarily because the country has an abundance of natural resources, skilled labour force, and a strong central government. So if you’re thinking to immigrate to Canada as an Entrepreneur or Investor, there are several different avenues that you can explore, including the general Start-up Visa Program and the provincial-specific Nominee Program. If your application is successful, you and your immediate family can move to Canada to start a new life.

Canada is on the lookout for newcomers who have the entrepreneurial experience to start, manage or buy a business in the country. With new foreign investment, Canada can ensure the continued success of its economy through diversification and development.

Start Up Visa Program:

The Start-up Visa Program is a general Investor Visa option that allows you to immigrate to Canada by starting a business anywhere in the country. You and your business will have to meet a set of requirements in order to be successful with your application. In general, your business must be innovative, create jobs for Canadians and be able to compete internationally. While you wait for your application’s approval, you can also apply for a temporary work permit to keep you busy in Canada.

The Start-up Visa program presents a unique opportunity for people who want to move to and reside permanently in Canada. There is no limitation on the region where you choose to settle in Canada, and there is enough freedom for you to move your business operations elsewhere down the road if you see it fit. 

The table below summarizes the Start up Visa program requirements:

  Start-Up Visa Program Requirements
Business Requirements Once a designated organization commits to your business:

all applicants (up to 5 people can apply as owners) must each hold at least 10% of the voting rights attached to all outstanding shares of the business; and
together with the designated organization, they must hold more than 50% of the voting rights attached to all outstanding shares of the business.

Once you receive permanent residence, you must make sure that:

you play an active role in the ongoing management of your business while living in Canada;
the essential operations of the business must partly take place in Canada; and
your business is incorporated in Canada.

Letter of Support You must get a letter of support from a designated organization that proves they are willing to invest in and support your start-up. These organizations include:

Venture Capital Firms ($200,000 investment);
Angel Investor Groups ($75,000 investment); and
Business Incubators.

Language Requirements You must score a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark level 5 in speaking, reading, listening and writing in either English or French.
Settlement Money Because the Canadian government doesn’t give financial support to this investor visa, you will have to be able to prove that you have enough money to settle you and your family in Canada.