Canada Start-Up Visa: The first step for a foreign entrepreneur

Canada Start-Up Visa Program – An introduction

Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) Program offers Canada PR to immigrant entrepreneurs who are qualified for it. It’s known officially as the Canada Start-Up Class. 

The program aims at bringing innovative entrepreneurs to Canada. It links them with investors in Canada’s private sector who will extend help to establish their start-up enterprise.

To start with, candidates arrive in Canada on a work permit Canada issued, with the support of their designated Canada-based investor. This can be done before qualifying for being a permanent resident Canada accepts, once their business is up and running.

Private-sector investors are of 3 types: 

  • Angel investor
  • Business incubator
  • Venture capital fund

This program started off as a 3-year pilot. It was made permanent in 2018 on March 31.

Qualifying for the Start-Up Visa program

The eligibility requirements to qualify for the program are that you must:

  • have a qualifying business
  • have adequate funds for living in Canada before you earn from your business
  • have a letter of support from an organization that’s designated
  • meet the requirements as regards language skills

You must also satisfy the admissibility requirements that are applicable across visa types to enter Canada.

The application process for the Start-Up Visa program

As the first step, you must present your business idea to a designated organization. That organization must be convinced to extend support to your start-up venture.

Once the designated organization makes the decision to support your business, it will give you a letter of support and send the authorities a commitment certificate.

The pitching process of your business idea will not be the same for every designated organization. You must contact the designated organization to figure what it takes to attempt to get its support.

If you satisfy all eligibility criteria, you can bring a completed application for submission. This must include your letter of support.

Getting support from the designated organization

You must get in touch with the designated organization to figure how to secure its support. Convincing the organization that your business idea is worth supporting is an important step of the process.

If an agreement is reached between you and the organization, the organization will send a letter of support to you. You must include this letter when submitting your application. This is the proof to be shown to prove that the organization is supporting your business idea. The organization could be an angel investor group, venture capital fund, or business incubator.

The organization will also issue a commitment certificate to the authorities. The organization’s commitment certificate and the letter of support will both be used to assess your application.

Review of your Start-Up Visa Program application

In the process order, your start-up visa application will be reviewed by the following parties:

  1. The designated organization(s) that you are requesting support from will conduct a review to determine whether your business proposal is viable.
  2. IRCC will review your immigration application to see whether you have got the required support to apply. This is to make sure that you have the eligibility to become a Canada PR.
  3. Your application may also be subjected to the process of an independent peer review. This is designed to offer protection against fraud. The aim is also to make sure that your and your designated organization’s activities align with the industry standards for this kind of support.
Language proficiency for Canada Start-Up visa

To be eligible to apply for a start-up visa, you have to show that you have language skills of CLB level 5 in reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

Along with your application, you have to submit the results of a test for a third-party language. This is to prove that you satisfy the eligibility requirement.

The minimum investment to apply for a start-up visa

If Canadian venture capital is the source of funds for investment in your start-up business, you have to secure at least $200,000.

If a Canadian angel investor group is investing in your start-up business, you have to secure at least $75,000.

You aren’t required to get financial investment from a business incubator. You must be taken into a business incubator program in Canada.

For any assistance and services regarding the Canada Start-Up Visa, you can trust the experience and expertise of Y-Axis, the world’s leading immigration consultants and international job consultants.


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