Canada is looking for qualified immigrant entrepreneurs to grow the Canadian economy. The Start-Up Visa program (SUV) matches immigrants who are bringing exciting business ideas with private sector investors within Canada. Initially Start-Up Visa applicants apply for a work permit, sponsored by their Canadian investor, and later, once the business is operating, can apply for permanent residence status.
The Start-Up Visa program is intended to attract new ideas and new businesses by matching immigrant entrepreneurs with potential funding sources and helping to locate these businesses where they are needed most.
What Are the Requirements for Applicants Under the Start-Up Business Class?
There are three threshold requirements to become eligible for a Start-Up Visa:
- Commitment from a designated entity
- Language fluency in English, French, or both
- Settlement funds
Commitment from a designated entity: You need to acquire a letter of support from a private sector investor. A private sector investor can be an angle investor, venture capital fund, or business incubator.
- An angel investor is required to commit to at least $75,000 of funding.
- A venture capital fund, or combination of several, is required to invest at least $200,000 in funding.
- A business incubator is required to confirm that it is accepting the start-up business into its program.
Language Fluency in English, French, or Both: You must earn a benchmark score of 5 on Canadian Language Benchmarks (for English) or the Niveaux de competence linguistique canadiens (for French). These exams test proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Settlement Funds: Depending on where you intend to settle, you will need to submit proof that you have enough money to support you and your family during the time the business is establishing itself. Proof of funds must be submitted to show liquidity and capacity to support yourself while in Canada.
How Can You Get Support from a Designated Entity or Organization?
As noted, the Canadian government will help you identify potential private sector funding sources. However, you will need to contact each organization to pitch your idea for a new business. It’s up to you to convince a potential funder that the idea is worthy and that you are the right person to lead the effort.
Once that commitment is made, the designated entity or organization will issue a letter of support to include in your application.
How Do Start-Up Visa Candidates Qualify for a Work Permit or Permanent Residence?
To qualify for a work permit, the Start-Up applicant with a commitment from a designated funding entity can apply for a short-term work permit to begin working in the business. To qualify for permanent residence status, a candidate must be actively involved in the management of the Canadian start-up. In addition, the essential part of the business must take place in Canada, and the business must be incorporated in Canada.
How Long Does it Take for an Intending Immigrant Entrepreneur to Go Through the Start-Up Visa Process?
A viable business project might take 4-6 months to secure the requisite letter of support from a financial backer needed to apply for the Start-Up Visa. The application for permanent residence can be submitted once that letter of support is secured. It might take as long as 18 months to secure the actual Visa.
Begin Your Start-Up Visa Application Now With Trusted Immigration Counsel
If you are seeking permanent resident status by bringing an innovative business idea to Canada, you can trust the knowledge and experience of Canadian Currents Immigration to guide you through the process. Finalizing a viable business plan, securing financial backing, and locating a new business can all be daunting. With the aid of an experienced immigration lawyer at Canadian Currents Immigration, you can apply for a Start-Up Visa, once we determine your eligibility.
Our immigration lawyers at Canadian Currents Immigration will review your status to determine your eligibility for a Start-Up Visa and to help you through the various steps needed to secure your financial backing.
Start with a confidential 30-minute consultation with a Canadian Currents Immigration immigration lawyer in Vancouver.
Call us now to book a time: 778-331-1164.