Start-Up Visa Program
Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program: A Quick Guide
Purpose: Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program grants permanent residence to innovative immigrant entrepreneurs to kickstart their businesses in Canada.
Supporting Investors: Three categories of private-sector investors can back applicants: angel investors, venture capital funds, and business incubators.
Program Status: Originally a pilot, the program became permanent on March 31, 2018.
Eligibility: Candidates need a qualifying business, Commitment Certificate, adequate settlement funds, and language proficiency in English or French at Canadian Language Benchmark level 5.
Investment Criteria: Angel investors must invest a minimum of $75,000, while venture capital funds need to invest at least $200,000.
Ownership: To qualify, candidates should own a minimum of 10% of the voting rights, with no one individual holding over 50% of voting rights.
Multiple Candidates: Up to five people can benefit from the same business investment. If a primary applicant drops out or is denied, all tied to that investment will be affected.
Work Permit: With a Commitment Certificate, candidates can get a short-term work permit to initiate their business activities.
For hands-on assistance, Toronto-based Immigration.ca works closely with approved entities to guide aspiring immigrant entrepreneurs throughout the process. Generally, securing a Commitment Certificate takes 4-6 months, and the permanent residence process completes in about 18 months.
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