The Start-Up Visa program is geared toward granting Permanent Residency to immigrant entrepreneurs while facilitating them to become established in Canada.
Successful applicants must cooperate with private sector organizations in Canada where they must first receive funding, guidance and expertise in opening and operating their enterprise in Canada.
The purpose of this program is to recruit innovative foreign national entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and drive economic growth.
In order to be eligible, applicants for a Start-Up Visa must meet the following requirements:
· Have received a letter of support from a government-designated organization;
· Meet minimum language requirements in English or French (CLB 5 in all abilities);
· Have completed at least one year of post-secondary education, during which the applicant was in good standing at their educational institution;
- Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada;
· Plan to settle in a province other than the Province of Quebec; and
- Pass Canadian security and medical clearances
You can have more than one partner in your business endeavour however no more than five foreign nationals may apply for permanent residence as part of the same business venture under the Start-Up Business Class.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has designated a number of venture capital funds and angel investor groups to participate in the Start-Up Visa program.
Successful applicants are required to secure a minimum investment for their Canadian start-up. If coming from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, the investment must be at least $200,000.
If coming from an angel investor group, it should be at least $75,000. Applicants are not required to invest any of their own money. If their Canadian start-up is unsuccessful, individuals granted permanent residency through this program will retain their permanent resident status.
Economic Action Plan 2012 highlighted Canada’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurs, innovators and world class research. It also announced the Government’s intention to build a fast and flexible economic immigration system whose primary focus is on meeting the new and emerging needs of the Canadian economy. This will include changes to Business Immigration Programs, which will target more active investment in Canadian growth companies and more innovative entrepreneurs.
This “start-up” visa initiative is an example of the type of small-scale programs that would allow CIC to try innovative approaches to economic immigration. Under the proposed changes, the Government could create new, short-term programs under the Economic Immigration Class. These programs would be limited to no more than 2,750 applications per year and would end after five years.