Start-Up Visa Program - Business Immigration to Canada
In order to get Permanent Residence through the Start-Up Visa program, you need to meet the following criteria:
Have a qualifying business
Get Letter of Support from Designated Organization
Meet the Language Requirements
Meet the Financial Requirements
Your business idea must include some sort of a technology or innovation aspect. Think of start-ups such as Über, SkipTheDishes, Oculus, etc.
When you receive a Letter of Support from a Designated Organization:
- Each applicant must hold 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners
- All applicants must jointly hold 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time
At the time you receive your permanent residence:
- You provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada
- An essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada
- This business is incorporated in Canada
Letter of Support
You must get a Letter of Support from a Designated Organization. A Designated Organization provides your Start-Up with business mentorship and support during application processing.
Our law office works with you to meet the Designated Organization's due diligence requirements.
- Designated Organization application process
- Assist with Business Plan and Financial Projections
- Incorporation of Business
- Team member/investor recruitment services
- Due Diligence documentation
- Communication with Incubators and IRCC
- Interview preparation
- IRCC Compliance
The process of getting a Letter of Support is different for each organization. Each organization has its own requirements. For example, you may be asked to present your business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan.
You must take an English or French language test from an approved agency.
You must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in all of these four areas:
- Must be able to show that the Start-Up has enough funds to sustain itself.
- Total amount of investment varies from business to business.
- It is advisable that the Start-Up team have at least $150,000 to $200,000 to invested in the business.
- This amount can be pooled from all Start-Up team members.
- IRCC often audits and we want to ensure that a reasonable amount of investment is available to satisfy the government.
- Individual team member applicants have their own financial requirements.
- The personal funds required depends on the number of family members in your application.
|Number of Family Members
||Funds Required (in Canadian Dollars)
Our law office works primarily with Business Incubators to get Letters of Support because of higher success rates. We assist you in communicating with the Designated Organization and prepare you for due diligence and compliance.
Business Incubator Information:
- Incubators act as mentors/business advisors while you run the Start-Up. During the processing of your application, you must keep in contact and update the Incubator. IRCC also communicates with Incubators to monitor progress.
- You will need a Letter of Support from the business Incubator (Designated Organization) in order to be eligible for the Start-Up Visa program.
- The process of getting a Letter of Support is different for each organization. Each organization has its own requirements. For example, you may be asked to present your business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan.
- Once the Incubator approves, you get the Letter of Support and sign a term contract to join the Incubator. The term for the contract varies per Incubator, but it typically ends when you get your PR status.
- Incubators charge "incubation fees" for their services and the Letter of Support. This also varies per Incubator.
You can apply for a Work Permit at the same time of your Permanent Residence Application.
- You can apply for a Work Permit and come to Canada to work on your Start-Up while your PR application is processing.
- Work Permit applications are processed faster than PR applications (3 - 6 months).
- You and your family can settle down in Canada while your PR application decision is made.
When you apply for a Work Permit, your accompanying dependents can also apply for their own Work Permits, Study Permits, or Visitor Permits. The Permits will be issued for a duration of one year.
Though the processing timeline can vary based on individual circumstances, below is a general guide of what to expect:
||1. Have Start-Up Idea
Duration: Client Dependent
- Develop Preliminary Business Plan
- Find Start-Up team members
||2. Get Letter of Support from Designated Organization
Duration: 1 – 3 Months for Letter of Support
- Sign term contract with Incubator
- Pay inbucation fee
- Join Incubator for contract term
||3. Apply for PR and Work Permit
Duration: Typically apply immediately after receiving Letter of Support
- Apply with family members for temporary Permits
||4. Get Work Permit
Duration: 3-6 months for Work Permit Processing
- Come to Canada with your family and other team members and work
||5. PR Application is Complete
Duration: months for PR Application Processing | 12-18 months for Incubation Term
- You and your family members receive Permanent Residence
- Your incubation term contract ends
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