Federal Start-up Visa Program

Entrepreneurs who have the skills and potential to build a business that is innovative, can create jobs to Canadians, and be competitive on a global scale are the perfect candidates for this program. Yet, they need the support of a designated organization to support their ideas so they can immigrate to Canada.

The eligibility criteria for the Start-up Visa is:

Having a qualifying business where:

  • At the time the applicant gets a commitment from the designated organization:
  • The applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights AND
  • the applicant(s) and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights.
  • At the time of receiving the permanent residence (PR):
  • The applicant provides an active and ongoing management of the business within Canada
  • An essential part of the operations takes place in Canada
  • The business is incorporated in Canada

Having a Letter of Support from a designated organization: As each organization has its own process, the candidate needs to check and confirm if the concept of the business must be presented in person or a business plan suffices.

Meet the language requirements: The applicant must achieve a CLB 5 score (Canadian Language Benchmark) in all four components of the language test (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). This applies to English or French (official languages in Canada).

Settlement funds: to meet the eligibility requirements, one must have the financial means to support himself and his family members. The amount needed depends on the size of the family.

Applying for this program is done by mailing a paper-based application package to the corresponding processing center. A complete application normally includes: the application form (signed and dated), providing the biometrics, taking a medical exam, providing police certificates, and paying the required fees.

More about the subject and finding an organization to support your business can be found on the Government of Canada website here.

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