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Start-up Visa Program

The Canadian Start-Up visa is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs intending to either establish a new business or expand their existing business in Canada. Start-Up visa links the qualified applicants to the private sectors, known as Designated Organizations, to receive valuable resources and support. This program provides a great opportunity for applicants and their family members to obtain a permanent and irrevocable visa to come to Canada.

  1. What is the Start-Up Visa Program in Canada? The Start-Up Visa program is designed to encourage entrepreneurs worldwide to come to Canada and create new jobs. The focus of this program is on qualified foreign entrepreneurs who are interested in elevating economic growth via investment in creative businesses. The start-up visa program provides you with the opportunity of obtaining permanent residency in Canada.

  1. What are the requirements of the Start-Up Visa Program? Who is eligible for the program? To be a member of the start-up visa program, the applicant must satisfy the following minimum requirements:
  • having a qualifying business;
  • having a letter of support from a designated organization;
  • being able to meet the language requirements, and
  • having enough money to settle and live in Canada before making money from their business.
  1. What is the language requirement of Start-Up Visa Program? To apply for a start-up visa, the candidates are required to show that they have reached Canadian Language Benchmark in four skills, including listening, reading, writing and speaking.

  1. How can an Immigration Lawyer assist with Start-Up Visa Program in Canada? The process of obtaining the Start-up Visa contains two main stages. In the first stage, the Designated Organization, such as Angel Investor Fund, Business Incubator, or Venture Capital Group, will issue a letter of support and a commitment certificate. In the second stage, upon receiving the letter of support, the applicant would be eligible to apply for permanent residency; however, before the process of permanent residency application is finalized, the applicant may be eligible to apply and obtain a work permit and come to Canada. The immigration lawyer will assist the applicant in obtaining the letter of support and making an application for a work permit and permanent residency.

  1. What is the processing time for Canada Start Up Visa Program? The processing time for the Start-up visitor visa is about 32 months after the letter of support is issued. However, the estimated processing time may vary by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”).

  1. How to get a letter of support from a Designated Organization? To get a Letter of Support, you need to convince a Designated Organization that your business idea is worth supporting.

  1. What is the Letter of Support? A Letter of Support is a document that will be issued by the Designated Organization confirming that the Designated Organization will support your business plan.

  1. What are the eligibility requirements to obtain a work permit while the applicant waits for a start-up visa? The applicant is required to meet the following criteria:
  • To live in a province other than Quebec;
  • Have received a Letter of Support and Commitment Certificate;
  • To pay the employer compliance fee;
  • Have enough funds according to the low-income cut-off table.

  1. What is the difference between support from Venture Capital Funds, Angel Investor Groups, and Business Incubators? Depending on which one of the Designated Organizations (“DO”) supports your business plan, the provided support by the DO will be different. To get support from a Venture Capital Fund, you must secure a minimum investment of $200,000.00. To get support from an Angel Investor Group, you need a secured investment from them at a minimum of $75,000.00. You are not required to secure financial investment from a Business Incubator.


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