Canada has a lively startup ecosystem that has achieved worldwide recognition. Home-based successes are now stimulating a forthcoming generation of entrepreneurs, and the Canadian Government offers a variety of programs to support foreign entrepreneur immigration.
The Federal Start-up Visa Program targets entrepreneurs who wish to build an innovative business in Canada to create jobs for Canadians and PRs, and compete on a global scale. Applicants to the Start-Up Visa program must secure a commitment from a designated Canadian angel investor group or venture capital fund to invest in the business idea.
Alternatively, they must be accepted into one of a number of designated business incubator programs. Applicants are not required to invest any of their own money but would normally be required to do so to secure co-investment from one of the approved venture capital funds or angel organizations.
For a list of designated organizations, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/start-visa/designated-organizations.html.
- If the investment comes from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, the applicant must secure a minimum investment of $200,000 CAD.
- If the investment comes from a designated Canadian angel investor group, the applicant must secure a minimum investment of $75,000 CAD.
- Applicants do not need to secure a financial investment from a business incubator.
Prospective applicants must contact one of these organizations and convince them their business idea is worth investing in.
A qualifying business means that the individual created a business that meets the following conditions:
At the time they get a commitment from a designated organization:
- Each applicant holds 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); and
- Applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time.
At the time they receive PR:
- They provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada;
- An essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada; and
- This business is incorporated in Canada.
Once there is a commitment from one of the approved organizations, then an application can be made to the IRCC to immigrate through the program. The processing time is approximately 12-16 months from the date the application is received by the IRCC.
In addition to passing standard health and security criteria, applicants will need to demonstrate their ability to:
- Communicate in either English or French at a CLB 5 level in all four areas (speaking, reading, listening and writing);
- That they have completed one year of study at a post-secondary institution; and
- That they have enough money to live on while establishing their business. The amount needed will depend on the size of the family, and amounts are updated every year.
Successful applicants to this program are able to immigrate to Canada as PRs with no conditions attached to the success of their business.
Originally Published by: FCBB (Federation of Canadian Brazilian Businesses) blog
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